Quite a few years back, a client asked us about providing a web-based system. (I'll leave out the details.) My colleague found an open source system using php/mysql (and untouched for over 5 years at that time) and asked if I could rebrand it and get it working for a demo. A week later, after much swearing we had something that worked and presented it to the client. More than two years passed when they asked to see that system again, and this time decided they wanted it. 4 months before the final product was to be delivered, I made a stand and refused to do any more work in PHP. The product was rewritten from scratch in a proper maintainable language/framework and delivered on time. I hope I never see php again!
I have (so far ) succeeded to avoid the situation by listing the languages I know and want to work in in my resume. I do not mention ADA, COBOL and several others because I do not want to work with them.
I am relatively language agnostic - I am not such a purist that I will refuse to work in any modern .NET language, including Visual Basic.
I had a series of Windows Services to write and my boss said I had to use VB instead of my preferred C# as "all the company code" was in VB. I then noticed we had a couple of stand-alone applications written in C#. Everything else was web-pages in VB.
I pointed these applications out as C# and that my boss had been the one to write most of them!
He conceded that I could use C# for the services as long as all my web-pages were in VB. Success!
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
I had a consulting gig where I was asked to write the same product in multiple programming languages. I listed the reasons why this is a terrible idea. After some back-and-forth, they understood why using 1 programming language for 1 product (a simple Web app) was the right approach.
In full-time gigs, I pushed back, but ultimately relented because that's what I was being paid to do. And since the company was willing to pay for training, I would've been foolish to say no.
It has been my experience that if you refuse to do a task then you get dismissed, and that includes being forced to code in VB/VB.Net. Now, if you are self-employed then you call the shots and no one can force you to do anything...mostly.
So, you try to negotiate, but in the end, if management want's to abuse you, then they abuse you, and you will take it, and like it, or you will go work for another pimp.
... most customers care about their problem being solved not how it is solved (and if they do, then I stay clear of them since they have heard something out of context which would make the project hell and convincing them otherwise would be a waste of time and effort).
I do however stay clear of languages which force you to do compilation in your head before writing code (like c++, php) or don't have debuggers.
to do compilation in your head before writing code (like c++, php)
PHP is an interpreter, so you are one step ahead if you already compile it in your head before writing the code. But yes, interpreters are worthless, especially because they are unable to detect many errors before finally hitting the row at runtime.
But what's the problem with C++? It usually is a compiler, so why do you need to compile the code in your head? Knowing beforehand what kind of code you can expect may be enormously helpful, but the greatest part of all C++ programmers apparently have somehow managed to stay afloat with obviously not even as much as a clue to what they were doing.
Nonetheless, I did a work-around and duplicated the entire VFP application as my first C#, excusing it as a way to learn that language. The VFP ran for a few months, the C#, for about eight years. The interfaces were made nearly indistinguishable - although the change wasn't a guarded secret (just unannounced until asked).
At the time, by the way, MicroSloth had already announced they were dropping all support for VFP. The IT Director who insisted on that, knowing, in fact that I hated the language and hardly knew it, was eventually give the Pink Slip.
I was asked to develop a prototype of something in Java 15 years ago. What they wanted was not feasible. They argued that I did not know Java. I actually did not (zip, zilch, nada), but I knew I was right. Showed them the code and documentation. They looked at it and determined that I was right. Not sure what happened afterwards because it never got developed.
Don't misunderstand me, I like Lisp (yes, I'm a bit weird).
Using it with Autocad was ok but when the boss came around, telling that we should use Visual Lisp for our windows port of our DOS-application (written in Turbo Pascal, working with "Big Data" before it was named) ... I politely informed him that it would never happen.
I have made several attempts to learn Lisp - I have a few mathematically inclined colleagues who are in love with the language (even though we do not at all use it a work). I understand that it is fascinating as a Turing machine language: Super simple, and given that you can handle an infinite string of paretheses, it can be used to solve any NP complete problem in linear time (or at least close to that).
My problem was my Lisp book... The Bible of Lisp philoosphy and thinking: The Anatomy of Lisp. My copy is typeset in a pre-release of Tex/Metafont. Typograhical quality was terrible. The characters are swimming before me; I am unable to focus on them. I know that the text lines are straight, yet to me, a page looks like a boxful of snakes certainly does not lay still.
It is a pity that the typography of a textbook can ruin a learning experience totally. Of course I should have picked up an alternative textbook - I did, too, but it was no good, so I returned to Anatomy and got seasick once more... That was many years ago, when I still had surplus energy to learn a language just for the learning. Now I know that I will never use Lisp for anything "useful", so whatever I've got left of energy goes into other projects.
Registry parser in VB6 was the first time (mid 90s) - requested by the development manager
Lotus Notes - took one look under the hood and refused the contract.
Delphi - we had built one app using delphi and performance was terrible, probably our fault but we could not identify the problem so did not persist with the language and refused the contract. I liked turbo pascal.
Excel - every time some pillock requests a database operation built in excel, f***ing power user bankers!
Currently the entire Web stack!
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
How can that be? It's what every dork ever dreamed of. Weak typing, no object orientation and no pesky compilers. Everything has become sooooooo easy and exciting, just like in the days of C64 BASIC, and just about as fast.
I was asked to develop a database in my first Job as a programmer in Access and the requirements were not able to be met by using access, explained this to my then boss who tried to say its all possible by using the wizard.
It took me a while to show him why but he finally understood and allowed me at the time to use VB6.
Every day, thousands of innocent plants are killed by vegetarians.
I've never refused to write code in any language.
When I don't know the language I mention that and I'll have to learn it, which may not be worth the trouble for the work that needs to be done, but I won't refuse it.
I've bashed plenty of languages because it's fun to piss people off (like we have a Java enthusiast at the office, can you believe that guy? )
There are some technologies I really dislike, Crystal Reports comes to mind, I'm not a fan of Oracle, and after having tried Angular I can add Knockout to the list.
But it's my job to provide services and if my employer or client needs me to use Crystal Reports then so it shall be.
I may propose an alternative, but that's about it.
Refusing to write in a certain language because you just don't like the language smells like arrogant elitism to me.