mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Hating on Java Bandwagon

The recent announcement that Stanford University would be replacing Java as the language du jour for its introductory computer science class has once again brought out the “hating on Java” bandwagon. In one of the articles Google Assistant threw my way the other day, someone wrote “It’s pretty much known to anyone in the programming world that Java is one of the hardest languages to learn right off the bat; that is if you’ve never written a line of code in your life.”

I respectfully called bullshit on this and took to the Twitters to let the author know that I disagreed:

Sorry, Java is definitely not "one of the hardest languages to learn right off the bat." Try C where you can't even have a string or other objects without learning about pointers and memory management. Or try a functional programming language like Coq or Haskell where I don't even know where to begin! Or C++ where forgetting a ; at the end of your class makes compiler spits out tens of lines of unhelpful errors. Java being a (mostly) compiled language let's beginners lean on that to navigate waters early on. And stacktraces when things go wrong are also usually helpful which can't be said of all languages. Not a Java apologist but saying Java is hard and then saying JavaScript is better is so, so ridiculous to me. Oh yeah! How could I forget Objective-C where syntax is a [little p@inful]!

Again, not a Java apologist but if you asked me what language you should learn first if you’re interested in programming I’d probably still go with Java. I’d double down on Java if you told me the alternative was – the hot mess – Javascript.