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by Brian Schrader

Forest Through the Trees

Posted on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 at 02:46 AM

Languages are just tools in the developer's belt. Sure Javascript is nasty, and C++ is a complicated mess, but in the end it's the problem you solve that should be the real decider in what language you choose to use. What do you need? Which language makes your job easier without sacrificing too much in the way of performance? The language features should decide which one you use, not your preference toward any given one.

The ability to program a computer to do whatever you want really is magic. The spells are the finished programs, the words and incantation are the written in archaic languages that only we know. I see a lot of people throwing a fuss about learning a new language or plugin or framework, and to me, that's a weird way of going about your life. Use the tool for the job you need, if you need C, then use it; if you can get away with Python or Ruby (or PHP I guess) use them. It's just another way of solving the problem you want to solve. Do carpenters complain that they have to use a saw to cut lumber when they'd rather use a hammer for everything? No. They use the tool appropriate for the job. Each language has its strengths, weaknesses, tradeoffs and perks. Learn what you can about the different languages, and paradigms (especially paradigms!) the more you learn about one the more it will help you in others.

At the most basic level, developers are paid for, are tasked with solving a problem; we are paid to think. To shut out something because you don't want or need to learn it is to cut off a way of thinking. To stop thinking is to not do your job as a developer.

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