PEP 526 - var annotations and the spirit of python

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Mon Jul 2 20:51:37 EDT 2018

On Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:22:56 +1200, Gregory Ewing wrote:

> Someone who is familiar with a
> variety of languages is also very likely to be self-motivated and have
> enough passion and curiosity to have acquired a broad and deep knowledge
> of other aspects of the craft.

"Jack of all trades, master of none" sort of thing?

Or are you thinking more along the lines of one of those guys who masters 
a new language in an hour and reaches expert level in a week?

Such a beast is not *quite* mythical -- I'm married to one, when it comes 
to musical instruments not programming languages. But they're damn rare. 
For most of us mere mortals, the "ten thousand hours" rule of thumb 

Ten thousand hours should be read as an indefinitely large number, not a 
specific figure: see the authors of the original study:

> A truly good programmer will be able to learn about the
> language being used on the job.

Indeed, if you don't mind paying them for the couple of weeks it takes 
them to come up to speed on the language and the couple of years it takes 
to master it.

If I needed, let's say, a SNOBOL programmer, or a F# programmer, I'd take 
what I could get and train them up in the language if needed. But if I 
wanted somebody to program in Java, or C, or PHP, why pay somebody to 
learn the language at full senior rates when there are millions of senior 
developers who already know the language?

Steven D'Aprano
"Ever since I learned about confirmation bias, I've been seeing
it everywhere." -- Jon Ronson

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