My Stance on Toxicity About Programming Languages
Published on 05/23/2022, 618 words, 3 minutes to read
I have been toxic and hateful in the past about programming language choice. I now realize this is a mistake. I am sorry if my being toxic about programming languages has harmed you.
By toxic, I mean doing things or saying things that imply people are lesser for having different experience and preferences about programming languages. I have seen people imply that using languages like PHP or Node.js means that they are idiots or similar. This is toxic behavior and I do not want to be a part of it in the future.
I am trying to not be toxic about programming languages in the future. Each programming language is made to solve the tasks it was designed to solve and being toxic about it helps nobody. By being toxic about programming languages like this, I only serve to spread toxicity and then see it be repeated as the people that look up to me as a role model will then strive to repeat my behavior. This cannot continue. I do not want my passion projects to become synonymous with toxicity and vitriol. I do not want to be known as the person that hates $PROGRAMMING_LANGUAGE. I want to break the cycle.
With this, I want to confirm that I will not write any more attack articles about programming languages. I am doing my best to ensure that this will also spread to my social media actions, conference talks and as many other things as I can.
I challenge all of you readers to take this challenge too. Don't spread toxicity about programming languages. All of the PHP hate out there is a classic example of this. PHP is a viable programming language that is used by a large percentage of the internet. By insinuating that everyone using PHP is inferior (or worse) you only serve to push people away and worst case cause them to be toxic about the things you like. Toxicity breeds toxicity and the best way to stop it is to be the one to break the cycle and have others follow in your footsteps.
I have been incredibly toxic about PHP in the past. PHP is one of if not the most widely used programming languages for writing applications that run on a web server. Its design makes it dead simple to understand how incoming HTTP requests relate to files on the disk. There is no compile step. The steps to make a change are to open the file on the server, make the change you want to see and press F5. This is a developer experience that is unparalleled in most HTTP frameworks that I've seen in other programming environments. PHP users deserve better than to be hated on. PHP is an incredibly valid choice and I'm sure that with the right linters and human review in the mix it can be as secure as "properly written" services in Go, Java and Rust.
Take the "don't be toxic about programming languages" challenge! Just stop with the hate, toxicity and vitriol. Our jobs are complicated enough already. Being toxic to eachother about how we decide to solve problems is a horrible life decision at the least and actively harmful to people's careers at most. Just stop.
This post is not intended as a sub-blog. If you feel that this post is calling you out, please don't take this personally. There is a lot of toxicity out there and it will take a long time to totally disarm it, even with people dedicated to doing it. This is an adaptation of this twitter thread.
Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.
Tags: toxicity, culture