On Sunday I had the pleasure of introducing a C/C# programmer to Python.
I always tell people it only takes 4 hours to learn Python, and I say it because it’s true. But when I actually see someone pick up a whole new language from scratch, port some existing scrap of C code to Python, learn where the documentation is, set up virtualenv, and write a web app that sends somebody a text message, all in four hours f’real wall-clock time, well. It gets me right here.
When I was interviewing for Mozilla, Mike Schroepfer asked me two questions. (I bombed them both; to this day I have no idea why they hired me.) One was something like: why is it that dynamically-typed languages can be so much more productive than statically-typed languages? I mumbled something inane about not having to write out the types. Worst answer ever, and I knew it.
It was especially chastening because I had spent a lot of time thinking about it, apparently without drawing any insightful conclusions.
The question seems a little passé to me now, but only because about a decade of my life was a fantastically stupid flame war over that one thing. Not because we really finished with it.
I wonder if we could have a better discussion about this now that we’re all grown up. Maybe I’d have something intelligent to contribute now.