Learn a New Programming Language

As Chad Fowler says, “The best reason to learn a new programming language is to learn to think differently.” Here in Northern VA, we have a new opportunity to think differently with the introduction of the NoVA Languages group. Chris Williams from Iterative Designs posted to the NoVA RUG mailing list this morning and received quite a bit of interest. Here’s what he has to say about the new group:

Thoughts on the makeup of the group include obtaining (however you want) a book, working through the book 1 chapter per week on one night of that week with a group of like minded individuals.

To start, the group will work through Joe Armstrong’s Programming Erlang book starting on Monday, June 16th (hopefully I’ll be able to work out a schedule with my wife so I can attend). This is an excellent choice on several levels: every developer should know a functional programming language; single core processors are increasingly rare and the number of cores in commodity hardware should only increase in the coming years; and I already own the book.

If Erlang doesn’t pique your interest, the NSCoderNight DC group is going to work through the 3rd Edition of Aaron Hillegass’s Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X book on Tuesday nights. For several months now, I’ve been playing around with Cocoa and while I’m getting used to the syntax of Objective-C, the XCode IDE and Interface Builder still seem foreign to me (I never liked IDEs having been weened on Emacs).

It’s a great time to be a programmer in Northern Virginia!

Update: It turns out that there’s another Cocoa group right around the corner from me in Reston: CocoaHeads. They meet the second Thursday of each month.