Cast not your Perl before swine?

Steve smorrey at
Fri Dec 14 11:25:57 MST 2007

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to get a good discussion going on the merits of knowing
and using lingua archae vs lingua franca.
Lingua archae is my term for languages that once were popular but have
been fading out of fashion and entered a general state of disuse.
Languages such as Perl, RPG, COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN, assembler and of
course the list goes on and on.

Lingua franca being languages which are so commonly used now that they
are considered "essential" to know
Some good examples are  C/C++ and to a lesser extent C# Java, Python,
PHP and well thats about all off the top of my head.

As a programmer myself, I'm finding that even though I don't use the
archaic languages much if at all anymore,  having them on my resume is
the chief reason for recruiters to come calling.  What I think is
bothering me the most about it is that even though the majority of HR
people are looking for these older languages, the companies themselves
aren't using them, (with maybe the exception Perl for the purposes of
porting apps away from Perl)  however they are generating a rather
large percentage of the calls I'm getting.

Is it worthwhile then to maybe spend some time brushing up on these
languages?  Or would it be better to "trim the fat" from my resume and
drop these languages all together?

Any thoughts?  Anyone using some of these older languages mind chiming
in on what you use them for?  Are some of these older languages coming
back into regular use?

Anyways as always thanks for the replies.


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