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What do you do with a programming language?

  1. I know C++, but it's been years since I last worked with it.

  2. I know C++, but it's been years since I last worked on it.

Of course, we could always use the seemingly more obvious (and safer) alternative:

  1. It's been years since I last coded in C++.

but that's not what I want.

Is there any word/phrase which means to "code in" a programming language?

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    In your examples, you could say it's been years since I used it. I would avoid since I last worked on it because that implies that you were developing the language itself. The short answer to your question at the top could be develop. What you do with a programming language is develop applications or software. – RaceYouAnytime Apr 22 '17 at 16:36
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    What about the verb write? 'I wrote in C++' seems natural to me – BladorthinTheGrey Apr 22 '17 at 17:31
  • "written anything in it" – Yorik Apr 22 '17 at 18:46
  • what @BladorthinTheGrey said. – user175542 Apr 22 '17 at 18:52
  • anecdotally i feel like the phrase work in <some language> is related to write in <some language>, but maybe more specifically calling out professional experience – mendota Mar 12 '18 at 18:46
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"Wrote" is pretty commonly used in programming circles. Thus:

It's been years since I wrote any C++.

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I would use use.

Here is an example of this usage from an old Bulletin Board post:

‘It’s been years since I used Pascal”

  • I like this one best. "It's been years since I used Pascal." Alternative: "I implemented the ABC algorithm for XYZ in Pascal." – aparente001 Apr 23 '17 at 5:24
  • Doesn't saying that I "use" a programming language brand the language as a mere object to use rather than a language to code in? – Soha Farhin Pine Apr 23 '17 at 8:51
  • @SohaFarhinPine — Perhaps, but one could do worse, e.g. “Java used to pay the rent”. I had thought C++ was a fairly utilitarian language, but if you want to express an emotional involvement you could try something on the lines of “I used to self-actualize in Perl, but then I found peace in Python”. (But I wouldn’t recommend it.) – David Apr 23 '17 at 10:31
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Develop

I wrote this earlier in a comment but I think it could be an answer to the question.

I would avoid since I last worked on it because that implies that you were developing the language itself.

The answer to "What do you do with a programming language?" is develop. What you do with a programming language is develop applications or software.

It's been years since I last developed with C++

or

It's been years since I last used C++ for development.

You're also correct that saying "coded" would be the most concise way to phrase the sentence, and is perfectly accurate and acceptable.

  • Doesn't saying that I "use" a programming language brand the language as a mere object to use rather than a language to code in? – Soha Farhin Pine Apr 23 '17 at 8:52
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What do you do with a programming language?

Why, you program in it, of course. However, that might not fit your intended use case, so you may prefer use (as already suggested).

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