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The Humane Society of the United States

"Earth to developers: Grow up!"

September 01, 2011 by | InfoWorld
A Comment...
Each language has its own strengths.

Forth taught me bottom-up programming. Pascal taught me structured programming. C taught me linked-lists and pointers. SQL taught me declarative and top-down programming. C++ and Javascript taught me object-oriented/based programming. I've learned countless other indispensable techniques working in dozens of other languages (often not by choice I might add).

If you're a programmer -- that is, if you cannot go very long without feeling compelled to program something -- then learning a new language is like a cabinet-maker getting a new tool or a composer hearing an exciting progression he's never heard before. You immediately start cogitating the possibilities: problems you can solve more elegantly, features that now become practical to implement.

Every programmer brings to a project a different set of experiences and skills. The most successful projects are the ones that take advantage of those strengths.

To be sure, choice of tools is still largely dictated by organizational concerns like licensing, maintainability and compatibility with existing systems. But programming has reached a level of maturity where there are usually a number of different tools that can be used to accomplish the same goals. Thus, there are fewer valid arguments to use a given tool exclusively.

Perhaps it then could be said that...

Good programmers are experts in using their tools.

Great programmers are experts in choosing their tools.

Let's all grow up and accurately access our own abilities, then work to mesh those abilities with others to produce the best software we can.

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