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[aclug-L] Re: Weekly C quiz

[aclug-L] Re: Weekly C quiz

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To: discussion@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [aclug-L] Re: Weekly C quiz
From: John Reinke <jmreinke@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 22:27:58 -0600
Reply-to: discussion@xxxxxxxxx

My wife was just researching online tonight, looking to see what jobs I can
expect to get when I finish my masters in about a year. It looks like the
more programming languages you know, the more money you can make - even
without a graduate degree.

I'd say definitely learn C, since I feel that is the most powerful
programming language besides assembly. I haven't touched assembly in years,
but I feel understanding it is essential to understanding computers. Once
you understand the logic, it can be applied to most every language. I would
also suggest learning C++, since that is what appears to be most common for
the "general" programming jobs. C++ builds on C, so learn C first if you
want to be able to write anything in C later on. I teach a C++ class, and
it is the first programming language for most of my students. These people
won't be able to prgram in C, unless they go back and learn the
differences, but I doubt they will ever do that. You have an advantage of
learning C separately. I wish I could teach my students the parts of C, but
I don't have that much control over the curriculum.

Learning object-oriented programming (OOP) is an important part of C++. OOP
has its place, with code reuse and designing separate actions to be
performed on data "objects", rather than writing programs that control the
complete processing of data. Java is purely OOP, and very similar to C++,
so you can probably pick that up easily if you learn C++. These and all the
others really depend on what you want to do.

I feel C will be around for quite a while, but it just won't be the
"popular" programming language, because people tend to want an easy
solution, not always a good solution. I can't image a world without it. You
probably know that most OSs and major applications are written in C. (Look
at your kernel source some time.) As far as IDEs go, it sounds like there
is a decent version of CodeWarrior for Linux now (check Linux Journal), and
there are a few others I've heard of. I've not mastered it yet, but emacs
includes everything and the kitchen sink. Just think,  practically every
application you use on Linux was developed in Linux or UNIX. To write that
many applications, the environment must not be primitive. In time, I'm sure
there will be others, too. Linux is growing in popularity, remember.

In the end, it really matters what you want to do. Figure that out, and be
prepared for any job similar to that. Learn the programming languages and
the industry, and then go for it. Some of my classmates are interviewing
with companies like Micrsoft and Intel, and other big-name companies,
because they want the money and prestige. That's fine for them, but I would
be "selling out" if I did that. I'm sure I'm limiting my income potential,
but hope to never program exclusively for windows. I've had too many jobs
that I didn't like. What matters the most to me now is that I find a job
that I enjoy.

BTW, enjoy cs300. (Hmm, should I stop posting answers to your questions?)
That was one of my favorite classes. I use that stuff in almost everything
I do. Be sure to say hi to Brad.


>It failed for me too, but it's the thought that counts, and I appreciate
>the opportunity to explore. I'm taking an algorithms course (CS300) at
>WSU. These questions are tangental to something we're doing usually. I'm
>learning a lot of C, but I'd like to ask some of the folks out there why
>in this day and age I should strive to become a crack C programmer?
>After all, everyone knows the best language is Perl, or Java, or C++, or
>Modula-X, or, or.... I looked at the Mozilla site and saw a lot of
>interesting things being blended (XML, CORBA, a new widget set), but
>mainly with C++ (as far as I understood). In addition, a big knock
>against Linux on the desktop is the relative primitiveness of the
>development tools. MS has pretty IDE's for high-level languages. Your
>average Joe programmer can do a VB app fairly quickly, and now Java is
>trying to unseat VB in that category. I don't mean to ask "hey, where
>are the jobs?", because I know the answer to that: database. But where
>is C going? Can you realistically base a career on it, and not have be
>highly specialized and move to Silicon Valley to find work? Actually, me
>and a few others at WSU want to know.

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