Hi everybody,
I'm a rater infrequent user of this forum. I'm studying International Media and Computer Science and one of my courses is called Gender & Computing. I'm supposed to write an essay on a topic which I was free to choose. While working on my bachelor's thesis I had to read a lot of different API's, tutorials, documentations etc. for various problems in various programming languages. It appeared to me that very often it was much easier for me to understand these texts if they were written for languages like Java, Ruby, Python. On the other hand I often had difficulties in understanding if they were meant for C++ or PHP. My theory is that if you program in a certain language it affects the way that you are talking/writing/thinking. I am currently working mostly in Java. I worked a lot with PHP. PHP was my first programming language (no it's not true. Lingo was my first one but I haven't used it since I left SAE).
I definitely do not want to start any hate stories here. But I'd really be interested in a lot of opinions on this subject. Especially I'd be interested if men and women have a different perception of this topic.
(My Professor says yes by the way). So again this is not at all about better or worse. It's just about differences.

Oh damn yes! Learned COBOL and BASIC as a youth and have never been the same. I have honestly tried to learn other languages but I was ruined. I was on programming teams that were both mixed and all men - the mixed teams worked best because they were complementary. Or so I think, it may just have been the teams. I do not have enough data to decide whether or not there is anything to the men vs women in IT controversies.

I guess if you have a solid foundation in computer science, you can pick up different languages quite easily. But from my experience, if you are learning a few languages at the same time, you might sometimes get crossover and confusion over the syntax.

Well I have a slightly different opinion about this, according to be its not the language but the methodology you use to program which makes more of an impact.
Adjusting to the syntax of a language and the features provided / not provided by it will of course cause problems, but not as much as the way you design your programs.
I remember the time, when I was working on C in college using the structured programming approach and then suddenly next semester I had to move to using the Object Oriented Programming methodology, I was like "where the hell am I !!!!"

On the other hand when I had to move from C++ to Java and back, Although adjusting to the language syntax was an inconvenience, I did not find it too difficult to actually design my programs as I used to follow the normal Object Oriented Concepts.

So I guess its the method of designing you follow that affects your way of thinking as opposed to language itself.

>My theory is that if you program in a certain language it
>affects the way that you are talking/writing/thinking.
That's a good theory. I try to use the full breadth of my experience regardless of the language (ie. mixing useful concepts from different paradigms), but that's definitely a conscious thing. If I ran on autopilot I'm sure my solutions would have a distinctly C-like feel.

However, it's not a single language that affects your thought process, it's the whole category. If you've worked with imperative languages your whole life, you'll find learning another imperative language easy but you'll keep trying to use imperative solutions for quite a while when you start working with a declarative language. If you grew up with procedural languages, moving to an object oriented language will be a chore. If you grew up with object oriented languages, moving to a procedural language will be frustrating.

Yes. I know people who started with procedural languages and now find it very hard to adjust to event driven languages