How many language should you learn?

So, let’s open the discussions here. There is so many language out there and even new language is being developed by big name such Google and Facebook like Angular and React. But there must be a limitation on how many you can remember every language like you can understanding with some language you know. Like me, I natively from Indonesia which fluently on English and trying to adding new language such Japan. But Human capacity is had a limited, while many people wanna flexible like what happen right now with this pandemic.

So, How many language barely minimal to be a developer, whether it’s a Game Developer or just Full-stack Web Developer?

Hello! Once you learn one language (say Python), the rest become very similar, so you can really learn a lot of languages once you’ve learnt one language, the rest of the languages which are same type (functional, etc) become quite easy to learn. To become a full stack developer, you’d probably (at least) need HTML, CSS, JS-react etc, PHP (for the backend), and SQL (for database querying). A game developer would probably need similar languages, albeit you wouldn’t need JS-you could choose most programming language for that (although some are definitely better than others).

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I’m trying to open discussion. I want to know about people opinion since there is so much new language and technique to do something. such new framework Flareact where helping to make dynamic site to be static at edge, Gatsby and Netlify to build static site. etc.

But, that answer maybe useful for other people who join this thread to know what they need and the similarity. Thanks

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This doesn’t seem to be what you want to hear, but…

There is no physical limitation to what you can learn, you are only limited by your attitude. Plenty of people speak 7 different languages fluently, it all depends on your attitude and what your goals are.

Software-wise, there is also no limitation either. These are languages I know:

C++
Assembly
Ladder
C#
JAVA
Javascript
Typescript
Python
Ruby
SQL

These are frameworks that I know:

Selenium
Angular
Node
Kubernetes

The keyword here is know, which is different than mastered. Knowing something means you can read it and understand it, make changes to it. Mastering something is entirely different, you can master different languages it just takes a lot more time.

I’m not telling you this to brag about what I know, I’m telling you this because I say it on a lof of posts: You never stop learning, you need to be adaptable. A new language or framework is not created to screw with people, it’s created because it serves a specific purpose and it’s useful. As a software developer, you need to be able to adapt to the trends otherwise you’re going to be stuck professionally.

To answer your question directly: How many languages should you learn?

As many as you can.

If you ever feel that you already learned what you need while being in this profession, I’m sorry to say that your career is over. I’ve been in this field for close to 13 years and I constantly feel I don’t know enough. I’m always looking to learn something new, it is what has allowed me to be in the position that I am today. 6 years ago I left a wonderful job because I felt I was stuck, I didn’t have any opportunities to move up. All that changed when I quit that job and was forced to learn something new, 6 years later I hold the position of the person who didn’t know what to offer me in order to keep me as an employee.

Learning a new language will always give you a new opportunity, there is no denying that. How many opportunities you want to go after, is entirely up to you.

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Disclaimer: highly subjective answer:

I think it’s a bit of a false analogy to compare regular languages to programming languages. As @codeneutrino said, learning one can unlock many others (for example, I can convert my python programs into swift even though I’ve never studied it a single day, I just need to take a quick look at documentation here and there).

In terms of how many languages I’d say it depends on the type of programmer you want to be. I do think at least 1 object-oriented and 1 functional is a good start. Low level stuff like assembly could be good (but that’s again, very dependent on what type of programmer you want to be). Some base proficiency in SQL…

Imo it’s good to have a high proficiency in 1 where you can completely digest and experiments with new concepts. Then contextually be proficient at the ones that are related to the things you want to do. And finally, be adaptable to be able to think in different paradigms (like functional, or if you’re coming from functional – oop).

Here’s Stroustrup talking about this topic

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Yeah, I wasn’t trying to compare linguistics with programming, my point was more about your attitude towards learning something. If you truly want to learn something, the only thing stopping you is your attitude.

I learned Assembly and Ladder in college because I needed to pass the course, haven’t used it since (16 years… ■■■■). Everything else I’ve learned because I need to do something at work, I learned what I needed and I moved on. My background is in QA, I haven’t had the need to master something, proficiency is enough.

Oh no my comment wasn’t aimed at you @peachesmotorsports! Your reply was spot on. And I think exemplified that context really matters (hence why everyone says, it depends what you want to do).

It was just that the OP expressed an existential question of how feasible it was to learn multiple languages comparing it to real-life languages. I studied 2 very serious years of mandarin a decade ago and I still can’t hold a normal conversation. I slacked through 2 years of java in high school (still aced the AP) and I can still fake my way through it when I need to use it. So that’s why I made the distinction.

And here I thought everything was about me… guess I’m crawling back in my cave

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I tried typing only that and i get a message “Body seems unclear, is it a complete sentence?”
I say yes.

I started Java and found it difficult for silly reasons. not worth mentioning. I have since started HTML and had a lot more success. thank you for that

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