If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I’m stuck in a rut when it comes to programming languages. I’m loath to learn PHP, Java, or even Python, but at the same time, I haven’t gotten out enough. I’ve gotten stuck in Perl. Perl is a great language, of course, but I need to learn other things, too. Teaching my kids with Lego Mindstorms will help me hone my Lispish skills and learn more about Scheme, but I want more. So, I’ve burned myself a copy of the Mono Live CD. Part of what sparked this has been a general dissatisfaction. I do love Perl, but I’ve known for a bit that I shouldn’t get stuck in a rut. I’ve been learning other languages, but only on the periphery. It hasn’t been a concious effort. The proverbial straw, though, was an interview with Chad Fowler, author of My Job Went to India. He talks about the dangers of knowing only one language — another thing I’ve been aware of, but hearing it from someone else drives the point home. In fact, when hiring a Java programmer, he got so many applications, that he trimmed the pool by using only those resumes that had both Java and SmallTalk experience. “We wanted to make an offer everyone who had both SmallTalk and Java experience,” he said. And while I’m not planning on learning Java (though, Squeak’s SmallTalk is a possiblity), it seems wise to heed his warning.