BASIC can have permanent damaging effects to innocent souls
Yours truly = living proof
(I still say "string" in my head when I see the $ symbol...)
Seriously, I was just on the DC IRC channel discussing this very thing.
There's a lot of talk of people who have hit the ceiling of what C++ is capable of and where it's going (besides MS development of it slowing almost to a stop...), and the new platforms (C#, .Net, Silverlight, etc.) are pumping in fresh blood to old ideas.
C is still a big cornerstone of the foundation, and the Mac OSX crowd has adopted Objective-C as it's language of choice. Python came out the clear winner in the "most popular scripting language" category (see the link at this thread
) and Perl continues to be an elephant in the parlor (see below).
But I think Housetier phrased it well: "Where do you stop starting?"
When do you stop surveying diving boards and eventually jump in the f'ing pool?
I love and know Linux and am VERY curious about lots of programming languages. I've done a bit of research on the job market for the Linux-savvy, and it looks VERY promising. I would also like a better job...
So I've come up with a game plan:
1- Read enough about C/C++ to gain a conversational knowledge of it, if not the ability to code a thing or two. I'd like to know what a "stack pointer" is before I go popping my mouth off about it, and if I learn enough, maybe I'll even contribute to an open-source project just for the street cred.
2- Learn Perl. Why? Because despite the rising popularity of Python, Perl devs are still in great demand (look on http://www.indeed.com
and compare "perl" results with "python") and I have a family to feed. Besides, it's a wonderfully powerful tool (especially on Unix/BSD/Linux), it's object-oriented and massively extendable. Besides, Perl 6 is coming (albeit slowly), and it looks big.
Even though it's developed in Haskell
3- Move to Python and Mono. I think that more "average Joe" Linux development is going to move to Python, and the Windows ex-patriates are going to be feeding at the Mono trough. That may even be where the money is going and I'd like to be ready if that wave breaks.