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If Python is too slow for you, Crystal can be your savior

Learning a new programming language can open your mind in ways you never thought possible. Just like learning a new human language such as Spanish or Mandarin, you learn to think with different words and structures.

You tap into the cultures and communities of the speakers and learn how they see the world. It is enriching to say the least.

The nice thing about programming languages ​​is that the first one you learn is always the hardest. Once you understand basic structures like if clauses and for loops, you’ll see them crop up in many new languages ​​that you may learn.

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And, unlike human languages, new programming languages ​​are much faster to learn. They make more sense and have fewer words – or should I say, commands.

It follows that most programmers and data scientists master more than one programming language.

They may have a main or favorite. But most software developers I know use at least five languages ​​a week, if you count scripting languages.

Most programmers also try to learn a new language every now and then.

It’s part of the job. Coding means staying curious.

The case for Crystal

Crystal, according to the ad, is a language fast like C and slick like Ruby.

The part about its smoothness is true. It is compiled and statically typed, which has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, it is mostly very similar to Ruby in its style.

Personally, I’ve never written a larger project in Ruby. But as a fairly experienced Python developer, Crystal code still looks crystal clear!

Here’s an example of a recursive loop that calculates factorials:

Factorial Calculation in Crystal.  Image by author, code taken from Crystal by Example