Contemplation on Programming Languages

Intro

On a rainy day while drinking my morning coffee I ran across the following Techrepublic article. Want a great job in software development? “Better learn Python” - that was the conclusion of the article.

Python definitely took the lead in the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence fields - I agree. This was the domain of the R language.

According to the StackOverflow Developer Survey 2021 results, Python is in third position. However, the most loved languages are Rust (fifth year in a row) and Clojure.

Python comes with batteries included. Materializing something from an idea to a prototype is a matter of hours or days. It’s not a secret that Python is heavily used by the Facebook infrastructure team, and it is also widely used at Google. Did you know that Guido van Rossum, the Benevolent Dictator for Life, father of the Python language, worked at Google? Did you know that Python is powering the battery-free systems that give devices an ‘infinite-lifetime’?

In late 2007, a few Google engineers invented the Go language to address problems in developing software. It is a compiled, concurrent, garbage-collected, statically typed language, which means that the errors are caught at compile time rather than at runtime like Python does. The fast compilation (matter of seconds) also addresses the boring hours of compilation of large C/C++ projects.

Do you remember this XKCD cartoon?

Go is an efficient, scalable and productive language. Not to mention that it is the de-facto language of Kubernetes.

A study shows that more than 70% of severe security bugs are memory safety problems, at least in the Chromium project. Rust, a programming language developed by Mozilla, focuses on safety and performance. It is designed to be memory-safe by using the principles of ownership and borrowing. This is one of the reasons for the steep learning curve of the language. It is the safety of the language that makes the Chrome developer ponder if they should embrace Rust.

Did you know that Clojure is currently the first in the top paying technologies list and has been for more than 5 years?

At Continuent, we are using Java. Java has had a strong position for many years in the StackOverflow Developer Survey. All of our senior developers know the language well. In our blog articles, we mention how battle-tested our software is. Our customers have their data safe, and that makes us sleep well at night.

Conclusion

Some programming languages are better in some areas, while others are better in other areas. The task at hand is to decide which language to choose.

About the Author

Csaba Simon
CTO

Csaba has over 25 years experience in software engineering, working for Ericsson, Intermarketing Oy, Tekla, and VMware amongst others. Passionate about technology, Csaba has an agile, teamwork-driven style of development. With many years working as a software engineer, software architect and team manager, his skills include Unix, Databases, C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, Lisp, Go, Software Architecture and Agile development.

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