Programmers were urged to expand their horizons Thursday at TheServerSide Java Symposium in Las Vegas.
During a keynote presentation entitled, "Why the Next Five Years Will Be About Languages," Ted Neward, author of "Effective Enterprise Java," stressed new technologies, such as languages and DSLs (domain specific languages) for developers to try.
"We stand on the threshold of a renaissance in programming languages," Neward said.
He offered the following advice: Look at enhancements to languages, look at new languages being developed, and look to create new languages.
"Building your own DSL is much simpler than you might think, and it's worth it to spend a week, a weekend, some amount of time, even if it's off the clock, trying it out, playing with it." Neward said.
He also cited "a surge of interest in language as a concept." Neward listed new developments such as Microsoft's F# functional programming language; AspectJ, which provides aspect-oriented extensions to Java, and languages like Scala and Pizza.
"The language renaissance has already begun," Neward said.
Outside the Java world, Microsoft has more languages appearing on its Common Language Runtime, Neward said. "There's a ton of languages out there we can take advantage of," he said.
Neward also advised taking a look at new tools to meet such challenges as developing for multi-core chips.