Taking a page from the Pragmatic Programmer, I'm going to try to learn Scala this year in my spare time. Yes, it's a large undertaking, especially since I don't have a lot of spare time these days, but I think it will be worth the effort. Maybe some day I'll get to use it in my day job, but even if not, it will force me to learn new things, to think new ways, and to grow as a programmer. As an added bonus, it will give me something to blog about.
Why Scala? I was actually heading down the Clojure route and was really enjoying the way it was tickling memories of Scheme. So, today I instant messaged my friend Rob who is a programming language geek of the first order and a fan of Scheme. I asked him if he had taken a look at Clojure and he had not. He pointed me in the direction of Scala. Not being married to Clojure, I decided to switch my focus. With Scala, I have two extra resources to help me learn: a published book (sorry Clojure, missed me by a couple of days) and Rob. Maybe I'll spare some cycles to play with Clojure too — or maybe I'll save it until next year.