Although I still think learning several is good for you.
While I do agree with some of what he says, his misconceptions convince me that there is more to learning about Informatics (I don’t think Computer Science is the right term anymore. CS as a discipline is dying anyways.) than teaching yourself to code. THIS:
“in my own case, almost a decade ago, I was granted permission to use the computer language Perl in lieu of proficiency in the second of two languages that my department required for the Ph.D.”
is something for which the institution should feel both shame and regret. It highlights the fact that they really have no idea.
For years I have thought that all people should know how to program, but this literacy goes much deeper than that – it is not the language that is important, it is the understanding of logic and abstraction that it affords. I know probably 20 different programming languages – NONE of them are adequate substitutes for a second natural language, individually or collectively. Passing off Perl as a second language reveals a profound misunderstanding of linguistics, languages, and cognition. If Perl is accepted as a second language, then calculus should be too. It is far more complex.
I know many people who know how to program, but who still do not know much about logic nor do they understand how the machine actually works. I also know many people who teach programming who do not really understand how machines and programming works.
It is possible to learn how to drive a car without ever knowing how it works.
And by the way, the traditional “Hello World” program is not an especially good first program. It might have been 25 years ago, but not now. Still, if you are interested, here is a site that shows you that program in hundreds of different programming, scripting, markup, and other languages.