- What I learned from Language X that makes me a better programmer when I use Language Y
- Something surprising that you probably wouldn't guess about Language X from reading blog posts
- My personal transformation about Idea X
But it wasn't the article that got my attention so much as the follow-on conversation. Don't get me wrong. The article mentioned a couple of books that I think I'm going to want to take a look at some time (The Little MLer and The Seasoned Schemer) but the follow-ons to point one were interesting:
What I Learned from Haskell that improved my C++ was of special interest. Recently, I watched a couple of videos about Haskell from Channel9 (you don't have to install Silverlight to watch them) by Erik Meijer and some of the functional aspects of Haskell and Erlang seem really interesting, especially immutability and how that enables parallel evaluation.
I've also used Python here and there -- even using it to teach programming to my sons, so "How learning Python made me a better C++ programmer" was also really interesting. His contribution was a change in orientation towards using templates and boost. There was a commenter who echoed the prejudice I've seen (and complied with, to the point of echoing) at my current job against using Boost, too. The very next comment was a good balance point. Some of these prejudices made sense once upon a time, but it seems to me that the compilers have gotten a lot better than they used to be.
Jamie Bullock's follow-on to this second article (although the link mentioned on ginstrom didn't work well) was also interesting: "What I learned from Python that makes me a better programmer when I use C". Both of his comments, on readability and on better algorithms, are things that are also worth remembering.
But a Blog post should be about more than pointing at other people's words. So let me finish off with yet another Haiku:
Others can teach you
More about your field than might
At first glimpse seem clear