Becoming a real boy programmer

2012 has certainly not started the way I expected it to. I’ve moved jobs, got married, made some amazing friends and learned so much. 2012 is most certainly a year of learning for me. I have a yearning to break outside of the LAMP bubble and really extend myself into Python, C/C++, Java etc as well as learning electronics.

It’s certainly no easy feat. It can take a good year or two to learn a new language, but I’m not looking to master anything new in a short timeframe. I’m sure (as life has a way of doing) that one language or another will command my attention or become more useful in one way or another.

Why learn a new language? Seriously…because being a PHP developer doesn’t feel like being a real programmer. I don’t mean to offend anyone who uses PHP, but it has taken me long enough to realise PHP really only scratches the surface of programming. So many concepts and features are hidden from the developer or missing altogether.

I’m not slagging PHP off. Right now it is my language of choice for building anything quickly. But I just think it can get you into bad habits. Am I really doing things the right way? Would I write  a program the same way in another language?

You may be wondering, who cares? Am I looking for acceptance? Probably. Am I feeling stagnant? Definitely. Has turning 27 made me think differently? Possibly. I feel if I don’t stretch myself now to learn these things, I can’t call myself a programmer. And if I hit 30 without the skills to see me through to 40, 50 and beyond, it might be too late to stay ahead of the curve.

So, that’s my state of mind at the moment. Despite the tone of this post, I am determined, positive and truly looking forward to the rest of this year and beyond as I grow professionally!

4 thoughts on “Becoming a real boy programmer

  1. I feel the same, I feel like I’m missing out. PHP was so simple because it was the next level of abstraction (At one point I used to think PHP was hard… LOLz). Its just the way higher level programming works, it is one of those inevitable things. On the other side though its one of its selling features – connecting to a database in Java is twice the amount of code to achieve the same effect as you would in PHP, but its so much more powerful. You just have to decide how low level you want to go. PHP implementing the latest features has definitely stood me in good stead for going deeper down the specialisation route. No matter which way you go, once you get one, you’ll pick up others nice and fast.

  2. If you’re a curious soul like myself, it’s impossible to ignore what goes on behind the scenes. I’m also wise enough to know that it would be futile to try and back track to the lowest level possible and learn everything up from there.

    Having said that it doesn’t harm to have at least an understanding of these things. Chances are you’ll never be expected to write assembler!

  3. I think your both being hard on yourselves. I personally see programming as a tool like a chisel. Its not about how good the tool was its about how beautiful and desirable the sculpture your create is.

    And you both create valuable very desirable stuff! :)

  4. I think PHP is more like a hammer. And if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    There is a reason that there are other languages out there, and I’m certain PHP is only the tip of the iceberg. It does web well, but is it really the best tool in all cases?

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