first thoughts on seven languages in seven weeks
I recently started reading the beta copy of Bruce Tate's Seven Languages in Seven Weeks from the Pragmatic Bookshelf. While I'm certainly NOT on pace to actually complete the book in seven weeks, I have been steadily plodding along. Reading this book takes me back to my days as an undergraduate computer science student at the University of Mississippi. As with most CS programs, we were all required to take a “Survey of Programming Languages” course toward the end of the curriculum. Tate's book is very similiar to walking through this course, except:
Tate's text and suggested exercises are intensely practical, targeted at actually getting something useful done in the language.
The language selection is entirely relevant to today's practitioner. Chances are good that you'll use a language from this set in your day job sometime in the next decade. Ignoring that, chances are good that you'll use some language that is a “close cousin” of a language from this set.
Your thinking about programming in general will be challenged by each chapter. This is not a leisurely read. You cannot “coast” through this course.
In short, only two chapters in I'd thoroughly recommend that you purchase this book. Like Beyond Java before it, Bruce has again challenged us to step outside of our comfort zone. If nothing else, you've got seven kickstarts into learning your “Language of the Year.”