Why I like Groovy

I am writing this following a discussion with a colleague, where he pointed out his dislike of the Jenkins pipeline language and I commented that I liked Groovy. He sounded astonished, so this gives me a chance to elaborate a bit on that:

I run systems and I am not a Software Engineer, but I do write glue code all the time. The past few years I’ve come across a number of Jenkins installations, and Groovy is a bit of a required asset for more complex Jenkins stuff. That’s how I got my working, trial and error, knowledge of Groovy.

I happen to like functional languages. But since I am not a SWE and since in my location no FP jobs existed in the market, I am paid to do stuff people know I do well, not stuff I want to play with. To this end, Groovy is the closest thing to FP I can get paid working with. And it is a trick in life to find what is play that people think is work that want to pay you for.

On the same track, Groovy runs on the JVM. Why not Clojure you say? Because I can get paid working with Groovy, I can only be considered a junior engineer seeking Clojure work. And time is a valuable and constrained resource. I do not have infinite free time to learn Clojure. I did happen to be allowed to learn Groovy to save the day on a system.

Even though I first worked with Java when it run on SPARC Solaris 2.3 machines, I decided to not invest my time in the language, foreseeing that such an investment of time, will make me a monoglot, and I sure enjoy more my ability to switch languages, even for glue code and/or projects. But, again it happens that the JVM is one of the most engineered pieces of software of the past 25 years and almost everywhere you will find it running. So when you run systems you need to understand it somehow. And you will be required some times to write code that runs on it.

Hence my answer: Groovy and the book next to me on the desk.

It is not my first choice, but it seems to be the optimal for me. Today Groovy is number 12 on the TIOBE index and Go (my next similar choice because of Kubernetes) 14.

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