Tutorial :Is it a good idea for a web developer to know a general-purpose language? [closed]



Question:

My focus is on html,PHP,mysql, javascript, css, ajax because that's what many websites need. I am still new to the web developing scene(only 5months) so I am busy learning all those topics.

My question is whether or not to add a general purpose language, such as Python or Java, to the list. I only played a little with Python so I don't know much about it. But is there anything that Python offers that would help me in terms of web development? (besides django and those frameworks). Examples would be great!


Solution:1

If your still learning PHP, JavaScript (AJAX) and mysql you should stick with it for now. If you think you are relatively fit in using this combination. I would take a look into the different frameworks that are exiting for PHP (ZendFramework, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Symfony and a lot more) and Javascript (jQuery, Prototype+script.aculo.us, ExtJS, MooTools and a lot more).

If you're getting more and more familiar with the different, but often similar frameworks you really should learn other languages, too. And not only Python. I would take a look at Ruby it is a general purpose language as well and there are a lot of Web-Frameworks too. (Ruby on Rails, Merb (soon to be merged in Rails 3), Sinatra, Camping and a lot more).

If you take a look at Java I would also suggest taking a look at other languages that can be run in the JavaVirtualMachine like Groovy, Scala, JRuby and again a lot more.

It is always good to know other things. So you can get some different approaches to on problem.


Solution:2

You should learn a new language under two circumstances:

1 - When there's a need for it (i.e. you have a great idea for a product, but it can only be done in language XYZ)

2 - You're bored and have plenty of free time ;)

PHP is a very, VERY versatile language. It's as popular and widespread as it is for a good reason. I wouldn't worry about trying to learn as many languages as possible, instead you should focus on mastering the ones you already know.


Solution:3

If you're only five months into web development, concentrate on web development. Study frameworks, MVC, OOP, patterns, etc. This will help you the most. In another six months, look into some other languages - Python or Java - to compare how those languages/environments handle the same issues that PHP does.


Solution:4

You may not like this answer...

If you truly have the time, go the opposite direction -- learn a language that puts you as close to the fundamentals as possible (that is, without crossing into full blown assembler).

Having a high-level understanding of memory allocation/management, string operations, etc, will help you understand why A + B is fast, and why A + B + C is the string concatenation from hell.

Sorry dude, no shortcuts.


Solution:5

I don't think anyone else has mentioned this, but you may want to learn Python or Lua or a powerful scripting language just as a tool. I script in python when I want to automate boring or repetitive tasks, and I think it's worth it. Your Mileage May Vary.


Solution:6

The only reason for learning a general purpose language would be when you are doing some server side work that is computationally intensive, in which case, using a general purpose language can lead to, sometimes huge, performance benefits.


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