Here’s an observation: if there’s something you as a programmer want to do (connect to a website, read some XML, walk a filesystem, listen on a socket, whatever) there’ll be a library in whatever language you’re using to do that. I’ve observed that, on average, the quality of the libraries is better in Java than in the competition: Perl, Python, Ruby, whatever. Don’t get upset, those other languages have lots of other advantages and are The Right Tool for lots of jobs. And the delta isn’t universal—there are stinky Java libraries and lovely Ruby ones—but still, I’d say this is true way, way more often than not. This suggests a hypothesis: Having been a Java programmer will make you a better Ruby or Python or whatever programmer. Ooh, are people ever gonna get mad at me.