I have always been a firm believer that as a software programmer – unlike their real life – one should avoid getting married to one programming language (at least personally this is what I expect from most of the pure computer science specialists). I know that there are people who will hurl stones at me when I say this. However, openness to explore something new in this regards, has always been a key criteria for me to select people in my group.
My views certainly got validated by Christopher Diggins in his article “Learn as Many Languages as You Can” in Dr. Dobbs Journal. While he certainly has his preferences set for Scala, however he is also encouraging programmers to leave their safety zone to effectively expand their thinking.
Regarding expansion of thinking – Chris points to an interesting hypothesis called as Sapir-Whorf’s Hypothesis (Wikipedia Link). This is the first time I have read this theory. It talks about how a particular linguistic language influences the thinking of its speakers. What this means is that if a Person A uses English as his speaking language vs Person B who uses Chinese as his speaking language – there is a high probability that both of them would have a different outlook towards exactly same aspects in life. I agree with this theory as I have observed this to be true in my real life. So what Chris is saying is that if this hypothesis is true, why not learn as many languages in order to get a wider outlook towards general software programming.
I completely agree with you, Chris!