How Programming Languages Get Chosen

February 09, 2023

Working on Urban League Heat Pump Accelerator at Code for Boston new folks often ask me, why did you pick Ruby on Rails? I can easily expound upon my love and the advantages of the Ruby programming language. However it is an invitation to a dead-end argument about the merits of languages. So I give the real reason: I know Ruby better than any other language, and nobody with experience in a different language was willing to raise their hand and commit to leading the backend group. Ruby won not on its merits, but by the dedication of one of its disciples.

Why It Matters

For all the handwringing about the inherent advantages of certain languages, the on the ground reality is they are often chosen based on someone’s own excitement and familiarity. A welcoming community, great documentation, and worthwhile conferences are going to do a lot of work in encouraging the adoption of a programming language and libraries. No wonder the New Relic folks spend so much money putting on well done training events.

Want to get posts like this in your email?

This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.