Saturday, 15 May 2010

Polyglot programmer

For years, Java has been considered 'the enterprise programming language', only contested by .Net. But since ruby on rails appeared, the development community started asking questions whether Java was the right choice in every case. A movement sparked by Andy Hunt and David Thomas following their book The Pragmatic Programmer led to the concept of Polyglot Programmer. They suggest that developers should 'speak' more than one language, and learn one every year, to stay fit, and adopt different paradigms such as functional programming (Lisp descendants such as Haskell) or the parallelism friendly Erlang.

Each language have pros and cons, but unlike Ruby, a handful of this new languages chose to profit from the large efforts invested on the JVM. It started off with
Groovy, a dynamic language that appealed Java developers due to its compatibility, Jython (Python interpreter), but moved on to JRuby, Scala and finally Clojure.

Scala has the added benefit that is binary compatible with Java, which means that is fully interoperable, and as such able to access its gigantic library.

From this year onwards, my goal is to become proficient in Scala, which I will be using for my dissertation. Stay tuned for more on Scala!

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