Hmmm … I started with 8080 assembler, BASIC, dBase II and COBOL.
In our assembler class we acted out how a CPU works, even to the extent of someone being assigned to say, “Tick.”
Despite the so-called dangers of BASIC, it’s still going strong at places like Anywhere Software where products like B4A, B4I and B4J are being used to build software for iOS, Android and desktop devices.
Despite the nay-sayers, COBOL can still provide its practioners with a lucrative career. Hey, we’ve even got a track going for it on Exercism!
dBase II has gone through many changes but is still a strong development tool and is currently represented by X#, xHarbour and Xbase++ (among others).
I get the odd question from folk who ask me what language they should learn. I usually ask them to rephrase the question as what languages they should learn, and then I suggest taking one from each of the major language families, e.g. FORTH, LISP, functional, logic, declarative etc. Each will teach a problem-solving approach and when you’re trying to get a job, having a few skills under your belt is worthwhile.
Think of it this way: if you’re a labourer and you turn up to a building site and say that all you know how to use is a shovel, you probably won’t get a job there. But if you turn up with varying levels of skills in shovel, pick, wheelbarrow, cement mixer, screed, level, hammer, screwdriver, and nailgun then your likelihood of being employed there is considerably higher.
Of course, everyone wants to know what the failure-free entry point into the field is. Short answer: there isn’t one. Language fads come and go, so spread the risk by learning a few.