I've had to do small projects using languages I wasn't familiar with.
Programming constructs like looping, flow controls are generally the same, it is more like learning a new syntax to the same things. With moderen IDE's that check the syntax and provide suggestions it is easier than ever to learn new languages.
Oh and we can't forget Google! With Google it is so easy to find code examples, Good and bad.
Panic, Chaos, Destruction. My work here is done.
Drink. Get drunk. Fall over - P O'H
OK, I will win to day or my name isn't Ethel Crudacre! - DDEthel Crudacre
I cannot live by bread alone. Bacon and ketchup are needed as well. - Trollslayer
Have a bit more patience with newbies. Of course some of them act dumb - they're often *students*, for heaven's sake - Terry Pratchett
I've never learned a new language, framework, or other 'big thing' other than through diving in and using it for a real project. Simply reading or doing book or lab exercises doesn't leave me with confidence in the material. My most recent example was learning C# and WPF. I asked for book recommendations here at CP, bought a couple books, and took a DevelopMentor class for a week. It really didn't start sinking in until I'd been working with it for a couple of months on my project that needed it. During that time I restarted the project multiple times and made countless throwaway projects to play with things that looked interesting.
I realize this isn't the point of the survey, which seems to be more interested in how you react to having to learning something new. I can't imagine any response other than "dive in and do it". Quit, just because you have to learn a new language? That's like a carpenter leaving his job because his boss wants him to use a different hammer. If that's your attitude, your employment history will eventually render you unhirable.
I have a fairly good recollection of Z80, after early experiences with a ZX81.
That was really Z80 - I had no assembler, so had to hand-code opcodes to machine code.
Anyone else remember such beautys as DATA statements full of hex strings, and subroutines to POKE them into memory.
Still it could be worse - one of my first exposures was a friend with a kit computer with 9 switches on the front panel, one per bit and "commit", so I guess a keyboard and hex were a luxury by comparison.
However these early experiences were valuable - learning assembly and hex are skills I still value. When writing C++ that must be optimal, it can be useful to peek at the generated assembler to see what the compiler made of it. Particularly with templates - different compilers have radically different capabilities optimising templates, and its good to see whether something generates efficient code.
Clipper I could see, if the point of the project was to port an ancient application to a modern platform. If it wasn't I would probably try to encourage the project in that direction, even though Clipper does seem to have an active, contemporary community.
I've done a lot of assembly language programming, including the 8085, so picking up the Z80 wouldn't be painful. I believe there's a microcontroller out there based on a Z80-like core, so this one is a possibility.
My point is, "can do!" is a lot easier attitude to have if you're trying to stay employed.
I agree that a positive attitude is a good thing. One thing I've always evaluated a job on is the question of "Am I learning or improving a skill with a future?" It's not always that way of course. Recently I had to do some maintenance on a VB.Net / CE / Windows Mobile 6 app, but over time I like to stay in things that have a future. Not much call for Btrieve programmers anymore.
When I started in a new department I was supposed to be doing design, because I was bored with coding C. Then the boss calls me in, "you know what GIS stands for?". Like a fool I admitted that I had done a bit of GIS in the past. So the next day I started doing Visual Basic for Applications for the first time on Windows for the first time. For the first 5 minutes I was really annoyed; "I don't do Basic. Schoolkids do Basic. Real softies use Unix. Managers use Windows." Then I found out what fun it was, "Hey I'm getting paid to do this!", I mean, VBA is like a video game.
I never looked back. My cv reads like a history of computing.
Reminds me of the time a few years ago I went to Munich for vacation. I went to the Hofbräuhaus (how can you go to Munich and not go there at least once?) and got seated next to a family from Switzerland. They didn't speak English, but we all knew French so that was the language we chatted in. They also knew German, which was handy: I know only a few words, and our waitress didn't speak French or English.