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You do you

There are people that create useful and beautiful products. And there are people trying to educate others about perfect software languages and disciplines. I think there is not much overlap between the two. At least if you browse social media like Twitter, Reddit and Hacker News. 

The shit Pieter Levels is getting every time he shows the tech he uses to bring in 500k+ a year as a single sole is… it is just not helpful. If the product works great, why does it make a difference what the underlying tech is? 

If the product sucks, the tech does not matter. If the product is perfect, the tech does not matter as well. It is all about the product, and only about the product. 

This new no-code MVP movement shows this as well. It is all about the value you deliver to people willing to pay for it. All else is just a hobby.

Actually, the tech does matter. But it is only about you. What do you want to use? What language makes you effective and productive? It can be the latest and greatest trending framework or plain PHP, Ruby or Perl. Runtime performance does not matter in almost all situations, almost nobody is building realtime systems for self-driving cars. And even in those situations using the right tech can give you the wrong product.

Some people say Ruby is not made for big platforms because it is “slow”. But as Basecamp’s dhh recently published it would not make a monetary difference to use a faster language for Basecamp, if that comes with the side effect of their small programming team becoming a little less happy and thus less productive.

At Picqer we use mainly PHP and Laravel, among others like Swift, Javascript and Vue. A couple of times a year people ask me if we don’t hit any limits of PHP, or when we are going to use something more professional. We process around 5% of all Dutch e-commerce orders via our platform, and like I tweeted last week performance is not an issue. We even spend less than Basecamp’s 15% of our operations budget on server processing PHP. For us, PHP is not a bottleneck and we can build everything we dream with it. Why would we need something else?

Same is true for using Node.js. I don’t like it personally, but if you are productive with that language and you can build your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you that you should use something else. It is true for every language, platform and tool.

I’ve always said that I am not a real programmer, because I did not got a degree in software engineering. I also can’t write in languages like C. I’ve always said that I am only a product-person, and sometimes I can get it working in code as well. But I guess I am a real programmer? I have been programming PHP for 20 years now and generated a couple million euros in total revenue over those years.

My title and the languages that I use do not matter. It is only about the product. What makes you productive and happy? Use that. You do you.