Not a Python Programmer

If someone asks you if you’re a Python (or Java, or Javascript or language X) programmer, how do you respond? This year, my answer will be “No. I’m not a Python programmer, I’m a programmer”

Last year, I wrote production code in:

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Javascript
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • C
  • Powerpoint (only joking!)

I narrowly avoided writing code in Erlang, and considered writing some getting-to-know you Golang, but alas writing all the other code ate the available time.

As one of my Comp Sci professors said many years ago, learning any language takes a day or two provided you’re familiar with the language style (functional, imperative, OO etc etc). What takes the time is learning the libraries and the idiom. However, I’ve noticed that this takes way less time than it did back in the day, thanks to Google, Github and Stack Overflow.

Now, if you have a “there must be a better way” feeling when working with a new language, it’s the work of moments to find it and learn the relevant idiom. As an aside: one of the great disappointments of last year was realising how shockingly bad the idioms for writing network code on Android are.

So I’m a programmer first and foremost, who uses whichever tool makes sense while trying to cultivate a constant sense of laziness and curiosity. Laziness so I look for the easy way, and the curiosity to find it.

Let’s see which languages make the list in 2014…


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