5 Replies - 421 Views - Last Post: 05 February 2019 - 11:23 AM

#1 xclite   User is offline

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Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:22 AM

Inspired by some discussion of Oracle's asymptotically litigious nature, I've been thinking about what I would do if my expertise suddenly became worthless. What if nobody wanted JVM developers anymore? What if a patent troll managed to somehow get their greasy hands on Ruby?

Or, maybe you just fantasize about other ecosystems.

Whether by force or desire, has anybody else tried to figure this out for themselves?

To lead with an example:

I primarily spend time on the JVM, doing backend, infrastructural, and data pipeline work. So, I'm currently pretty invested in Java, Clojure, and Scala.

If the JVM were suddenly a licensing landmine, it's hard to find a similarly coherent set of languages. .NET is a pragmatic option but I simply have no interest from a personal point of view (this isn't a value judgment, it's just like how I prefer Ruby to Python even though both are fine languages).

I think I'd end up trying to focus to something like Rust + Go: Rust gives me a Serious Language ™, while Go is a more productive Get Shit Done language. It might be worth throwing something even less "serious" like Ruby in there for random text processing.

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Replies To: Language Stack Attack

#2 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 07:41 AM

I prefer to be language agnostic, I have professionally worked in a range of languages, and have had employers see it as an asset that I could hop into a dozen different languages with minimum loss. Being deeply rooted in a single language is good while it is good, but like you mention, if it starts going down, you are left to niche employment with a high payout - but the long term aspects would dwindle.
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#3 xclite   User is offline

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Re: Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 08:27 AM

I think being flexible is a requirement in this field, however, I think it's probably not the case that anybody is equally experienced in all languages that exist. I can talk about being language agnostic but I'm certainly not going to interview well for a job in a language I've never or barely used.
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#4 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 08:33 AM

Depends what the interview covers. Concepts should mimic each other regardless of the language used. If they want detailed explanations with code examples it makes it far more difficult. Likewise, some employers dislike the versatility of being agnostic covers. When I got back into .net development, I had a hard time because it had been a few years since I had really used it professionally. And I was met with many employers that just said, if I was current on it, it wouldn’t be an issue, even though they were still running 5 year old versions and I had only been out of it for 3 years.

There are huge benefits when you know the ins and outs of a particular language however; I tend to need to google simple syntax just because I will use multiple languages in a given period. At one point I was writing 4 different languages on a single project; and it did get confusing hopping back and forth between them.
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#5 hexagod   User is offline

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Re: Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:54 AM

I like to learn new languages but the challenge is that the only way I can really learn is by starting a project which uses those languages.

I learned TI Basic because I wanted to program trigonometric equations into my TI-83 to cheat on tests in highschool. I learned CLI V C++ because it was the language that one of my job's legacy application was developed in. I learned C# because I wanted to use it for WPF and Xamarin mobile apps.

how do you guys branch out other than actually using the languages in practical application?

Also, I think since you've got a lot of experience in JVM, wouldn't it be pretty easy to move over to C#? I think they're pretty similar from what I've seen because a lot of times for Xamarin solutions I had to convert Java into C# and they're usually pretty close. Is that what JVM is programmed in?

For me, I find it pretty easy to go from C# to CLI V C++ because a lot of the .NET stuff can do both just switch . to -> and do some minor tweaks. One thing I like about specializing in a language though is how it becomes second nature to get in a programming flow state, but I'm also fairly n00b still so not sure how relevant my thoughts are, lol
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#6 xclite   User is offline

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Re: Language Stack Attack

Posted 05 February 2019 - 11:23 AM

View Posthexagod, on 05 February 2019 - 12:54 PM, said:

how do you guys branch out other than actually using the languages in practical application?

That's the trick; I don't! By that I mean that it's possible to read tutorials/books, but you really don't get a feel for it until you actually build something out of it. All the languages I've tried, I've tried to solve problems with them.

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Also, I think since you've got a lot of experience in JVM, wouldn't it be pretty easy to move over to C#? I think they're pretty similar from what I've seen because a lot of times for Xamarin solutions I had to convert Java into C# and they're usually pretty close.

It would, and it wouldn't. C# is definitely close to Java, since it started as a Microsoft ripoff of the Java language. It has since grown into a really nice language in its own right, and I wish Scala had the consistency of design that F# had (but they're working on it!).

The ecosystem is another story: of course, I'd have to learn a new ecosystem wherever I went, but there's a lot of knowledge that doesn't transfer between them (though there is some overlap).

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Is that what JVM is programmed in?

Nope, you're looking at C++:
https://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk
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