The Pleasures and Perils of a Programming Polyglot

45 minutes



Mark Twain wrote once, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." The same could be said about a large number of languages considered "dead" by the IT industry. Since the mid-1950s, more than 8,000 programming languages have been developed; Wikipedia's alphabetical list of "notable" languages has nearly 700 entries! There are so many that it's impossible to learn them all, and many of them are dead languages--or are they? Perl isn't dead--it's not even mostly dead! More than 50 years after its creation, COBOL is alive and well, and being revised and expanded to meet new requirements.

Over the course of her nearly 30-year career in IT, Ruth has been paid to write code in six different languages, and has learned, experimented with, or taught nearly a dozen more. In this talk, Ruth will lead you on an exploration of some of the key languages that helped define our modern programming practice, and make the case that there are few languages that can be properly called "dead." A few might be mostly dead--but mostly dead is also slightly alive!

Being a polyglot comes with joys and frustrations, but it can be immensely valuable to your career. Come learn about how learning a second--or third--or fourth--programming language can benefit you.