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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Use of only a single programming language considered harmful

Java is a universal programming language and platform. While standardization on a single programming language/platform has huge benefits (e.g., good supply of trained programmers, competition for infrastructure software, etc.) I really like to see programmers develop skill in multiple programming languages.

Different languages allow us to think differently about problem solving. In psychology, the Sapir-Worph Hypothesis states that language influences thought (talking about natural or human languages here).

We spend a lot of time developing skills and acquiring knowledge based on programming experience. Some of that time should be spent learning additional programming languages. Have some fun - pick a new language like Ruby, Lisp, Smalltalk, etc. and program your brain in different ways to solve problems.

PS. the title of this article is obviously a tip-of-the-hat to Edsger Dijkstra and his 1968 article "GoTo Considered Harmful"