Using the right tool for the job

I read this post, ‘Not too stupid for polyglotism’, and was curious to read that some developers think they have/need to stick to one programming language to get their job done. Depending on what you’re working on, especially if you have a very narrow role in your development team or are focusing in a specific area, this may be true. In most cases though, you need to use the right too for the job. Just because you can program with Java doesn’t mean you should always program with Java. The reality is in most large scale systems development, you’re already using many different languages and you’re not even thinking about it. SQL to access the database, Java backend, HTML, CSS and JavaScript on the front end, XML for exchanging data with other systems – the list can be pretty long if you think about it.

While an interesting read, I would be cautious of working with developers if they think they cannot handle more than one programming language, because the reality is we have to use more than one language on most systems, to solve different types of problems – there is no ‘one size fits all’ programming language. Sure, there are general purpose languages, Java included, but there’s still a long list of tasks you would not use Java for – you should pick the tool that’s most appropriate for the job.

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