The personality of programming communities

ankush981 profile image Ankush Thakur ・1 min read

I can't help notice that different programming communities have their unique characteristics, to the point that I feel I can almost describe them in one word. So, here's my tiny list based on my impressions. Please feel free to agree, disagree, or add yours. If this goes well . . . well, never mind about that!

Perl => Cryptic
Python => Childlike (curious and welcoming, I mean)
Ruby => Artistic
PHP => Indifferent
Java => Patronizing
JavaScript => Condescending
Go => Nerdy
Elixir => Visionary
Erlang => Non-existant (Just kidding! Couldn't resist πŸ˜‹)

Let the games begin! πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹


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I’d make the point that it’s literally impossible for these major programming languages to be summed up in one characteristic.

And a lot of these characteristics are in wholly different spectrums.

But as a game I’d play.

I’d say JavaScript is excitable.


As an extension to that, I'd say the JavaScript community is highly adaptable.


I'm not sure whether the article got misread. It's about communities created around these programming languages, and not about the languages per se. And of course, these are based on my experiences, which can be different than others'. :-)


I'm pretty sure I didn't misread the article. JavaScript is a rapidly evolving language. There is a great demand for adaptability if one wants to enter the industry. That's what makes the JavaScript community highly adaptable; the industry simply demands it to be.

Dood, the industry is not the community!

That is true, but the industry greatly influences the community. Therefore, the community reflects the industry.

And there is no need to raise voices here. πŸ˜‰ It's a #healthydebate after all.

but the industry greatly influences the community.

Would you care to explain how?

And there is no need to raise voices here.

I'm not sure what gave you that impression. Your inputs are most welcome, but if for some reason you feel disrespected, you're welcome to delete your comments and step out of the discussion.

I'm not sure what gave you that impression.

The exclamation point greatly altered how I read your comment. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Would you care to explain how?

What the industry demands of the community, the community adapts to. That's what makes the JavaScript community very adaptive. Since the industry is rapidly evolving, it follows that the community must also adapt just as rapidly. We are always on our toes for the next big, flashy framework; or for the new features of the latest specification of ECMAScript; or even in the best practices that serve as a guideline to how we code our code. Despite the rate at which the language and the industry is changing, we are still holding our own. We still continue to carry on, and that's what makes the JavaScript community adaptable.

I hope this gets my point across now.


Yes, but the community is made up of thousands or millions of people. It’s impossible to have truly defining characteristics. Has to be an exercise practiced with a grain of salt.

Agree. I've come across and read of a lot of negativity in the JS community (remember the io.js fork and other recent drama?). It's the accumulation of things like that, and the overall personality traits I've observed in the "elders" of these communities that makes me think so.

Grain of salt? Yes. Maybe even a spoonful of salt!


May I offer a correction?

Python => Mad Tea Party

The curiosity is indeed there, but it quickly becomes curiouser and curiouser. There's a deep love of complex wordplay, pedantic patter, and metadiscussion, which led me to coin the phrase many years ago...

Welcome to Python. Mind the furniture on your way down the rabbit hole.


I wish I was as good a wordsmith as you. You just described the community perfectly! Python folks are relentless when it comes to going down the rabbit hole, even if at times Python isn't the best language for the task at hand. Makes for an amazing ecosystem to learn all things under and above the hood!


I also just realized that was the second time I commented on this article. Oops!

Which is absolutely okay! :-)


I've been a part of the Python community for almost a decade, and I'd actually call them "Pedantic" more than anything! (Thankfully, they're usually also Fun-Loving.)

As I've been known to say in IRC a few times...

Welcome to #python. Please mind the furniture on your way down the rabbit hole.

C++ has two distinct communities. One is "Arrogant/Abrasive", and the other is "Intellectual". Take your pick. l;)


Ah, yes! "Pedantic" is much more appropriate, but I wish there was a word that combined pedantic with fun-loving. πŸ˜‡


How about "Pythonic"?

Oh, wait, that'd be a bit meta, wouldn't it? (How Pythonic of me.)

But that's something people outside of the Python community won't understand. Meta? Very! πŸ€“


And thanks for the inputs on C++. I've never been in those circles (and after this, don't wish to! 😬).


If you ever need to be in those circles, #learnprogramming and ##c++-friendly on Freenode IRC are both part of the FRIENDLY type community.


Hi @ankush981 , fun though this may be, and I'll chip in below with the communities I have experienced, did you have a motive for trying to summarise them in a single word? I might go with 'human' for all of 'em :)

Some of my opinions formed via comp.os.* and comp.programming.* groups on Usenet, apply salt!

Systems programming - opinionated (Hi Linus! Hi MISRA)
Algorithm creation/problem solving - focussed (Knuth, Graham)
Architecture - searching (so many questions...)

Have fun #healthydebate


Hello, thanks for stopping by!

did you have a motive for trying to summarise them in a single word?

Nope. Was maybe just trying to see if I can be articulate enough (in my own opinion, of course). πŸ˜‹


Linus -- a clear a**hole. Except that he seems to have seen the light and reformed. πŸ˜‡


Oracle PL/SQL documentation requires you to be an expert in the field to understand it. The community is incredibly helpful, but elitist at times.

But for my normal stack, Oracle's Application Express, the only word I have for the community is - Welcoming.


Where is C#?
I hope it's not gonna be what Ben mentioned here πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


I'm sorry I didn't find a reference to C# in the link. As for where is C#, I don't have any experience with their community so can't say!