Today I realised that I always pick underdog tech. And so far it always turned as an advantage. You may think: “Now thats a piece of bullsh*t, he’s using only apple products”. So let me then remind you that I’ve been using apple products while most of you were still wearing diapers (based on the demographics info, lol). I’m talking about Mac OS 7.6. Yeah, thats without X in the name. Go google that if you wanna see some funny screenshots.
Anyway, back to the topic. I ment it mostly when it comes to programming. While I was at college, Java was very popular, so I avoided it and did all my assignments in Objective-C. Later everyone was using PHP, so I went for Ruby on Rails. I was checking Sproutcore and Objective-J before React was ever released. Sproutcore later forked into Ember (voila). And while everyone was heading for Node.js, I decided to go and learn Elixir and Phoenix.
So what’s my point? Why should you learn something that’s not mainstream language? Because if you learn/work with something that’s unusual, you stand out from the crowd. And I don’t mean it in a hipster way.
Learning Objective-C lead me to interview before I even new how to prepare for one. Working with Rails helped me to get my first real paid project. Working with Ember actually lead to project where I kinda got paid to learn it even better. I hope you get the point.
See, if you are on a market of PHP, Python or Java, you are on a market with lots of other people. Sure there are lot’s of gigs available, but the chance to get the one you really like is significantly lower. Now if you pick some tech thats not that popular, hiring process is much different. It comes down to 2 points.
Your competition is just smaller. It’s easier to stand out between 10 devs vs 100s Learning less popular language is much harder (less resources, less help from others, for most of the stuff youre on your own) and that shows that you are really interested in it.
So yeah. I think I’ll always stick with the less popular choice.