PEP 526 - var annotations and the spirit of python

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at
Tue Jul 3 03:37:56 EDT 2018

Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> "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?

I'm not talking about someone who hasn't mastered anything.
I'm talking about someone who has mastered the art of
programming in general. Such a person can learn enough
about an unfamiliar language to do something useful with
it in quite a short time.

> why pay somebody to 
> learn the language at full senior rates when there are millions of senior 
> developers who already know the language?

If they're truly a seasoned programmer, you'll get your
money's worth out of them long before they've mastered
every nook and cranny of the language.

Whereas if you hire a total greenhorn who knows Java
on paper but has no practical programming experience,
you'll be paying them for quite a while before they're
doing you more good than harm.

If you can find someone who's both a seasoned developer
*and* experienced in the particular language required,
that's a bonus, but only a small one.

Also, it assumes you can find two people who are both
equally experienced, except that one knows Java and the
other doesn't.

My conjecture is that given two people, who have been
programming for the same length of time, one of which
knows a wide variety of languages other than Java, and
one that knows *only* Java, the one that knows multiple
languages will almost certainly be a better programmer,
and will be better value for money *even though* it
will take him a little bit of time to pick up Java.


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