An Engineering Leader Discusses the Best Programming Languages to Learn

January 21, 2020
NVISIA team members working
nvisia

NVISIA supports companies with software development and legacy modernization services. It also offers IT strategy, as well as staffing and skills assistance to scale clients’ agile teams. Solutions have been provided to the likes of Verizon, Discover, Harley Davidson, American Family Insurance and We Energies. 

With the level of diversity in not only the services that NVISIA provides, but also the industries it services, team members at the company need to stay abreast of the latest programming languages: after all, a varied client base requires a large tool belt.

Internally, NVISIA uses languages like Golang, .NET and Scala to provide clients with the solutions they need. But it may surprise some that the company’s engineering leaders don’t seek out candidates with expertise in specific languages when hiring.

“We don’t judge intellect based on a person’s native language, so the same should be applied to judging resumes,” said Software Engineer Mustafa Abdul-Kader. 

Abdul-Kader said limiting the company’s hiring search to individuals with specific language experience is an exclusionary and ineffective practice. But if he could focus more on one programming language, he'd choose Julia. Here’s why:

 

Julia programming language

Julia can be used to write any application, but its design is suited best for high-level numerical analysis and computational science. The language first appeared in 2012 and three years later, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York used it to create models of the U.S. economy. Its estimations were made 10 times as fast as its previous MATLAB calculations.

 

Mustafa Abdul-Kader
Software Engineer

 

Do you look for specific languages on resumes, and if so, why?

A lot of the companies in the Chicago area have a strong preference for Java. But the hot languages also include Python, JavaScript and C#. The reason for this is related to the industries in the area and the rise of machine learning-inspired solutions. With that being said, I find that looking for specific languages on a resume is a useless metric. We don’t judge intellect based on a person’s native language, so the same should be applied to judging resumes.

I find that looking for specific languages on a resume is a useless metric.”

 

What’s a programming language you’re not currently working with that you’d like to, and why?

I’d like to work with Julia. It is a high-performant, general-purpose programming language with a focus on numerical analysis. In the professional world, it is a bit too young to have picked up much traction, although it is very popular in academia. 

I’d like to see more support via library bindings to help drive adoption. This is because the language implements some cool concepts to achieve high performance in a very Python-esque writing style. There’s a demand to squeeze more performance out of software. So having a language that allows you to write in an intuitive and simple manner — while remaining performant — can open the doors to more efficient and increased throughput of data processing and analysis techniques.

 

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