Dave Mason
Sep 3, 2018 · 2 min read

It’s hard to know where to start with this article. Vardan obviously feels strongly that his view of programming is the correct one. But neither machismo nor masochism are the correct measure of a programmer.

Yes, programmers will have to think about more things with C++ — but mostly the wrong things.

The vast majority of programmers would be far better off with one of the languages that Vardan discounts (or that are so at odds with his perspective as to not even warrant mentioning): Python, Smalltalk, Elixir, Haskell, Ruby, Javascript or even Java/C#. They will be significantly more productive and can concentrate on the problem at hand, rather than micro-optimizing their monster language.

For the much smaller group of programmers who program in contexts where performance is critical, and the above languages don’t cut it (and there are significantly fewer such context than you might imagine, since many of these languages are more efficient than you might think), the best choice is probably Rust, or possibly Go. Rust, in particular will likely produce faster executables than C++, and be type-safe to boot!

In case you want to discount my statements, let me simply say that I’ve programmed thousands of lines in each the languages I mention above (and many more — including assembler for several architectures), have written several compilers, have been programming for over 45 years, and have been a professor of CS — mostly researching programming languages — for over 35 years. All of the languages listed, with the possible exception (unfortunately) of Smalltalk, have been and are used by real programmers at major players in the field: Google, Facebook, Dropbox, to name a few.

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    Dave Mason

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    Professor of Computer Science at Ryerson University. Interested in Programming Languages, Women in Computer Science, Programming-for-the-test-of-us