A New Language

In my life, I’ve mostly dealt with people that speak English. I tried Latin in high school and Japanese in university, but I wouldn’t say I learned a lot. This past year I’ve been working on Japanese (konichi wa) and French (Bonjour) on a regular basis, but I’m still fairly uni-lingual. At least compared to many of the people I’ve met in my travels that speak multiple languages. I’m mostly just trying to read a bit, and that’s quite hard.

In my career, I haven’t met many technologists that only know one programming language. Even the SQL professionals know a little C# or a scripting language. Quite a few people know a bit about many languages, and some are very competent. I used to think it would be good to master one language before moving on, but I find that trying different languages can give you an appreciation for others, or even an appreciation for your primary one. Comparing and contrasting code might even help you learn faster.

These days many of us are being asked to handle more tasks, and we may be required to support or work with code that others have written. As a result, I think it makes some sense to have a basic knowledge of other languages that you might encounter. I can often look at code in different languages and get an idea of what’s happening. I might even think about fixing simple bugs if needed.

I saw a Data Exposed edition recently with Hamish Watson that was titled KQL: The Next Query Language You Need to Learn. I had heard of it, but never used it. After watching the episode I played with it a little. While I don’t know how important it is, I do appreciate I may run into it and will likely spend a small amount of time writing some queries and familiarizing myself with some of the common aggregates and other types of structures.

Today I’m curious, which do you think you would learn as a next language? Not that you’d give up your current work in T-SQL or something else, but what else might be good for your career, or perhaps be exciting to you personally?

I’ve enjoyed doing some work in Python and PowerShell over the last year, and time spent in R before that helped me appreciate those languages. There are places I’d choose to work in those over T-SQL, especially for data not already in a SQL Server.

Take a moment and leave a comment: what new language would you like to learn and why?

Steve Jones


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About way0utwest

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4 Responses to A New Language

  1. dtuckertx says:

    Powershell is my next language to conquer – time to optimize (and isolate) more of my server administration processes


  2. Hey Steve! Love the post (my personal goal is to speak 5 languages, currently learning my 4th), so I enjoyed the segue you did here.
    I’d love to learn more about Python. I need to overcome my biggest challenge which is playing with it a little bit and then forgetting about it for months.


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