Jason McCreary

a PHP and iOS developer. a thinker.

Why [certain language] developers are better developers

During a lunch discussion on programming languages a co-worker made the notorious argument:

“[certain language] developers are better developers.”

I generalized the argument because I’ve heard it before. We all have. Fill in the blank with any fashionable language – Scala, Ruby, Go, Python…

This argument quickly degrades into a language debate. One filled with feature comparison and syntactical analysis to demonstrate superiority. Why? Well, let’s face it – developers can be elitist when it comes to their language.

I also generalized to keep the focus off [certain language] and focus on the developer. I want to evaluate this argument objectively. And if I said, “PHP developers are better developers” you would have dumped core. Which proves the point.

From this argument, I propose the following, implied premises:

  • [certain language] is a fashionable language.
  • The developer learned [certain language].

Applying the Law of Syllogism:

Developers that learn fashionable languages are better developers.

This becomes a much more acceptable argument.

As recommended in The Pragmatic Programmer, you should learn a new programming language every year. This being a routine of a good developer. One I personally follow. The purpose is to learn something new from each language. In turn making you a better developer.

So next time you hear, “[certain language] developers are better developers”*, consider the developer. It might just be valid.

Comments