I am developing software for 20+ years now. In the early days, I developed software in Assembler, Basic, Fortran, Pascal and C. Meanwhile my focus gradually shifted over time.
It is a very personal view, with my own language recommendations I gave over time. Languages I never recommend are missing in this article, even I actively use them in software development – like C#.
Personally, I always distinguished between script languages and compiled languages, until languages with bytecode compilers got popular.
Also, the performance of computers led to this shift. There was no way around Assembler for the Commodore 64 until the end of its era. With more power, languages like C and Perl got popular and later even Java worked reasonably well on most systems.
If you ask me today, which programming language you should learn, I will recommend you one of the ones on the right side in the diagram. In the case you already know one, I will recommend you to look at one of its successors on the right.
My recommendation always depends on the usage of the language. Developing a desktop application is a whole different task than adding some animations and interactions to a website.
I recently ordered a set of “PCBite”. These are special PCB holder as shown in the images in this post. To solder components into PCB I sometimes used one of this many “helping hands” products with two clamps, but they are no real use in most cases.
PCBite seems to solve some of the problems very well. You get a metal plate with a mirror finish and four of this cylinders which have a very strong magnet in the base. The middle part of the cylinder with the grip on is can be moved down and the PCB fastened that way. It is very solid and two would be enough to hold the PCB easily.
The mirror finish makes the bottom side of the PCB easily visible so you can solder on the top side and keep the component in view.
You can get you own set for $79 here, this includes free shipping. The quality of this PCB holder is outstanding. If you look at the close up photo, you see the perfection how this tool was made. I can really recommend this PCB holder.
Currently I am working on the final assembly of the Outmoded Sequencer, it looks very promising. There will soon be an update with all details about the final device.
I recently stumbled over the “Boldport Club”. This is a subscription where you get an unique electronic project for soldering every month in your mailbox. Each project is based on artful crafted PCBs and a couple of electronic components. You have to assemble everything by yourself, soldering all components together.