My Dilemma; What Technology to Pursue
Be warned, this is a rant.
I have a Dilemma about what to focus on learning. I will always explore technology. I will always study, this is my nature. As God has built us, I will always work. This is not a question of what tech I will use here and there. Or what tech I will dabble in as an aside. I need another focus, I have been doing Drupal and php for a long time --now is not time to move on, just time to hedge my speciality.
If this was a question that didn't involve programming, it would have an easier solution. Perhaps I should have been a carpenter. I need to choose to focus between Elixir and Python. Neither are really new languages, yet both are a bit of the new hotness at the moment. Not that I am basing this on popularity or a trending topics feed.
I have been looking at Elixir for around 2 years now (I even went to ElixirCon in 2015). It is a meta-language built atop Erlang. It focuses on hiding the nuts and bolts from the developer so he/she can focus on writing the functional working pieces that make up the program. It is elegant, with an exciting syntax that is somewhat reminiscent of ruby.
Python is an old language that I was really turned off by when I first used it. It is a utility, most of what I would normally consider using python for I can more easily accomplish with a shell script. Python is all the things that Peal wasn't.
Python has a syntax that is clean and purposeful. Unlike C syntax derivatives, it uses whitespace that matters to organize the code. This self enforces a code style that I like.
I know exactly which I need to pick and why --only I don't want to pick it.
Python is what all the cool new stuff is built with. From Tensor Flow to FPGA boards. Python is established and still being used for new things. It is also a bit of a given. I should know Python --I have used Python. I have used many tools built on Python. I know that it will work and it is that stability that makes it seem stale.
Elixir holds some fantastic opportunities, but only if the market supports it. I did some tests with Elixir, and it can handle just about anything. I expect the next twitter to be built on it. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen any time soon. Elixir is somewhat overpowered, and a little bit critical. It needs another year or two for the market to stabilize and for developer support to be in place.
Time to learn the old war horse
I have done some preliminary study to learn Python, but without a project I am not sure how much I will retain. I have learned many fundamentals that I will need to reenforce through repetition of work. I have little interest in building another search engine as it seems like is the "Hello World" first project for getting started with Python. I also have no interest in building a site in DJango. So then, what am I left with? I am not sure, but I want to figure it out soon. Maybe find a way to incorporate Python with cross platform app development. I really dunno.