Learn about some of the many reasons to become comfortable in multiple languages, including programming skill, career improvement, and the ability to use more sample code.
- I'm excited that you've decided to check out this course but you're probably wondering, what is a programming polyglot and why do I want to be one? The term polyglot is usually used to refer to someone who speaks many languages. So a programming polyglot is someone who is comfortable programming in many languages. Before we get started, I'll go over some of the reasons why this is valuable to you. I know so many people who identify themselves with the language or languages they primarily use.
Rubyist, perl mongers, pythonistas or nodists, all these labels are somewhat exclusive. And they encourage a mindset that programming in each of these languages is a separate skill. Well that is true to some extent. The truth is that we are not limited to being programmers of the language we use. We're web programmers and the languages we program in are just tools in our tool belt. The more programming languages you're comfortable with, the better chance you have of being able to use existing sample code out in the wild.
Let me tell you a story from my experience supporting developers using our APIs. A developer wanted to use some of our sample code which was written in Python but was not comfortable programming or even reading python. She asked instead for us to make a code sample in pearl so she could work with it. I did create that sample for her but since most of our code samples are in python, she's going to have the same issue with any other sample code she wants to work with.
But code samples in python are really quite simple and most people who check out the code can figure out what's going on even if they're to python programmers. However, unless you have confidence in your ability to understand code in other languages, you may not even feel comfortable looking to see what's there. The more languages you explore, even at a rudimentary level, the more comfortable you will be interacting with code samples in new languages. As you move along your career path, it may seem sufficient to excel in the main programming language of your environment but picking up a bit of other languages makes you far more valuable as an employee.
There are frequently legacy systems in play which work well but sometimes need maintenance. And if you can show yourself to be a generalist who can jump in and address issues with these older systems as needed, you become a crucial asset. And on a more general note, employers like to see breadth in their employees. People who are able to solve problems outside of their specific area of expertise. One of the things you may find surprising as you explore other languages is that the experience of working in multiple programming languages makes you better at working in your main language.
Each language encourages you to look at problems differently and makes specific type of tasks easier. Understanding these different patterns can turn you from a good programmer into a great one. You can solve problems in a wide range of areas.
- Why become a polyglot programmer?
- Exploring Node.js, Python, Perl, and Ruby code
- Building on prior knowledge to learn new programming languages
- Learning API read and write functionality in Node.js, Python, Perl, and Ruby
- Implementing API functionality in Node.js, Python, Perl, and Ruby