Subject: Re: True faiths ( was Re: The true faith )
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 18:52:43 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.ada,comp.lang.eiffel,comp.lang.smalltalk
Message-ID: <>

* "Kevin McFarlane" <>
| It's always going to be hard for something new to get a look in.  There
| is, of course, the economic reason that, for example, C/C++ guys are two
| a penny but Eiffel and Smalltalk guys aren't.

  This is one of the most misleading abuses of statistics around.  Just
  because the probability that you hit a C++ programmer if you throw a rock
  into a crowd is very high, does not mean that the probability that he can
  replace _your_ C++ programmer is any higher than finding a replacement
  Eiffel or Smalltalk programmer.  Because you have to weed through tons of
  idiots who only _claim_ they know C++, the effort required to find a real
  replacement may be significantly lower for Eiffel or Smalltalk.  Besides,
  if you can find a good programmer, chances are very good that he will be
  able to learn any programming language you use reasonably well in the
  time it would take to find a good C++ programmer.  And learning from the
  sources of the previous programmer is a lot easier than learning the
  language from scratch in a general, application-independent way.

  I have actually witnessed this.  A company I worked for got a new manager
  level that was completely superfluous, so the new manager had to prove to
  herself that she had a real job, and spent a lot of time arguing against
  using languages that were not mainstream, and basically made it hard to
  use anything but Java, and many good people quit.  Then a Java man got
  seriously ill.  She was unable to replace him in the 5 months he was
  away.  The other Java men could not do his work.  To her amazement,
  choice of language mattered less than the other skills the programmers
  had.  The conclusion from this story that this manager actually arrived
  at was that it was bad to have skilled programmers -- she alone should
  make the design decisions and programmers would simply implement them.
  She could now return to her policy of using only mainstream languages and
  hire only unskilled programmers who lied about knowing a language.  As
  far as I know, nothing interesting has happened at that company for a
  long time.