Whats next after java?
I've been thinking a lot about what language I should learn next. I certainly wouldn't call myself an "advanced" java developer, but I feel like I'm at the intermediate stage and its time to learn a mroe dynamic language. So I've been reading up about Ruby, Python, and Lisp at places like c2 and Paul Graham's homepage. In college I had some classed in Eiffel, C++, and Pascal, but nothing like a scripting language. My idea is not to learn something I would necessarily find a job for, but to learn something to help me aquire new ways to think as a programmer. Having a tool for rapid prototyping would be nice, also, of course.
At this point, I think I've eliminated Lisp. It just seems a huge jump from Java and with my limited time to spend on this, I think I'd get discouraged and lose interest. Ruby on Rails might be a nice starter project to try and get up and running, and it also has the whole Pragmatic Programmer thing going for it. Python seems to have an active Java subset going with Jython, which is a plus for that. I could easily see integrating scripting into my java work at some point with that. I believe JRuby, the Ruby implementation for Ruby, has been pretty much abandoned.
Ah well - there is always too much I want to learn and never enough time. I think Jython might be the best way to get started, and see where it goes from there.