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Life in the key of C# (Part 1)

Life as a Programmer

Hello C# My Old Friend

Simon & Garfunkel’s song title (Hello Darkness my old friend) reminds me of how I feel we should see the language we develop applications in. It should be a friend, not true? In other words, you should be very comfortable with your abilities developing in your language of choice. I’m a C# developer, and I love the language. I try to expand my understanding of it continually. In fact, you should never think that you know it all. Most importantly, you have to remember, that your pride must be left at the office door before starting your work day. There will always be another developer that knows more about a specific topic than you do. And you need to be big enough to take advice when given. But I don’t specifically want to talk about this.

As a programmer, how do you color your professional life? Do you confine it to a single language? If you had to list your programming languages on your CV, how long would that list be? Are you a one language programmer? I guess in some cases it isn’t bad, but imagine if you could list 3 or 4. As a .NET developer, I can write an application in C#, VB.NET and Java (although I haven’t done Java in a while). But imagine expanding that list. A friend of mine recently challenged me to learn PHP, and this ties in nicely with my one new years resolution to learn a new language this year.

You see, as programmers we might get frustrated with learning a new language especially since you can do it much faster in the language you know. For me, anyway, that has been the frustration. C# is my old friend to whom I turn to when I need to code. But I feel that sometimes we need to break the habit a bit. Remember, it’s always just syntax. The logic remains the same (A loop is a loop). So when learning a new language, you just need to get used to the syntax.

Certain African Tribes had specific places of worship away from their village or hut. A regular commute to worship their gods would wear out a path in the grasslands of the Savannah. If the village elders saw the specific path being overgrown with weeds and grass, they would know that some of the villagers were not going to worship as regularly. They would then be reprimanded. It is the same with learning new things. The more we do it, the more defined our understanding of it becomes (The grass path analogy). We need to do in order to understand it.

For me, my first love will remain C#. But I know that I am at heart, a programmer and being a programmer shouldn’t mean to be confined to only 1 language. So, my challenge to myself this year is to learn PHP and Objective-C. How about you? What is your challenge to yourself this year?

Reference: Flickr

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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  • Like you, my only love is C#. I love my code, and love each of my projects and my development environment. One day, a friend of mine asked me why I have hundreds of lines of old code commented, I told him that I don’t have the heart to kill them! In some projects I have whole code files commented!!!! I feel that my projects are my kids, I can’t let them go, and when it comes to deployment, I feel depression! 🙁

  • Oh, forgot to tell you that my plans for this year is to master ASP.NET, Silverlight, MVC, and other web technologies since, you know, I’m a desktop developer, but I really need to start web development.

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  • You are absolutely right about how you should treat your programming languages. On the note of learning a news language. Instead of looking up to it.. Rather see it as a new adventure.
    I think by learning a second language that is entirely different from the one you know will broaden your horizons and even give you more perspective on your most loved language. Like you saw the other day we know the same things but we call it different names. I look forward to working with you / teaching you php.. I have also decided to take on Objective-C.

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