I usually write a ton of scripts (in PHP) for data-mining or various stats – that take a long time to execute – trying to paginate the data and run multiple instances of the script on pages. It’s not that funny, and takes quite a bit of time to set up everything (a master process that needs to monitor all the instances and handle failed pages, stuck processes, etc).
I had some moments when I looked into Python and use it for data analysis scripts in general (nice libs and nice multi threading) but never did it seriously until a few days ago. While I was searching the Internet for various resources, I stumbled upon an old article written by Paul Graham, called “The Python Paradox“.
If a company chooses to write its software in a comparatively esoteric language, they’ll be able to hire better programmers, because they’ll attract only those who cared enough to learn it. And for programmers the paradox is even more pronounced: the language to learn, if you want to get a good job, is a language that people don’t learn merely to get a job.
It’s quite interesting; I never thought about this, but it is so true. If a programmer knows at least one “esoteric” language, then that’s an important indicator of the fact that the guy really likes programming in general and does it with a passion (without something or someone to require it).
I wonder how many employers are taking this into account when they are recruiting (looking not for multiple major languages, but for the “less” used ones, that are just great for specific tasks).