As I've been digging into the Hotwire framework recently, I've also been looking for external input on the same topic. In that vein, I came across an old episode of the Full Stack Radio podcast hosted by Adam Wathan. In Episode 151, Adam interviewed DHH (David Heinemeier Hansson) on building Hey with Hotwire. And, while the Hotwire content was fascinating, it's not why I'm bringing this up. What truly struck me about the interview was DHH's perspective on the freedoms that server-side programming gives us; and, that there is something fundamentally important about being able to choose technologies that bring us the most joy.
With Adam's permission, I've pulled out this portion of the audio in order to rebroadcast it below:
This transcript was generated from the MP3 file using AWS Transcribe. But, I edited it manually afterwards:
It's one of the greatest gifts to programmers this world has ever seen. If you want to write a web app, you can use anything. I mean, you can literally use any program language that's ever been invented in the history of time to create your web application. That's amazing! Amazing! And people don't recognize just what a unique gift that is; and, ergo, they don't work all that hard to preserve it.
Adam Wathan: Yeah. That's like giving up what you view as sort of a fundamental freedom that's given to you by the web.
David Heinemeier Hansson: Yes. And perhaps in many ways, for the enjoyment of the individual programmer, one of the absolute most important.
Whatever Goofy Shit Makes You Feel Alive - Do That
A while back, I walked by a car that had the bumper sticker, "Whatever goofy shit makes you feel alive. Do that.". It's a funny sticker; but, I think it speaks to a much more profound truth about being alive. That there are things that we like and dislike in a way that can't be explained by logic. They are simply fundamental to what makes each of us a unique and beautiful individual.
As I get older, I'm finally beginning to understand just how completely subjective everything is. And, slowly, I'm giving myself permission to lean into that subjective nature instead of wasting energy trying to fight it - trying to explain-away why I love some things and dislike others.
I freakin' love ColdFusion! It's an amazing programming language that does so many things right. But, my well articulated list of benefits won't matter to you if CFML doesn't spark joy in your heart. And, that's OK! Instead of arguing about one programming language or another, I think we need to take a cue from DHH and just celebrate the fact that the web gives us the unbelievable freedom to follow our passions without having to justify them.