Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis for Programming Languages

An interesting article but flawed, IMHO.

The central thesis seems to be that programming languages shape the programming culture. But even going by the examples cited in the article, the author gets the causation all wrong.

Both Facebook and Twitter changed languages when they grew too big and their needs and possibly the corporate culture changed. Culture change caused a shift in languages not the other way around.

I also find it interesting that tactics that work well in the early stages of a startup (Move Fast and Break Things) do not work well as the company matures. So much for people wanting behemoths such as Microsoft or Google to move faster and be more innovative. Not going to happen. And if it does happen, it would make this companies implode overnight.

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