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Discussion on: "Learn at least one new language every year" is bad advice

bosepchuk profile image
Blaine Osepchuk Author

I've never met a good programmer who didn't know multiple languages so you may very well be correct. But I'm still interested in the correlation vs causation question.

Anybody know of research pointing either way or know a good programmer who only knows one language?

Maybe we won't count SQL, HTML, XML, etc. as languages. So someone who does web dev and only knows PHP would count as knowing only one language?

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mortoray profile image
edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y

I do consider all of those languages. I've written a series of articles about various paradigms.

Indeed, I'd say somebody who's done modern web development, full stack, who claims to only know PHP is most likely incorrect. Each of those you mentioned, like SQL and HTML, and let's also include JavaScript, and if we're generous: CSS, those are all different ways of looking at a problem. That's exactly what I'm after when I want people to learn other languages: these other approaches to solving a problem.

Now, it's quite possible to hack around in all of those and get a site working without really understanding why. Or it's quite possible to over-apply PHP and ignore all those other bits. Thus simply using these bits isn't enough to be a good programmer, but truly understanding all the bits probably is.

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bosepchuk profile image
Blaine Osepchuk Author

I'm surprised by how often you and I seem miles apart when we first comment on something but then when we peel back the layers, and maybe define some terms, we end up pretty close to each other.

Cheers.