My coworker loves X programming language. They have privately worked on some projects with X language, and at every opportunity they will mention than some new project could be written in X language.

The company I work for has a well-defined stack that they have been using for at least half a decade. I'm working in a small tech team with mostly juniors to the tech industry, and I'm also a junior myself. I have my concerns about pushing X language for a couple of reasons:

  • Our tech team is largely young and inexperienced. We have some members of the team that are still learning about and struggling with the company's stack. I feel like an additional language is going to dilute their efforts.

  • The coworker pushing for X language is the only one in the team actually fluent in X language. That means that the rest of the team can't fully understand the code the way they do.

  • The coworker is also pushing side projects related to work in X language. This means that we have to actively review pull requests in a language that we don't fully understand.

This is probably a classic career question, but googling "coworker pushing favorite language" isn't getting me to the results I'm looking for.

  • 1
    @Magmagan - Talk to your supervisor about the problems you are experiencing.
    – Donald
    Apr 8 '20 at 23:02
  • 1
    Could you make it clearer at the beginning of the Question that it is about programming? For most people, language is something like Hungarian or Swedish. They could get confused and this site would have more the label of "only IT workplace questions allowed".
    – guest
    Apr 9 '20 at 9:46
  • 1
    My be I missed it, but I don´t see a Question here! Handle in what regard? What do you want to achieve?
    – Daniel
    Apr 9 '20 at 16:04
  • Pure curiosity, is X rust or Haskell ? :-)
    – Jeffrey
    Apr 9 '20 at 18:12
  • @Jeffrey Yeah, definitely smells like Rust.
    – Galaxy
    Apr 10 '20 at 2:47

That sounds like a question for your team's lead developer, or manager, depending how you're organized... some teams have a tech lead and management lead, separate, some have both in one person.

So, you should talk to that person (that is, to the (tech) lead, not the person pushing language X). He should make a clear policy, based on what's the best for the company, for the project(s) and for the team, and should make sure that everyone knows what the policy is.

  • Yes, language choice should mostly not be up to the individual developer, But, maybe this person has some really good ideas about how a new language / stack could benefit the company. Security? Maintainability? Scalability?Get your supervisor to ask him to do a lunch'n'learn talk about it? It doesn't mean you have to immediately adopt it.
    – O. Jones
    Apr 9 '20 at 1:04
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    Also, make your lead aware that this is creating a bus factor of 1 so there would be a strong need to train some people to be as fluent in X as the initial "presser". Apr 9 '20 at 12:59

The decision of what language or languages should be used in a project must be a decision that is made and enforced at the highest level of the IT organization ... because it affects "not only this project, but every other."

I've been in the IT-consulting business for (koff, koff ... "these KIDS today") long enough to say that you probably are always are best to "dance with the boy that brung 'ya." (Unless that "boy" is legacy code which runs the business and that you are now trying to "pave over." Undoubtedly not the case here.)

Whether we're talking about a programming language or a JavaScript library (some of which are these-days multiple mega(!)-bytes), you really don't want to delve into the world of "having multiple ways of doing the same thing." Because now you have to make them work ...

... "not only right now, but as the X-different-languages each independently diverge from their now- "deprecated™" prior versions.

It's bad enough to have to grapple with "PHP-4, PHP-5, and PHP-7." (All different.) Please don't stir "Python-2" and "Python-3" into the mix!

Although you cannot actually "dance with the same boy that brung 'ya," don't borrow boys from the next town.

  • 3
    What does "dance with the boy that brung ya" mean?
    – guest
    Apr 9 '20 at 9:47
  • It's an old metaphor. In the context of a dance, it means that if someone brings you to a dance, you shouldn't spend your time dancing with someone else. Here, it means that if you start out with one programming language in a business, you ought to stick with that version (unless said language is obsolete/deprecated).
    – djohnson10
    Apr 9 '20 at 13:55
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    The highest level? You mean those guys which usually have no clue what they are talking about so they go Java+Oracle because the read in some old Manager-Magazine that this is the hottest shit and everyone is using it so they make decisions based on save-your-ass mentality because the used what everybody uses and that can´t be wrong so when the project finally fails - which it will because nobody listens to the experts in this organisation for sure - they are not the ones to blame
    – Daniel
    Apr 9 '20 at 16:12

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