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13-05-2014

Why language choice does matter for your development project?

This post points out the reasons that make choosing a language for a specific project relevant. Of course, you can find online articles that explain “Why language choice does not matter for your development project”. In the end, the choice is yours!

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Equivalence of languages

Imagine you have to travel 500 kilometers over see and you can choose between a bike, a car, and a boat. Unfortunately, you only know how to ride a bike. Which option would you go for? The boat, obviously. Indeed, even if learning how to handle a boat has a cost, it is for sure the best way to reach your objective.
Because they are not equivalent, the same reasoning can be applied to languages. Indeed, even if all languages will allow you to reach a given objective, some will be more efficient than others regarding this specific task. Therefore considering every alternative language will lead to one to the optimal decision.

Everything is built on top of it

Ever tried to build a house on unstable foundations? I can assure you that the outcome will be disastrous : delays in delivery, additional repair & maintenance costs, and poor capacity to diverge from the initial architecture are to be foreseen.
In a development project, this refers to the technical debt of a project which is mostly induced by sub-optimal development choices. Such a debt materialises itself in several ways such as: increased development & maintenance costs, lower product quality, slower development pace, and inability to seize unforeseen opportunities. In order to overcome such undesired collaterals, one should select the language that will confer him with a solid ground base to build its project on top of it.

Financial aspects

In the end, selecting a language might have immediate cost (learning cost, recruitment, change management, etc…) but it will above all confer long terms benefit to the project such as increased flexibility, reduced time-to-market, increased product quality and coherence.

In the end, it is all about comparing the immediate cost of selecting a language versus its long term benefits.

 Conclusion

At this point, you are probably convinced that a proper language selection is critical. Just to give it a fair shot, we invite you to read a counterpoint to this article before definitely making up your mind.

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