Why do (different) programming languages matter?

One common saying in software development is: use the best tool for the job. But what is the best tool? I think the best tool is determined by two things: how it fits the problem domain and how it fits your mental model. Why your mental model? Just use the best language available! you might think. But as humans we think in languages and even inside these languages everybody has a typical way of expressing himself. Even own words and if they become common we even have a name for it: a dialect. But it is all that you should consider when choosing a programming language? Certainly there are the tools of the trade: the IDE, debugger, profiler, etc. Here is comes down to personal preferences and most of the shortcomings in this field are short term: better tool support is on the way.
There’s another more important aspect though: the community and therefore the mindset which is brought along. The communities form how the languages are used, where the most libraries and frameworks are developed, which problem domains are tackled and what the values are. Values can be testing, elegance, simplicity, robustness, …
Since communities are consisted of individuals, individuals form what the values are. But I think the language designer lays a foundation here: take Ruby for example, Ruby was designed with the intention to make programming fun. This is one of the things that appeals to many developers and the whole community which uses Ruby. Ruby is fun.
These environments spawn amazing things like Rails or more recently RubyMotion Because of the mindset of the community and the foundation inside the language there are these fruits. Last but not least another reason to choose a language is your familiarity with it. You might choose an inferior tool or language because you know it inside out.

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