I’m a mediocre programmer using Perl. It’s the programming language I know best, and I certainly have talent, but I just don’t have enough serious software engineering and development experience to have cultivated some of the skills necessary to be really good at it. I’m working at that, though.
I keep running across things I want to learn. I want to learn Scheme and enough Ruby to be functional. I want to learn more C. I don’t really want to learn much Python or Java, but I’d like to know more of each, so there’s a bit of conflict there. I want to learn more Objective C. I still want to know more Perl. There’s so much Perl to learn. . . .
I was about eyeball deep in Ruby not too long ago. It’s an exciting, interesting, elegant, and easy language. It’s seductive. The weight of incredibly high traffic on the ruby-talk mailing list and my realization that I was spreading myself too thin in terms of what knowledge I was pursuing came to me at roughly the same time, so I decided to pretty much give up on dealing with any languages other than Perl for a while (shell scripting and PHP for lightweight, rapid web development now and then notwithstanding). I did so to allow me to focus more on Perl, to eventually get past the mediocrity barrier. I need to get Perl more firmly entrenched in my brain — or, rather, get general programming skills more firmly entrenched, which requires greater familiarity with some language — so I’ve gotten rid of some distraction.
Ruby keeps tempting me, though. Ruby, that temptress.
It may well be the “best” language I’ve ever had the good fortune to play with to any notable extent. An amazing, sleek, beautiful creature, that Ruby. I look forward to getting back to it at some point soon.
I still do love my Perl, though. I suppose I’m something of a philanderer, wedded to Perl and occasionally tempted to cheat with Ruby. Worse yet, they’re sisters.