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.</p>
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