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Rob OLeary
Rob OLeary

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What languages and tools do you use that spark joy?

You may have heard of Marie Kondo, a Japanese Organization Consultant, she wrote a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In the book she discusses her method of organising, which is known as the KonMari method, it consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy", and choosing a place for everything from then on.

I think it could be a cathartic process for your digital life also, what if you gathered all of your digital "things" together, all of the languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools that you use, and decide what to keep from each category. What would you choose?

I think it's more important now than ever to review your "toolset" with this in mind. For your own well-being, you should remove things, keep the "joyful", and slowly add more. There is such a proliferation of new tech, this is a decision you need to take again and again, so it is important to have a good ethos for your personal life and career.

Top comments (52)

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lalabadie profile image
Louis-André Labadie

Lua! In my case, I used it with LÖVE.

It's exceedingly clear, it runs everywhere, and it's close enough to the metal that no bugs are magical. Every time I use it, it's a pleasure.

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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

LOVE looks cool! I was unaware of Lua until I was looking at single-board computers, i was surprised that Lua was a common language to be bundled with them!

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

I still have a soft spot for Lua too :-) I mostly used it in the context of writing nmap plugins, but it's a lovely little language.

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gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes

Yeah +1 to Lua. Aggressively simple. I've been enjoying my Lua with Lisp flavour recently - check out Fennel.

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fronkan profile image
Fredrik Sjöstrand

Löve is for sure the game engine I have enjoyed the most! Is is just fun to use even for the first time. I recently tested phaser and that was so rough in comparison.

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itsjzt profile image
Saurabh Sharma

observablehq.com and quokkajs.com

I wish regular development could have that kind of feedback loop

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zilti profile image
Daniel Ziltener

Sounds like you wish for a Lisp

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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

Some of the observable journals are beautiful, I have not used it, but would like to pick it up some time :-)

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galoisgirl profile image
Anna

Before answering that question, I'd go back to the roots of the KonMari method. "Sparking joy" is an imperfect translastion from Japanese, says redditor:

Long and short of it, ときめく(Tokimeku) is a compound verb by "Toki" and "meku", where "Toki" is derivation of "Dokidoki" (Heart pounding) according to the two main Japanese dictionary. Full meaning :

Daijirin Dictionary 3rd edition (大辞林 第三版 ) - "ときめく( 動カ五[四] ) : 喜びや期待などのために、胸がどきどきする。" = Due to the joy and the feeling of looking forward, the heart is pounding.

Daijisen Dictionary (大辞泉) - "ときめく[動カ五(四)] : 喜びや期待などで胸がどきどきする。心が躍る。" = Because of the joy and the feeling of looking forward, the heart is pounding.

Looking forward is crucial in technology. Tools and frameworks are constantly evolving. Sometimes, this happens too fast, with people focusing too much on trends and buzzwords.

"Joy" is not the term I'd use for my experience with npm - quite often, it's exactly the opposite, I'm feeling very frustrated. But in going forward with my current project, npm is the tool that will let me reach my goals.

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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

Yep, I agree that you have to look forward in tech, and evolve, but I think it's important to be rooted in the present and not to be swayed too much, or too far from the core of what you enjoy. Of course, sometimes you have to use a tool because of a work environment, or the high adoption rate in the industry. So, if you can choose, choose a work environment that uses your "happy" stack!

I have not had to use npm extensively, so I cant share your pain! The trend that some people hope for is to use native imports more in the future and reduce the reliance on npm, I believe that's the ecosystem Deno is going for

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miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot

If it's a tool: for me it is probably Wallaby.js - realtime as you type test runner with super powerful in editor feedback and debugging tools (and as someone else said, Quokka.js its sibling).

For a language then that's harder - I always had a soft spot for Ruby, I'm very excited about Elixir, I think C# is powerful and expressive, but coming from where it was - modern Javascript has a fluidity that is complimented by it's new found terseness and support for asynchronous coding.

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wilgert profile image
Wilgert Velinga

Wallaby is the best. Not only is it a joy to use, if you by accident throw a project at it that doesn't work their support team is always very quick to help you out (Example: github.com/wallabyjs/public/issues...).

For other languages there are also alternatives. C# -> nCrunch, Python -> PyCrunch, Java -> InfiniTest.

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tfantina profile image
Travis Fantina

Ruby and Rails spark more joy than anything else for me. I'm also a huge fan of Elixir, it's a phenomenal language and in my opinion, has some of the best documentation out there: it's standardized, concise, and easy to document your code as you go.

Svelte also sparks joy, I haven't been able to use it too much yet but the little I've played with it has me excited to try building something real with it.

As far as tools, Atom still sparks joy, it does everything I need, easy to configure and it was my first real text editor. For notes Bear sparks joy.

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kevinschweikert profile image
Kevin Schweikert

For me it‘s Go/Golang! I love to write it and learning something new feels like reading a good book. Interesting and rewarding

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joaomarcusc profile image
João

You know, programming in React is sparking joy for me. I like how easy it is to create components and refactor them into smaller pieces. It's 6 years old an still going strong, evolving and getting better while not leaving old code behind.

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richytong profile image
Richard Tong

I love the library I created: rubico. Think RxJS, but no Observables, just vanilla types. I put up a website with some runnable code examples here. Here's a code sample with deno that I look at every now and again

import { serve } from "https://deno.land/std/http/server.ts";
import { map, transform } from "https://deno.land/x/rubico/rubico.js";
const s = serve({ port: 8001 });
console.log("http://localhost:8001/");
transform(map(req => {
  req.respond({ body: "Hello World\n" });
}), null)(s);
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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

I noticed a lot of people speaking fondly about TailwindCSS. It's on my radar :-)

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patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt • Edited on

Personally, I don't really see the benefit of TailwindCSS, or I haven't use it much.

  • TailwindCSS is still a framework, with unneeded CSS. You still have to purge / minify it.
  • Still, atomic CSS is a way to go.
  • Much can be accomplished using mere SCSS, but for some reasons, default HTML stylesheet is so bad... much has to be revamped.

Yes, please Change my mind.

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zilti profile image
Daniel Ziltener

Clojure so much. The whole ecosystem around it, and on Emacs, and yes, also that little tool called "clj-kondo" :P And lately to a big part the Fulcro framework. The tooling it has is amazing.

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Johannes Millan

For me it's my favorite side project which is a to do/ time tracking app that I use every day. Often times when working for clients I am completely detached from the end result. I will never use it myself. Using my app is the opposite of that and it gives me so much joy to have build something which is very useful to me and it makes me even more proud if it is useful to others as well..

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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

The other side of writing code is liking what you're building! If you build own tools, I think it will give you more joy by default, especially since it matches your mental model for doing something.

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devsrsouza profile image
Gabriel Souza

Kotlin and Coroutines

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jsn1nj4 profile image
Elliot Derhay

As a PHP user, I love using Laravel. I also love using Tailwind CSS whenever I get the chance.

Tailwind was weird to look at at first with all of the class names, but it quickly became easy to remember them by their prefixes.

As another comment said, the Tailwind IntelliSense plugin for VS Code also helps a lot when you're trying to find the right variation of a class (especially margin/padding sizes and text colors).

I guess I could say I'm happy not having to directly write CSS. It's so time-consuming.

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pablodavila_ profile image
SuperAudioFriend

Try Elixir and Phoenix :)

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tnypxl

I was a Ruby/Rails stan for a long long time. Did modern javascript for a couple years, going through all of the relationship phases there. Then I got a job doing C#/dotnet, all the type safety and building before seeing any change was annoying at first. But then it started clicking. I've grown very skilled at learning to like whatever platform I'm working in. But, C# is the first language that I'd genuinely be happy coding in for the foreseeable future.

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robole profile image
Rob OLeary Author

I've had similar experiences going from language to language. If you go from statically typed to dynamically typed, it can feel wild west in the beginning, but once you recognise the types of things you need to be concerned with, and what you can ignore, the paranoia dissipates. For me, JS still feels a bit wild west. I prefer languages with more substantial built-in libraries. Over time, with familiarity, you can grow to like a language, but I think depending on your background and personality, you can be drawn to particular languages more.

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