If you are a programmer, you are probably too busy to read books about programming, especially those that are not directly job-related. But if you have time to read at least one such book this year, you will not make a mistake if you pick Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Bruce A. Tate, published by The Pragmatic Bookshelf.
This book is a drive-by introduction to the following seven programming languages: Ruby, Io, Prolog, Scala, Erlang, Clojure, Haskell (in this order). If you’re like me and your entire programming career has been in a “classical” object-oriented programming language like Java or C#, then these languages are ones you may have heard of, but don’t really have a clear idea what they’re all about. This book will change that. But it is not a textbook and it will not turn you into a proficient user of either of the seven language. It reads more like a novel with code examples. For each language, it shows you its main typological properties and explains how it’s different from others. Each chapter even includes a mini-interview with a person who knows the language well, often the language’s creator himself (yes, himself: sadly, it seems that programming language design is a man-only affair). Continue reading