In recent years, dynamic programming languages develope very fastly, especially PHP and Ruby. There is no doubt that They have already became the first choice for many programmerers when developing web applications. Furthermore, it seems that more and more people, like thoughtworks, are trying to apply them to enterprise applications dominated by Java and C#.
I have studied JAVA for almost 5 years. I love it. Everything in JAVA makes me comfortable. Although I have finished several projects by PHP, and in some aspects, PHP is really better than JAVA, I still put JAVA in the first place in my mind.
In fact, there are already a lot of arguments about PHP or Ruby on Rails are not suitable for complex enterprise appliactions. In my opinion, everything in the world is changing, so is dynamic programming language. Just like Java adopts some good features of dynamic language, for example, reflection and supporting scripting language, I believe that both PHP and Ruby on Rails are developing so that they can be applied in a broader area.
Now, I have a strong feeling that it is necessary to pay more attention to Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Many Java programers think that studying dynamic languages can imporve their thought about Java. Therefore, it is killing two birds with one stone.
Fortunately, because I have much experience in Java, it is easy to pick up a kind of dynamic language. However, I suggest the people who want to study programming start from Java or C++, since they are more religious and can help you build solid fundation in programming.