Just for fun. What if the next President of the United States of America was an application developer? What programming language would he/she use? No contemplation allowed. For each candidate, the first thing that came to mind (in alphabetical order):


Hillary Rodham Clinton would program in Java. Java was the hot language of the Internet boom in the 90’s during Bill Clinton’s presidency sometime just after Al Gore invented the Internet.  It continues to be one of the go-to development languages for new enterprise application development.

John McCain would program in Cobol. It just keeps going. Cobol is one of the most widely used language in production systems.  Chances are when you go the ATM machine or buy a sandwich at Quiznos there is some Cobol code running somewhere to support that transaction whether it is the system of record for your bank account or the logistics system that helped ship your avocados from California. 

Barack Obama would program in Ruby.  There is a lot of hope for Ruby. It is relatively new and has a loyal and growing following.  It is starting to make its way into larger organizations. From the Ruby website "A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write."  He even knows what a bubble sort is.

Ralph Nader would program in shell script.  I am not sure why.

How does all this relate to this Future of Application Development blog?  Certainly, programming languages will continue to play a role in any future scenario.  But, will the same old languages work as well in the future?  Arguably they don’t even work that well now.  We are constantly writing too much code and then a new framework emerges to make our lives simpler.  I think the emergence of frameworks for programming languages actually reveal a weakness in the programming environment.

I know I haven’t covered all the candidates above.  Please help me fill-in the blanks.

  • What programming languages do you think the candidates will use? 
  • And, if you know of some interesting new programming languages or environments that we should research, let me know.