Language Choices of Large Corporations
Having spent almost 12 years working in the financial sector, at both large and small companies, my overriding impression, with the exception of Goldman Sachs, is that fragmentation (or, putting a more positive spin on things, diversity) is the name of the game.
Within a single company, we might see C, C++, Smalltalk, Java, J++, Perl, C# and more. Even now, I hear about large swings towards using languages which have been around for 30 years but which are not widespread within the company (i.e. avoidable fragmentation; if the language wasn't appropriate 5 years ago, why now?)
I guess I'm interested by
- Are large, technology-focused companies outside the financial sector as fragmented as those within it?
- Why has this fragmentation happened?
- Are software companies as fragmented?
The position of Java
My impression is that Java largely “won” the first decade of this century in the financial sector, which (probably) saw the biggest historical expansion of systems. By "won", I simply mean that it was the most popular choice for new systems during this decade.
I'd be grateful to be pointed towards any evidence as to these points, and especially sector-comparisons.
PS. My reasons for asking this question are that I will be giving a talk to students in London about building financial IT systems. I would like to be able to place my experiences of financial IT in a wider context, and I do not want to make sweeping generalizations.