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The new programming language with C++ speed & Python ease

The war between Python and C++ involves a fierce debate around power vs accessibility. Python devs love its ease of access, C++ devs love its intense speed. In an area of great technological innovation, however, they might soon be surpassed by a new programming language that offers the best of both worlds.

Mojo is a language developed by AI research firm Modular, whose founders Tim Davis and Chris Lattner were product leaders and senior directors at Google, respectively. Lattner, the latter, was most recently president of engineering and product for semiconductor chip manufacturing company SiFive.

Mojo was released internally to the firm last year but was only made available for public use in May. 

Python is the language of choice in AI at the moment and to Lattner, this can be a bit of an issue. He describes AI as "a three world problem where you have Python at the top, C++ in the guts and other accelerator languages [and hardware like CPUs and FPGAs] underneath." When dealing with powerfwul complex machinery, Lattner says it needs to be "hackable", and Mojo's main goal is to remove that three world problem, making the hacking possible.

Mojo, a superset of Python, is meant to give the 32-year-old language "superpowers" where it "can scale down, be high performance and run on accelerators." Modular says the additional features include "a rich set of system programming features, compile-time metaprogramming and autotuning."

Modular has been hiring engineers én masse in 2023 as it tests the limits of its new creation. Most are from FAANG like Sean Paradiso, Twitter's former manager of machine learning, and Adin Scannell, a former senior staff software engineer at Google.

While traditional finance engineers are rarer on its staff, Modular has been hiring fintech engineers like Hanro van der Westhuizen who joined from crypto firm Luno as a freelance engineer and Andrew Ding, who moved permanently from infrastructure fintech Plaid to work in engineering and product.

Modular is still hiring in tech and product, and paying well. A technical lead manager working on the mojo language, for example, can earn up to $286k.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • TL
    TL
    20 July 2023

    It remind me Rust announcement as the next language, then strangely people discovered than it take ages to compile big project.... Curious to see a real project with Mojo.

    I hope that the creators will provide a tool like "PythonToMojo" to "translate" big python project with Mojo. Then we can compare....

    At the same time, I hope Mojo can work with C++ libraries and python modules otherwise the project is already dead before to start.

    But it's interesting to have another perspective.

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