What language/framework should I choose?
The question is of course not new. But is it obsolete? The following comments arose from a Q&A with Jonathan Schwartz and Rich Green at JavaOne as well as the 'Scripting Panel' with Charles Nutter, Tor Norby, Ted Leung, Guy Laforge, and Greg Murray moderated by Tim Bray.
The number of languages/frameworks for sure does not become smaller. Some of the actual examples discussed in the panel were Ruby/Rails, Groovy/Grails, Python, JMaki, JavaFX.
What to choose? Wouldn't it be easier if there was only one language? Jonathan Schwartz argued that it is of course a hassle that for example you have to test software on Firefox, Explorer, Safari... But do you really want to have only one browser out there? You see were his was getting at.
The panelist pointed out that every languages has its clear advantages for some tasks. Now that's all fine. But the one thing they also agreed upon was that developers seldom switch from one language to another. A Groovy user will not switch to Python and vice versa. So developers end up to solve their tasks with the technology they already like most and not the one that would be suited best for the job.
To what it really comes down to is that there is now clear answer. And that is an especially tough finding for students and beginners.
So what can you do? The advice I can give is that you have to continue to attend conferences ;-) Seriously, it is important that you regularly take the chance to broaden your general knowledge of software technology in order to make informed decisions.
BTW You can meet Greg Murry at Jazoon'08.