Some background first: I am new to programming and have discovered it rather late in life; Like many hobbyists, my introduction to the subject has been through PHP/jQuery (yes, I know the popular mood around here... they-are-not-real-programminng-languages ;-) ). I like to believe that I am reasonably competent at what I do in my other life and this developing addiction to coding has taken a very heavy toll on my professional prospects.
This is the question:
- What programming languages next? (No plans to ditch PHP in the immediate future, that will involve rewriting much of my code.)
- Any absolutely essential books I must read?
- Is it necessary to join a college/university course?
- Do I need to ditch my other profession to continue serious learning?
My goals are:
- Develop a solid understanding of the science and art of programming.
- Continue to work on my own web application. (Hands on learning suits me best.)
I am something of a generalist interested in everything from UI to database performance.