Saturday, March 13, 2010

Increase Your Existing Language Skills First

This topic is programming related but let me first start with a small story, I am originally Afrikaans but I married a wonderful lady who is English. I could always learn a new language like German / Spanish but I need to improve my existing language skills first, to be able to speak/read/write English... My wife corrects me a lot on this if I say
something wrong... it's a learning process!

The same applies to a programming language, you can learn 100 programming languages but are you productive in them? The languages that I use the most is:
  • C#
  • VB.Net
  • Java
  • C++
  • PHP

and I am still learning new language features etc daily. Some developers are stuck programming in only one language like Java and will never look at another language like C# via different reasons, I agree that you should know more than one language but being productive in them is another story.

Another reason for learning a language is the current market demand, currently in South Africa mainly C# and Java jobs are available, sometimes PHP jobs or other tools (Flash etc) if your looking for example to get a job as a COBOL developer then you will struggle. You need to see what the demand is else you will not get a job.

So going forward look at your existing langauge skills and see how you can improve, do you know how to write a design pattern in your language? Do you know how to use generics in C# or are you just used to doing a "List"? What about other generic features? So my point is, rather learn something new, something that will make you more productive something that you haven't looked at before (maybe how to write annotations in Java? or C# Reflection?)

It gives you a lot of advantages, you're then a more productive developer in the given language and able to find mistakes easily etc.

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