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I primarily work in C++. My question is, for a C++ developer, what languages are beneficial to learn, from a job-profile point of view. For example, I see a lot of work combining C++ and Php these days. Conversely, I don't see a lot of work combining Ruby and C++ (unfortunately).

Of course, learning another language is beneficial regardless of whether it compliments a language.

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I learned MATLAB before I learn C++, and I thought C++ was a good way to optimize key parts of an algorithm originally prototyped in MATLAB. – rwong Oct 7 '10 at 14:51
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd vote for Python or Ruby. C++ is The Language for doing as much as possible statically at compile time. Learning Python or Ruby will teach you how to think in terms of doing things dynamically at runtime. I'm in a similar situation, using D and Python as my primary languages. D's template metaprogramming is much more powerful than C++'s, but it's still all at compile time. Python's metaprogramming and reflection is all at runtime. It's a very useful combination because often there are idioms that are useful in both languages, but are more obvious in one than the other. Therefore, my D experience makes me a better Python programmer and vice-versa.

On another note, Python and C++ complement each other in that C++ is good at performance and bad at programmer productivity, where Python is just the opposite. If you learn both, you'll have mastered both ends of the spectrum on this tradeoff.

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I think PHP compliments C++ nicely. In both cases, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel of languages, but PHP has so many annoyances that it makes C++ look like a diamond in comparison.

As far as languages that complement C++, I'm not sure.

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Nicely spotted - I never knew that little English language nuance existed. Fixed. – MM01 Oct 7 '10 at 15:00
+1 for being a smartypants! – Frank Shearar Oct 7 '10 at 15:04
English is a good language for it;) "Oh! C++ is so dashing!" – Matt Ellen Oct 7 '10 at 15:20
I disagree that C++ is "scraping the bottom of the barrel," (I have a much higher view of the language) but otherwise agree that PHP makes it shine in comparison. +1 for snark. :) – greyfade Oct 7 '10 at 16:18
You have made my day... – ChaosPandion Oct 7 '10 at 16:32

Python is often used in combination with C++ for file manipulation (and c++ code generation) and embedded scripting.

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I recommend Erlang. C++ is mostly used for performance, but it doesn't have great support for large scale concurrency. With that in mind Elrang would be a great complement since it has great concurrency performance but not very good performance for number crunching. Erlang is often used together with C/C++ in distributed and embedded systems, specially in telecom. Erlang is good support for interfacing with C&C++.

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C++: a kitchen-sink language, statically and manifestly typed.

Sounds like a good complement would be a language with a very few concepts, dynamically and latently typed. Sounds like Smalltalk!

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It does depend a little upon the platforms you are supporting, but if Windows is a platform, learning C# and the related techologies should keep you employeed for some time.

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It depends, what problems do you need to solve to accomplish your main objective: delivering software?

For me, knowing Labview lets me maintain and extend our real-time data collection tools. These produce a lot of raw data, so having a scripting language to parse and reduce it is extremely useful. I use Ruby.

Batch and/or shell scripting can also come in quite handy.

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  • Shell/Bash scripting I see is a great thing to have in your tool belt.
  • PHP as you said is a good one.
  • C programming is also fair game as far as I am concerned.
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