Lost in the sea of codes

Crossroads

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m looking forward to learn and somewhat master another language. I’ve spent almost four years with PHP that it became a second nature to me. It’s time for me to look for another.

It took me almost a day in figuring out what language to code and which framework to use. Here’s my initial options:

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • JSP
  • ASP
  • Full stack JavaScript

And the winner is….. RUBY! Lol but my decision didn’t come that easy. I asked myself a couple of times:

What about Python?

Python is great. The syntax is beautiful, more elegant and readable than Ruby as other critics would say.  I learned the basic of Python two years ago using this book. I also tried some simple python scripting and HTML embedding. Also, based on my research, Python is currently being favored by data scientists in the field of data and statistics computing. So why not choose Python over Ruby? Unlike Ruby, I’ve never experienced first-hand web development using Python. I also had trouble looking for a comprehensive Python/Django book/tutorial over the internet, or maybe I wasn’t looking that far. Let’s just keep this simple. I know more Ruby than Python. It would be more practical for me to start learning Ruby again because I have more knowledge about it, like  setting up a rails application in Heroku. That being said, it doesn’t mean that I will completely ignore Python in the coming years.

Why not JSP?

I have this love-hate relationship with Java. Sometimes I feel glad that I learned this language, but there are times that I wish Java didn’t exist in the first place. I learned JSP at school. It’s one of the languages that I didn’t teach myself. I have a strong background in Java when it comes to desktop application development but using it on the Web didn’t feel right to me. That’s just my personal preference. I wish I had a better introduction in JSP when I was in school.

How about JavaScript?

Oh yes. The much hyped 100% JavaScript full stack development. I’ve encountered a lot of developers using the so called MEAN stack during hackathons. I’m pretty tempted to try this, as a matter of fact. Imagine using the same language on the server side and client side? The problem for me is, well it’s JavaScript. I don’t have anything against it. I used JavaScript a lot on my previous project. I just hate the syntax. The inconsistency of its OO principle. Some would say it’s almost as broken as PHP’s OO approach. On the plus side, node.js is built on top of Google Chrome’s V8 engine which I heard is lightning fast. I have to see it for myself though.

So why Ruby?

I know Ruby on Rails at some point. I have a better understanding in Ruby compare to the other three. I have created an application using rails and successfully deployed it on Heroku. So in short, it’s not new to me. Relearning it again and digging deeper seems practical. RoR also has a huge community where I can turn to in times of my helplessness. Though I’m not implying that the other three doesn’t have a community as large as RoR. Well it boils down to my personal preference. That’s it really.

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Next Level

It’s 3 AM in the morning. I’ve spent hours reading discussions about web programming in stackoverflow, some tech blogs and dev forums. I am very much aware that the web is constanly changing, and I need to adapt.

I’ve been in the web development scene for some time now. I self taught myself HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and a couple of web components 4 years ago. All of my projects are built using PHP. I’ve used Codeigniter, WordPress and OpenCart in the past. I even created a simple DIY MVC-ish framework when I’m learning mvc principles. I am very confident with my PHP skills.

I am so inclined towards PHP that I often disregarded other languages. Yes, I know ASP and JSP. I’ve tried Ruby on Rails when I participated in a hackathon. I read a book about Python. I learned Java and C# at school. But why is that I never used one of those in my projects? Maybe because I’m too comfortable with PHP that I don’t want to step out of my comfort zone. It’s too time consuming for me to start learning a new language then use it the same way I’m using PHP. Yes, time is the major factor here.

When I read the articles and discussions about web dev, I think I really need to discipline myself. Companies today are looking for JSP, .NET, Rails and even JavaScript developers. Surely PHP isn’t the only kid on the block. This is prevalent at JobStreet job listing. There are at least 10-15 companies looking for RoR devs. 10 for Node.js devs and 12 for Python devs. The shocking thing is each of these job posts has only around 10-15 applicants. Compare that to PHP which has 80-120 applicants per listing. I tried applying for a RoR dev position and to my surprised I received an SMS almost instantly saying I was shortlisted.

Now one thing is for sure, I need to have a strong understanding with other web languages. I need to bring my web development prowess to the next level if I want to live.

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