O’Reilly Programming Newsletter 2020/01/02

New year, new language

New libraries

New gadgets

I think we’re hearing more about C these days because more makers are encountering it for the first time as a language they want to use themselves. They’re searching for tutorials, reading histories, joining forums, and creating some really neat IoT projects on an ever-expanding list of microcontrollers. This world lives for eking good performance out of limited resources, and C is perfect for that work.

New capabilities

Go is a great second language for C developers. They have similar philosophies: simple syntax, a stable standard library, thousands of third-party libraries, and native compilation. Go adds efficient garbage collection and built-in concurrency support. Soon, generics will increase expressive power with minimal additional complexity. Now is a great time to learn Go.

A new multidimensional understanding of programming

You should learn a language which changes and challenges your notions of programming as they have been formed by your experience with Java. A very different language to Java will teach you the most — learn Python to learn a simple dynamically typed language, Haskell to see how far you can take functional programming, Rust to turn your understanding of data ownership on its head, or C++ to understand why we needed to invent Rust in the first place — but learning any second language at all will teach you something.

Many MBA programs, as well as analytics-driven organizations, are embracing no-code/low-code business intelligence, machine learning, and AI.…AI and ML are becoming like Excel, a tool readily available to solve modeling and business problems, but requiring little to no code.

The advantage

The programming landscape is evolving quickly like so many areas of tech. I know that adaptation is survival. If you understand how good coding works in a variety of environments, you will have an easier time dealing with whatever comes next. And that “whatever” is probably here already, so you need every advantage you can get.

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