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Everybody Answers: Our Favorite Programming Languages

08-26-11 Sparkbox

The fellas here at Sparkbox use quite an array of programming languages. Read on to see what they consider their favorite.

Ben Callahan:

My favorite programming language is JavaScript.

I believe JavaScript is the language of interaction on the web. With it we can make old browsers act new, we can create rich user experiences, we can gather critical data about how people use our sites. JavaScript allows us to try out new HTML elements and new CSS selectors and properties, it allows us to experiment and push the industry forward.

Most importantly, JavaScript gives the web development community a way to create cow paths and the standards bodies and browser makers a chance to pave them.

Andy Rossi:

For me, the most fun can be had with ActionScript 3.

I love the syntax, tools and community behind this language. The structure can be clean (as long as the developer follows OOP best practices) and its footprint low (as long as the developer follows OOP best practices). The only issue I have with the language is how easy it is to write lazy code.

If anything, I think AS3 needs more structure. More rules need to be set for better produced apps. There needs to be more penalty for allowing code writing that may induce memory leaks. For instance, with Xcode 4 and a C-based language, it checks as you type for the possibility of a memory leak and then notifies you before the compile. You don’t even need to run your application to see that there might be a problem. Of course, that’s more the feature of the newest compilers included with the iOS/OS X SDK, not the language itself.

Another bit of beef I have with AS3 is the fact semicolons aren’t required at the end of lines. I’m not Christopher Walken reading a script. I need to have punctuation. Endline characters are like a period at the end of a sentence. Programming in AS3 should follow some kind of grammar standard, but I guess that is my OCD shining through.

Even with those little complaints about the language, it is still my favorite environment to develop in. It just does so much! But who knows, Objective-C/Cocoa might take that crown soon.

Rob Harr:

My favorite programming language is currently Ruby. Three years ago I would have said Java and before that I might have said C++. I even spent a few months infatuated with Python, but it was short lived. Right now it is Ruby. It has the prettiest syntax. Reading through Ruby code makes me happy. It is simple and elegant while still being powerful. The community that surrounds Ruby is passionate and is always releasing new tools. With every language that I have learned it has taught me a new perspective and approach for working with code. I assume that some day some other language will sweep me off my feet and become my new favorite. Until then I will enjoy working with Ruby.

Ryan Buttrey:

I struggled for a while with this one, but the more I thought about it and as we discussed it in the office, CSS is most definitely a programming language––and it’s for sure my favorite. CSS is pretty powerful and it’s becoming even more powerful with things like media queries, position and number-based pseudo class selectors, and content-related pseudo elements. I love the way it’s structured and I love organizing a site’s stylesheet in the most efficient and flexible way possible. I really enjoy writing CSS and the possibilities get me all excited.

Rob Tarr:

I would say that my favorite programming language is JavaScript. Admittedly, when it comes to programming the client-side web, JavaScript dominates, and that’s where I spend most of my time, so I don’t really have much of a choice there. I like JavaScript. It’s flexible, if the language doesn’t support something that I need, I can often simply add it into the project I’m working on and keep going. Also, because of its dominance on the web, there is a vast community of developers willing to share code and ideas. This is an exciting time for JavaScript developers. It seems like every day I see new frameworks, libraries and plugins (jquery, modernizr, backbone, undo, everything at

I’m currently getting to write larger web applications in JavaScript, and it’s fun. Everything’s always changing––there seems to always be a newer, cleaner way to do things. It keeps me on my toes, and keeps my job fun. I’m already excited about what project comes next so I can see what fun new JavaScript things I’m going to get to play with and create.

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