This is my progression of knowledge of different computer languages (not counting the myriad of macro-languages that you are forced to learn while using different applications). The Computer Languages that I consider myself proficient in, in roughly the order that I learnt them:

  • Basic
  • Business Basic
  • UCSD-Pascal
  • C
  • SQL
  • Troff/Nroff
  • Tex/MetaFont
  • C++
  • Tcl/Tk
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • Python

I also have some knowledge of the following languages, but I have never written a major application in any of them:

  • Lex/YACC
  • Cobol
  • Objective-C
  • LISP
  • B/BCPL
  • LaTeX
  • PostScript
  • SGML
  • Fortran-77
  • Perl
  • Assembler (various)
  • Java
  • Ruby

And my current project are to learn:

  • Flash

This just goes to show that I should also learn the following languages to make my education more complete:

  • JavaScript
  • SmallTalk
  • Algol
  • REXX
  • ML
  • Forth
  • Logo
  • Visual Basic
  • JCL

But it is very hard to get any enthusiasm going, without any application needs (like I decided to learn Python after I discovered Zope and needed to convert some applications to it).

Also, at 40+ and MBA educated, it is very unlikely that anyone would care what my technical skills are. The normal reaction if a person like myself shows technical skills are to either classify me as a "techie" without management potential (as the theory seems to be that you can't have advanced technical skills and learn anything else) or to be scared of me (usual reaction from a technical standpoint), as a manager with a tie shouldn't understand what the "real techies" are talking about in any detail!

Of course, there exists other reactions, but these are the most common and shows the confidence of the persons making them. In my opinion, we should demand that the current crop of CIO's (or equivalent) should be technically proficient and business educated, as one without the other makes very bad (IT/IS) managers. It would be like having a VP of Marketing without knowledge of either Marketing or Business Strategy (also refered to as suicidial tendencies :-) ). Sure, a CIO needs to work on a higher level than Computer Languages and Architectures even, but they should have a detailed knowledge of them anyway, as manipulating programmers that resort to techno-babble usually succeeds in getting their way, due to the incompetence of many CIO's. This is a major reason that IT/IS departments are so costly, which in my opinion has led to the current tendency of outsourcing of IT/IS (in the theory that someone else will be able to exercise better control of the costs, aka staff, which is just another way of telling the world that the management has lost control and can't regain it).

In reality, this should be an interesting discussion, but I suspect the subject is too taboo to create any real discussion (as is the Swedish Way, i.e., don't rock the boat).

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