Srikanth Technologies

Languages I Know

Recently, in a particular context,  I was listing out the languages I worked with. It is not a small list. So I want to share that piece of information with others.

First Few Languages

I first started with GWBASIC in early 90's. It was my first language and I really enjoyed it. I started with Balaguruswamy's book. Then I read Schaum Series on Basic - A very good book with plenty of assignments. I strongly feel, you must write 100 programs to say you know a language.

Then I learnt COBOL, a lengthy and boring language. I read another standard book on COBOL - Cobol Programming by M.K. Roy and D.Ghosh Dastidar.

My next language was Pascal. I really enjoyed that language. I wrote a lot of programs in Pascal. A couple of system utilties (of course inspired by Peter Norton and his Norton Utilities). A print utility written by me was used in the computer Lab to take print out of programs. I spent many nights writing code in Pascal. In my early days every Saturday was a nightout. After coding all through night, when morning dawns, it was so satisfying to know I did something worth while.

Then I learnt C. It was easy for me to learn C as I had strong base of Pascal. I started with "Programming in C by Stephen G. Kochan and Patrick H. Wood". It was a good book to start with - with good examples. Then I read Mastering Turbo C by Stan Kelly Bootle for at least 2 times. I also read C made easy by Herbert Schildt. But if you want to see the true C, you must read - C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie. It is a master piece. But never dare to read it first. It must be your second or third book on C, not at all first. I read at least 6 different books on C.

For all these langauges, I had a guru. I have high regard for all of them. Basic was taught by Mr.Ravi Varma and Mr. G. Subramanyam. COBOL and PASCAL by G.Subramanyam. C was by Mr. Murthy. He saw a teacher in me. He used to ask me to write assignments on Board.

Then started a new journey where I was left all alone to learn everything. It is lenghty and hard to learn things on your own. But many of us have no choice. At least I had/have no choice.

Early days of self learning

I started learning new languages on my own. I started with C++. It was difficult to learn as I was new to OOP. I read many books. Almost everything that was in the library. I mainly used "Learning C++: A Hands-On Approach by Eric Nagler".

Then I started working with Oracle 5.1.  There I encountered SQL - a non procedural language.

I would like to mention one important point here. Those days were difficult for self-learners. I had no internet, no good books available in the local market, and of course no one
to discuss about technical problems. It was at times very lengthy and frustrating learning process. For instance, when  I wanted to learn Oracle, there was only one book in the market with the title - Understanding Oracle. If you don't find an answer in that book then the next option for you is Oracle Manuals.

Then I learnt VB 3.0, VB 4.0, VB 5.0 and VB.6.0. The recent incarnation is VB.NET. Visual Basic is the language that every programmer (with heart) loved. I fell in love with VB 3.0 at first sight. It was a great language.

Then I learnt Power Builder which uses PowerScript.

Then in Mid 90's, I started working with Oracle 6.0, which provided PL/SQL for the first time.  So one more language to learn.

A brief journey of AS/400

During 1997, I was assigned the task of handling AS/400. It was a good platform in general, but I never enjoyed that machine. Having worked with VB 5.0, Developer/2000 etc.,
it was too cumbersome for me to work with character mode interface. 

During this period, I learnt DB/400 (Database), OS/400 (Operating system) and CL/400 and RPG/400 programming languages. Well, attended a training programme (sponsored by my Employer) on that. So it was not self-taught.

During this period, I also worked on ASP (Active Server Pages) where the coding was done with VBScript.

Java and .NET

Then as industry was swung by Java so was I. I started working with Java in 1998 (a little later compared to its presence in the industry).  I don't quite recollect what was my first
book on Java. But I read a lot that came in my way. But I generally prefer Herbert Schildt for books on any programming language.

Then in late 2000, I came to know about .NET and started working with C# and VB.NET. Though VB.NET is successor to VB 6.0, one has to learn a lot afresh as it is an OOP.

As web technologies became more important, I learnt JavaScript and PHP along the way.

I looked at Ruby, but never really did any serious programming with Ruby.

Here I am listing the languages that I have worked with from the days of GWBasic.  I am not mentioning Fortran, Dbase, FoxPro and Assembly languages that I worked with briefly.


If you are in industry for a long time, you get to see  a sea of change. Things are changing more rapidly. When Turbo C has only 400 functions all together, .NET library is of approx. 13000 classes (I leave properties, events and methods to your imagination). That gives an idea about the increase in the size of the technology. In today's world, keeping track of two or three languages itself is becoming a big challenge.

I should be proud to know more programming languages than spoken languages. I know only three - Telugu, Hindi and English.