Many students ask how we decide which programming languages to use in our teaching at the University of Bolton.
On the Software Engineering degree we have to make decisions about which programming languages to teach. The main purpose of a programming language is to be a tool to produce applications and as such the language takes second place to the use of effective Software Engineering Practices. In commercial environments good practice is preserved and built upon from project to project. A good software engineering team will use a programming language that will allow the customers requirements to be met effectively.
There are two criteria for inclusion. These are the exemplification of popular programming paradigms and commercial exposure.
We teach three programming paradigms on the courses procedural using python, object oriented using C++ and Java and functional using scala and haskell. All of the languages taught are platform independent and in most cases open source.
The TIOBE index shows the most popular based on a number of factors and is updated monthly. This is used in conjunction with the current practice of our Industrial Partners to determine which programming languages are in current demand from employers
When I deliver my basic database design lecture I always emphasize the importance of considering the appropriate data type for a column. This is a big decision that can be extremely difficult to change at a later date as this article shows