On the Web, everything is dying…or it’s not

August 11th, 2011

When I first entered the web development world, I began looking for something beyond HTML and CSS to work with, so I started to check out all the different programming languages out. I knew some PHP from school, but I’d also heard a bit about Ruby and Python. At the time, I was totally into Flash, so ActionScript won out. But I knew one thing for sure, Java sucked and was dying, so I wasn’t going even going to give it a first look.

Regardless of your opinion on Java, that was 4 years ago and I think Java is still kicking around. In fact, every once in a while I see a blog post about how Java doesn’t suck that bad and there is still a lot of work out there for Java developers. Of course, the response is usually, Java should die and people the work with it should switch. In fact, the same thing is going on with Flash. HTML5 has been killing Flash for a while now, yet I still see comments from Flash developers saying they’re as busy as they’ve ever been.

But this doesn’t just apply to languages that the cool kids don’t like. I’ve even seen a blog post or two stating that Ruby was done because it wasn’t the cool language anymore because the amount of Ruby devs had plateaued or even decreased a little. I can’t find the post, but from what I remember, the author stated Ruby was dying because people had realized Python was better and had moved on. Of course, the response from commenters was less than positive.

And if you’ve spend more than a couple of months as a web developer, you’ve worked with PHP, which is either the greatest thing ever or the worse invention in the history of humankind. I think PHP is a long way from dying but that still doesn’t stop Ruby and Python devs out there saying it’s on a slow decline. Personally, I think PHP is safe for years to come because you can pretty much make anything you need but copy and pasting code that’s already out there.

It’s amazing how many people are as opinionated as web developers. They’ll argue everything from what operating system you should use to what code editor to what language. And after a while you’ll realize that a lot of the time the languages people are declaring dead or dying are the ones they don’t like. I learned a long time ago, it doesn’t matter how you made it, or what you used to make it, if it’s cool and works, then that’s all that matters. In the end, if it’s a project you’re doing on your own to lean or to experiment, then use whatever language you want. But if it’s for a client, make sure you use the best tech for the job. As long as developers are making good apps and sites, I doubt any of the programming languages will ever really die. Look at JavaScript, I’m pretty sure 6 years ago, people were just waiting for it to go away.

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