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    Ask: Is avoiding trying an array language like APL, because of the obtuse syntax and weird keyboard-usage requirements, a bad thing?

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      It changes you.

      The fringes of software can be so strange and so incredible it is difficult, after living there so long, to use the term “best practices” with a straight face. It might also be nice to still believe there’s any difference at all between python and php; it was certainly easier to talk to other programmers back then. There’s other things, like my spacebar used to get more action.

      And yet, I still maintain array programming is in the top-five things that have made me the better programmer today.

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        It depends on whether you think learning something very different (that will change the way you think about programming) is worth the investment. The good thing is that you can approximate the experience by watching this video. It walks through an implementation of Conway’s Game of Life in APL and shows how simple it is when you have APL’s powerful operators. Genuinely mind-blowing, and it leads you consider what might be possible if those operators were available in mainstream programming languages.

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          A different question would be: Is avoiding trying an east Asian language like Chinese or Japanese, because of the obtuse grammar and weird keyboard-usage requirements, a bad thing?