Programming is the art (or process) of creating and writing computer codes in such a way that they instruct the computer to produce a desired result, such as the creation, computing and functioning of applications and software. Programming is the bedrock of many websites, apps, software and even software that create other software that you see and use nowadays (Such as Unreal Engine, 3d Studio etc..)
Learning multiple programming languages can be done in one of two ways. First being that you master one so you get a basic understanding of the concepts and syntax’s of a language, then learning your second language and so on. The second way is learning two similar languages, note that this may be taxing as you would want to be proficient at both not just adequate
What is a polyglot programmer?
- Products that are created using polyglot programming work at optimal speed and functionality compared to other products.
- As a polyglot programmer, you have more job opportunities and that increases your marketability.
- There is a better chance of your polyglot program working with a database or library of codes compared to a program in one language.
- If the operators of the product do not understand the language used in its programming, they will not know how to operate it.
- Many polyglot programs are complex, and expensive to use and maintain.
Despite the advantages and disadvantages, polyglot programming is used more frequently these days.
Is it possible to learn all programming languages?
You might think that this question refers to having a special talent with which a programmer uses to learn all programming languages. It is possible to learn all programming languages. However, this is not because a programmer is “talented” at what he/she does. Programming requires knowledge and patience to understand a language and practice its implementation. As much as it is possible to learn all programming languages, do you really need to learn all of them? The answer is No.
I would advise that you learn as many languages as you can and need. This is because it gives you the versatility to choose the needed tools for each task.
Since it is possible to learn all programming languages, how can it be done? To learn programming languages, you need to go through the following steps;
Learn the language structure and practice it frequently
A programming language structure usually involves the primary parts of the language which include the basic input/output, the unit test tools, the debugging methods as well as the general syntax. You also need to practice writing codes and reviewing them. There are a lot of online resources with which you can write and practice the codes till you become quite proficient at it. Udemy is great for learning new languages and so is Youtube as it provides great user feedback
Understand the language design and features
This is the most important part of learning a programming language as this guides you on what to expect as you navigate your way through a new language.
Know how to implement the language
You can read the manual of a machine, but the machine will not work unless you operate it. This same principle applies to programming languages (although not all of them) as you can only be as knowledgeable in a programming language as much as you have implemented it!
Keep reading and writing new codes with the new language
It is not just important to practice the new language with the codes you have learnt. Explore options that include reading and writing new codes in the language you are learning. After all, how will you become a guru in the programming language if you do not read and write new codes in that language?
Is it okay to learn multiple programming languages?
Let us get straight to the point; it is absolutely okay to learn multiple programming languages! I mean, the advantages of learning multiple programming languages are more than learning just one language. This is because polyglot programming gives the “strength of character” and dedication to learning multiple programming languages. Thus, an employer might be more willing to employ a polyglot programmer (even though he might not have learnt the needed language) than a monolingual programmer.
It is common knowledge that it is harder to learn your first programming language. This is because learning your first programming language gives you problem-solving skills. These skills help you identify what needs to be done, recognize the problems that can be attended to immediately and those that can be solved later. This also helps broaden your horizon in such a way that learning a second programming language becomes easier and even helps you appreciate the previous programming language learnt.
Different programming languages have similarities as well as diversities. Thus, learning multiple programming languages help sharpen your mind in order to know which tool to choose for a specific task. You, therefore, have a higher chance of becoming a flexible programmer when you learn multiple programming languages.
Why you should learn multiple programming languages
There are a few reasons why learning multiple programming languages is a great idea and they include:
There is a higher demand for polyglot programmers than monolingual programmers, as monolingual programmers will be more limited as they do not have much knowledge about other programming languages compared to polyglot programmers. This translates to a higher earning power as well. Thus, when you learn multiple programming languages, you can be sure that you will also earn much more than your monolingual programming counterparts.
When you learn multiple programming languages, you can easily identify the tool that can be used to achieve a specific job function. Thus, you will produce applications and software that are very functional.
Learning multiple programming languages gives you added flexibility. What this means is that you can write codes in a specific language, or write codes using more than one programming language. Flexibility also fuels your passion, making you overcome boredom and mediocrity. This makes your work fun as well.
When recruiting a programmer, chances are that you will pick a programmer who has learnt multiple programming languages. Being a polyglot programmer increases your reputation as a guru in some sense. Employers are thus more willing to stake their chances with polyglot programmers than monolingual programmers.
You will agree with me that many computer applications that we use today almost never existed some 20 years ago. Those that existed at that time have improved their functions in order to meet up with the changing times. Thus, learning multiple languages will keep you versatile.
Can I learn 3 programming languages at the same time?
I would advise that you do not learn 3 programming languages at the same time. It would be extremely tasking, especially if you are a beginner at programming. You can learn 2 languages at the same time (which would be tasking enough), but this is the ideal maximum.
The goal of learning multiple programming languages is not just to know them, but to become quite proficient at each language that you can implement them singly or otherwise if need be. Programming languages have unique language syntaxes, and this is why you need to focus on one language (or a maximum of 2 languages) at the same time.
Some languages have some similarities, so it would be easier to learn these languages at the same time. But remember, as much as being a polyglot programmer is appealing, the goal is to be proficient in each language you learn. It is better to give yourself to learning one programming language till you can say that you have mastered it up to 100% before going on to learn another language.
This is because you realize that you can easily identify the embedded similarities between languages so you learn the other languages faster.
How to choose which programming languages to learn together
Choosing the programming languages to learn together can be quite tricky. This is because each programming language has its unique structure, but as I said earlier, some programming languages might have some similarities as well. There are a lot of factors that will determine the programming languages you choose to learn.
But I need to reiterate that it becomes easier to learn multiple programming languages when you have learnt at least one programming language. This means you should have had some basic programming skill before wanting to learn other programming languages. That said, the factors that determine how you choose which to learn include;
This is a more personal factor, as career prospects differ between individuals. Which programming language has more demand and allows for career growth? What is your current skill level? What is the plan over the next 5 years as a programmer? When you answer these questions, the list of programming languages will get narrowed down till you identify the languages you can learn at the same time.
Ease of learning
Programming languages are divided into beginner (foundational), intermediate and advanced levels based on how easy they are to learn. Which one can you learn faster?
These factors will show you the programming languages you can learn at the same time.
How much can you earn as a polyglot programmer
According to many recruiters, as at September 2020 in the United States, the salary that a polyglot programmer earns is $1,800-$2,800 (weekly), $7,950-$12,100 (monthly) and $95,000-$145,000 (annually). The hourly rates of a polyglot programmer range between $45 and $75.
It is important to note that it is not the number of languages that count; it is the level of proficiency in each language that matters!