Jasconius wrote:Here's what I am working with these days in no important order:
Purpose: Web Development++
Summary: Django is what PHP contributors wish for in their darkest dreams. Django provides intensely incredible functionality to generate small to medium data driven web applications in minutes. A pretty decent ORM provides a healthy layer of abstraction from database development and allows people who are most comfortable with a traditional scripting environment (read: me) to compete with that 14 year old from Slovenia who got a MySQL book for their birthday. I'm trying to close my first official Django development freelance contract this week.
Python is what it is. A simple, slick programming language with a light syntax and flexible rules that I think is a great language for new programmers. Python does everything including exploring Mars.
Other Links and Reading: http://djangobook.com/ && The Definitive Guide to Django, 2nd Edition
Purpose: iPhone/OS X development
Summary: Obj-C is a thin veneer over ANSI-C enabling OOP and other neat features. Cocoa is the framework upon which all depends when it comes to Mac development, much like Win32 for Windows. My feelings on Cocoa are mixed, the learning curve is steep. I am currently enjoying the tiny bit of abstraction it provides for OpenGL. I am developing an iPhone application for the retail chain I work in-house for, and I just got taken on as a contractor for an iPhone game developer.
Language: Actionscript 3
Purpose: Multimedia on the web
Summary: This got me a job, all my jobs really. Flash has evolved in the last decade from an annoying trend to an underground success in the world of RIA's thanks to Flex. ATG, the worlds leading eCommerce engine, just redid their entire commerce administration tool in Flex and I hear great things about it. Traditional Flash (what I do) is in steady decline as non-proprietary web technologies evolve and become mainstream, but with a high dollar creative team, nothing can compare for raw presentation value.
Other reading: GoToAndLearn.com
Purpose: My job
Summary: C and its descendants (C++/Java/C#/etc.) are the most popular programming languages in the world. (As co-inventor Dennis Ritchie supposedly said, "C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success.") The web browser you're using, the OS, most of your applications, most embedded software, the software on your router, the software on your ISP's router, the software on your game console, etc., were all written in C (well, or in C++).
For my job, I write in straight C. No libraries, no frameworks, no C++, no nothin'. C is a programming language for Real Men (tm), which means that there's no memory management and you're free to crash your program in various horrific ways. The trade-off for this is speed and size, attributes which give C its staying power - though proper C is losing favor as an application development language to C++, C#, and the like, it's found a second life in embedded applications and other small devices. I also think there's a certain elegance to the syntax - it's a language from an era when you didn't have a lot of memory, so statements are terse and lack the cruft of some more modern languages (*cough*C++*cough*). And best of all, no right minded C programmer would use LongVariableNamesLikeThis.
There's no shortage of manuals and documentation for the various incarnations of C, but the best reference is still from the source: The C Programming Language, by Kernighan and Ritchie. This book is so ubiquitous and standard that it's known simply as K&R in the field.
Purpose: Game Development
Summary: Pygame is an extensive wrapper of the cross-platform SDL frameworks, specifically geared toward game development. Pygame takes care of loading assets, playing back sounds and music, drawing to the screen, handling keyboard and USB gamepad input, and can even capture live images from webcams on most platforms.
Pygame is also aware of PyOpenGL, the OpenGL binding for Python, and will gladly create a window complete with OpenGL context. Add 3 lines of code and suddenly you can make OpenGL drawing calls. No fuss.
Anyone with some knowledge of Python can create a working, playable 2D game demo in under a week. With minimal effort, this game will run on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, even the 3D bits, with no problems.
Other Links and Reading: http://www.pygame.org/news.html
Framework: None (debating between CodeIgniter and Zend Framework)
Purpose: Web Development
PHP is probably the most ubiquitous server-side language around right now, although its been besieged by others on all sides. It's a simple, but bloated language, which suffers from a convoluted past and a stubborn refusal by the devs to trim the fat.
A lot of its popularity stems from how easy it is for newcomers to get results. This low barrier to entry, and PHP's ability to change from script blocks to blocks of HTML on the fly, means that there's a ton of shitty PHP code floating around out there.
Framework: jQuery (looking for one a bit more complex to play with)
Purpose: Web Development
Framework: .NET 3.5
Purpose: Web Development (although it can be used for other purposes - see: XBOX 360 Indie Games)
C# is a managed OOP programming language. The managed part means that you don't need to worry about memory management (although you can still dabble with pointers and dynamic memory if you want). I like the language a lot, as it stresses readability (at least, more than PHP). When code is written correctly, its very easy to read, and seems almost self-evident. Beyond that, it just works.