Old school or hip?

For more than 10 years I focused mostly on Perl Training. I taught a few classes using Subversion. In the early days I ran a course teaching Unix for power users, and even a PHP course, but soon I thought it would be better to focus on one single technology.

This has been changing recently. Last month I taught my first Python class, and currently I am preparing a Tcl course.

What? Python? Tcl?

Perl is considered old-school by many people, in a recent article, celebrating (?) the 25th birthday of Perl, Bradley M. Kuhn even compared Perl to COBOL.

I don't know what people thought about COBOL in 1984, so I don't know if the perception of the two languages at their 25th birthday was similar, but I certainly see in my business that most of my clients learn Perl either because they need to maintain an old code-base, or because they use Perl as a helper tool.

In both cases they inherited the use of Perl from an earlier generation in their company.

So what other languages should I teach?

I started teaching Python which feels to be new compared to Perl to many people, even though it is only 4 years younger, and then I can start offering Ruby and maybe even more hip-languages and technologies. As I mentioned I took a class building mobile web sites and mobile web applications. I even started to build Regex Maven, my first mobile application. With some investment I could teach HTML5/CSS3 and JavaScript.

Or, I can focus on other "old-school" languages, such as Tcl, which happens to be the same age as Perl, and maybe even teach COBOL.

Probably there need to be a mix. Finding out what companies actually need today and guessing which technologies they will want to learn a few years from now.

Published on 2012-12-20 by Gabor Szabo

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