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Ask HN: When you meet a fellow programmer "in the wild",
2 points by probably 2081 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
...is it cliche to ask them what language they program in? Is there a better topic of conversation?

What kind of work they do is far more interesting than what language they do it in.

My mantra lately: there are no bad languages, only bad codebases.

(Corollary: most codebases are bad.)

Of course, but after that part...

Well after that part either you find something about their work interesting or vice versa, or you look for some other common interest, or you go your separate ways...

Having met a few programmers in the wild, topics of interest come up and languages themselves aren't interesting. However, differences in languages, or where languages fail, sometimes come up.

Personally, leading with a language is superficial at best, and at worst, a crude filter employed to determine whether or not a person fits in with your objective or clique.

This happens -all- the time at reddit meetups. We're clearly a group of mostly programmers and techy people, yet everyone describes their profession as "programming." I have to pry out what they actually do. That said, benologist has the right idea with asking what they do rather than how they do it.

...What a Geeky thing to suggest, talk about sports or women, brah.

Whups, that did not even occur to me. But shouldn't you make an attempt to talk about your common interests? ;)

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