I first heard about this book around the time it was being published last fall. A review had popped up in my RSS reader and the title of the book immediately stood out to me: Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Bruce Tate. It was as if I had just been offered a challenge – one that seemed perfect for someone like me who, while having some experience, is still fresh out of University where we instead study Two Languages in Four Years.
Of course, we touched on a few other languages in some courses… but when you’re still new and haven’t really gotten your hands dirty, it’s hard to distinguish one language from another. Why is it important for me to learn C? What would motivate me to use Java instead of C++? (Other than it being the required language of some particular course…) Four years, and I didn’t really learn the answers to these questions. I really didn’t even know I should be asking them.
And so, I’ve finally accepted Mr. Tate’s challenge, because that is exactly what he has set out to teach. This book is not meant to make you an expert or convert you to be an enthusiast of any of these languages. It’s designed to familiarize you with the concepts, motivations, pros and cons of these very different languages and paradigms.
Of the seven languages (Ruby, Io, Prolog, Scala, Erlang, Clojure and Haskell) the only one I’ve had some exposure to is Prolog, and it’s been a few years. I’m looking forward especially to seeing more on Scala, which I’ve heard plenty of hype for (or against), but have learned little about the language itself.
I’m hoping to write some feedback after each week as I progress through the book, I’m sure it will be quite an adventure and learning experience!