Indeed. Data becomes more multifaceted as well, particularly when it moves beyond numbers and regains character of description.
I do love data in all of its forms. Perhaps not the statistical analysis of it as much due to its ease of belief and proneness to abuse, but I like having access to it myself.
My advice to your son would be to use the language that facilities his goals. Facilitate – makes it easiest. There are _so_ many choices in language now and it’s hard to know what to choose and for what reason. I’ve gone through this myself.
Sometimes what’s not needed is a language at all, but a macro or perhaps a script at best. LUA has been gaining in popularity for that reason. I haven’t worked with it but it seems doable. It all depends what you’re looking to do.
Sometimes someone will ask me, “What language should I learn?” But I never had any luck learning programming languages. But what I *have* had success with is learning a langauge that HAPPENS to be the tool already in use or available for the project I’m working on. I learned PHP because that happened to a website package I wanted to customize was written in.
Did I master PHP? No. But I can read it and hack it and customize it just fine. Fluency in reading code, to me, is paramount. Learning to hack existing code for a purpose is practical.
But learning it from scratch? You’ll just bang you head against a wall unless you have a driving need that THIS language in front of you is what you have to work with.