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> knowing Lisp made me all too keenly aware of Java's shortcomings, and I had a very hard time not being angry at how stupid it was that I was being forced to use it.

I would take this as a the thing to remember from this. When you are too angry at something, you cant learn it. I have seen the emotional refusal to learn new inferior thing (or read comments that amounted to the same) many times already.

It is something to be aware of and avoided.




Sometimes it's not worth the pain. I have programmed in Java. I won't do so again. I concede that part of it is stubbornness, but I have to prioritize what I want to spend my time on, and there are enough jobs giving me the opportunity to work on things I like working with that I can afford to dismiss Java out of hand and focus my efforts elsewhere.

I realize not everyone will have that option, but I strongly believe being strongly opinionated about what I will work with has helped me in the long run by ensuring I've actually worked on things where I could feel motivated to deliver, and letting me focus my time on getting better at the technologies I do enjoy working with.

Of course that requires ensuring you build skills in areas where you can find jobs, and that you avoid jobs where you don't get to pick the technologies you're prepared to work with.


But author is talking about refusal to learn something "destroyed career".

I hated Java as everyone was supposed to in school among my peers. Java was for lesser programmers. But, there was interesting job in Java available and after using it, I liked coding in Java better then previous languages I knew (C, C++ mainly).

I liked Java pretty fast, but learning to like JavaScript took more effort. Imo, it was very very worth pain. The more pain, the more the learning process is worth - it hurts because you are learning something fundamental and getting new habits you miss.


I feel the same as you. But out on the job market after my last employer went bust - and almost every single job at a reasonable level is demanding either C# .NET, or Java (J2EE, whatever they're calling it now). Period. Every interview; even for front-end web developers: they're sitting there asking you questions they pulled out of their Java 451 text book from two years ago.

I've been playing "avoid those jobs" for a while now and it's getting tiresome. There is a HUGE prejudice against people who never drank the OOP kool aide.


Yes, I agree. It's a problem much wider than just programming languages, it's an emotional issue in general. As a person who does Lisp out of enjoyment and Java/Erlang/bash for a living, it was good for me to get over the attitude of "my language is superior" and actually open up and learn a thing or two from these "inferior" languages, both when it comes to things that are worth repeating and not worth repeating.

If anything, remember that Lisp, Java, Brainfuck and hundreds of other langs are all Turing-complete and therefore equivalent to one another when it comes to computability.


> When you are too angry at something, you cant learn it.

This is true in a very literal sense. Emotions appear to have a very significant effect on how well we can memorize and recall things:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion_and_memory


I'm interested in knowing your secret to finding inferior new things interesting.


I didn't post that, but I can tell you mine. It's reflecting to myself, "Maybe I'm the asshole."

The new thing sucks. Or am I having a knee-jerk reaction to something unfamiliar? Maybe I'm the asshole.

The new thing falls short of the old thing. Or does it have different goals from the old thing? Maybe I'm the asshole.

Whoever made the decision to put the new thing in my path are out of touch and don't understand what I do or how the old thing helped. Or have they seen something that I don't see yet? Maybe I'm the asshole.

Sometimes I'm the asshole. Never entertaining the possibility that one is the asshole is what makes one the asshole.


Often times it is inferior, because you are acutely missing things it does not have, but did not yet learned to use things it does have effectively.

So, the secret is to be alone in a room, so you can swear freely. Walk around when angry and complain to yourself. But always go back and continue using it and eventually, that phase will pass. After that you will build new set of habits that work around disadvantages and use advantages.


This just seems like being around something awful long enough that you develop a form of stockholm syndrome.


Unless of course your perception that it is "objectively" awful is not objective at all. The "awful" categorization is oftentimes just your emotional reaction to not understanding something immediately and not knowing how to use it effectively.


I would add one more thing - even if the technology is objectively awful, it is worth learning if it serves some practical purpose. Learning something is not value judgement of its objective quality, it should be in part rational choice.


Step one: stop considering them inferior, since something inferior cannot be interesting by definition.


You can experience something similar to this with just about anything that provides you with elegant solutions to problems you see.

I experience a similar thing Elixir at times. Even as a fervent "right tool for the job" guy it's hard to have in one hand something that elegantly solves just about everything you've experienced in your career...and not be able to use it.

Between Elixir and Python, there's not much of a need for anything else on a server these days.


> When you are too angry at something, you cant learn it.

Fortunately for me, my rage at Fortran came after I mastered it.




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