Steve's Blog

Musings on Polyglot Programming

October 17, 2012

Looking from the outside, I’m verging on being a Microsoft fan boy (* ducks and hides), though I constantly fight the battle to only use what I’m comfortable with. .NET makes development easy (in my view), and it can be difficult to venture outside once you get comfortable with the Visual Studio IDE and how the Microsoft products (tend to) link up seamlessly, with code samples readily available. But if you’re blinkered to only one way of doing things, you’ll quickly find yourself left behind, in some cases waiting for the Microsoft products to catch up with open source tools implemented in other languages.

My main piece of wisdom I try and pass on is to not be blinkered by one way of doing things or get comfortable with how you develop; you’ll find yourself slipping behind your peers in terms of productivity, knowledge and ultimately happiness. There are certainly cases of where working in a single language can hinder a project - be a polyglot programmer and reap the benefits. Don’t think ‘ohh I need to set up a database’ and blindly go for a SQL-based setup without thinking, times have changed, take the time to choose the best solution and it will make development easier and will not cause you problems further down the line. Don’t get too comfortable with one language/tool and don’t limit your potential.

Steve Kennaird

Written by Steve Kennaird, UK-based developer and Technical Director interested in .Net and NodeJS backends and all sorts of frontends.

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