This is a really interesting discussion that got me thinking about my history with programming. In particular it got me thinking about how although the typical pattern includes a progression from VB to PHP to Rails and beyond, there are many programmers that stick with PHP, myself included.
I talk to a lot of Rails developers, I talk to a lot of PHP developers that also love writing Rails. I completely get why it’s such a popular system, and could I find the time I’d love to dive in head first. The sticking point there for me is time. I think for me personally I’m at a bit of a life stage that doesn’t afford me the luxury of time to explore alternative platforms but I hope to gain that at some point down the line.
That got me thinking even more. How does this progression take place? Andrew Chen is on to something. It feels simple and obvious now that he’s said it, but the key to this progression of languages/environments has to do with form based applications.
He goes on to more detail surrounding the other requirements for a successful programming language/framework in terms of a marketplace, and it makes perfect sense. There are conditions that must be met for a new language or framework to even make it out of the gate. If those conditions aren’t met, everything fizzles.
What I really like is Andrew’s straightforward (in his terms “big”) prediction. I think he’s right.