The right language or languages?


I am hoping that you can help me with deciding in the right direction with coding/programming on the below.
I currently work within the civil engineering digital/BIM (building information management) space where we use a lot of digital/model viewing software, CDE (common data environment), design creation software and reporting software. some of the software we use include programs like AutoCAD, Civil 3D, 12D, Navisworks, ProjectWise, BIM360, Excel, and Power BI just to name a few.
The issue
Now there is so much software in my role that they don’t always communicate with each other well and also there would be a lot of benefits from being able to create my own automated process or even maybe apps to fix these issues and speed up current workflows and processes. Now I only have a little experience with basic scripts like LISP and some very basic AutoCAD scripts and I have really enjoyed being able to fix issues, processes, and problems with code and would like to learn more code with the benefit that I could also integrate it into what I do and help myself and others in the process!
The question
Now I am not looking to change my career so don’t really want to do a whole computer science degree (unless it ends up being needed) but I would like to learn particular skills/coding languages relevant to what I would like to do (above). I would really appreciate having an experienced opinion/advice from someone on what they might be? or even if someone has been through the same process what their recommendations are.

1 Like

Being a retired theatre technician one can honestly say your level of experience far exceeds mine, leaving this to the level of opinion. I trust your ability and can only suggest diving into Python, just for the feel and relatively easy syntax. It will eventually lead to C flavors, maybe Java, or maybe R or Haskell. With your level of understanding and experience this language will be easy to learn and easy to apply to the sort of problems you dream up for yourself.

Bottom line, it is not the language, but the mindset. Give yourself time to adapt to the workspace of Python, start from scratch and don’t skip lessons or follow-up, and put your own mind to work. It will be an accomplishment on your own terms.

1 Like

Thank you for the really valuable input, it is greatly appreciated!

1 Like

You’re welcome.


It occurred to me that a functional language might be where to start since you are so experienced with vectors. Granted we can write vector code in any language, but from an AutoCad or CNC point of view, everything is a function of something. This still doesn’t preclude Python as a base language, but it does bring Haskell into view. If you are capable of working in two abstracts at the same time, learn both at the same time. Then you can teach me. Well, not really; I am retired and riding the arses of learners to watch their syntax and test their logic. Not in the same league.

Happy coding!

hahaha I love that last comment about riding the learners!!

I am still not the greatest with vectors or LISP and find myself still googling a lot to get tasks done. You are right in saying that everything pretty much is a function of another in AutoCAD and there are a huge amount of variables and lists that I have to sometimes deal with. I have not really heard of Haskell and I will take a look, python on the other hand I have already kind of looked at.
Once again thank you

1 Like