You amateur and professional programmers out there, what languages do you use and what to you enjoy writing with the most?
My history of languages was a teenage life of MS Basic on assorted 8-bit computers which was, for the limited resources available to it, a lovely language to work with and learn the essential ideas of programming.
Pascal, Ada, Cobol, Fortran, Smalltalk, Lisp, C at University...
My first professional job was writing C++ with MacApp for 1990's Macintoshes.
This was a time when Object Orientation was the big programming meme. Bertrand Meyer opening up this new way of thinking about programming. While I only rarely write C++ nowadays, it was a beautiful thing at the time, with some very scary complications if you delved too deep.
Then Java, on Symantec Visual Cafe, on Windows NT 4. I am a rare person who has written a good deal of Java desktop applications. I work in a world where Macs, PCs, Solaris and Linux all matter. And, despite the what some people say, Java does work well doing that crossplatform stuff. Especially now better than 10 years ago. I was again a fine fine language. All the complexities of C++ washed away. Garbage collection, no pointers, a nice library. You could get stuff out the door twice as fast as you could with C++.
The Managed C++, Visual Studio, Windows XP. God that sucked. Managed C++ is C++ with the Event system and Garbage collection of C# glommed into the language using Pragmas. An overly complex mess, which lead to lots of code being abandoned as we moved to...
C#. The best. My favourite. Just as Java was C++ cleaned up, C# is Java put through one more revision. Lost of stuff such as Events done just a bit more neatly. And in Visual Studio, a delight to write.
I'm pretty happy with it. I feel like Visual Studio was still a slicker environment, but Netbeans is still pretty cool.