Every programmer has a language they prefer to work in. Whether it’s because it’s the one they’re most used to or the one that best meets their coding needs, they’re not shy about telling you which is their favorite and why. But man cannot live on Perl alone. No matter how versatile or easy to use your favorite programming language, it’s important to be able to use others just as fluently. Here are a few reasons why.
Google programming is done using Python. Say your dream job is to work for Google, and you learned Python for that very reason. You’re an expert in it. So you apply to Google, but sadly don’t get the job. No worries. With your programming skills, there are plenty of other tech companies that would love to have you on your team. So next you try Microsoft. They use primarily C, C#, and C++, which you haven’t learned. Then you go to Facebook. They use a number of programming languages, including Python, but the job listing you see requires you to know PHP.
Many major tech companies have programming language that they prefer. The more you know, the more opportunities you have to find work. But at the same time, if you only know one, you eliminate a lot of great possibilities right off the bat.
Of course, there are plenty of companies that do work in multiple programming languages, and knowing any one of them can qualify you for a position. But knowing several will allow you to negotiate a larger salary.
Someone who knows Python, PHP, and JAVA, and can switch seamlessly between them when necessary, is worth significantly more to most employers than someone who only knows one of them. For instance, if you’re a full stack developer—i.e. someone who’s adept at every level of programming—you can earn, on average, $20,000 more per year than someone who can only do, say, the front end, or the back end.
There’s a reason why knowing multiple programming languages makes you more valuable to employers. That’s because it makes you a better worker overall. Much as you may love one particular language, different problems require different tools. You may be able to solve a particular problem in JAVA, but it would be much faster and more efficient in PHP. The more tools you have at your disposal, the better programmer you are.
Additionally, programming languages are constantly changing and evolving. Right now, Python is the most popular, and the fastest-growing language, so that’s the one to know. But a year or two from now, another may take its place. By continuing to learn and master new languages, you’ll ensure you won’t get left behind as technology progresses.
Plus, the more languages you know, the easier it will be to learn new ones. Just like learning a regular language, the similarities to the ones you already know will help reinforce new concepts. Particularly since many new programming languages are built on (or at least inspired by) existing ones.
Learning multiple programming will help keep your mind sharp, put you more in demand with employers, make you more valuable, and increase your overall programming ability in a myriad of ways. What new programming language would you like to learn, and what do you want to do with it?Author: Chris Fontes