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Becoming a Better Programmer by Pete Goodliffe

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Chapter 29. A Love for Languages

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Maxims and Reflections

No two problems are the same. No two challenges are identical. And so no two programs are exactly alike. Thankfully, this makes our job interesting.

Now, some tasks are suspiciously similar. For us, that’s the easy money; reusing the skills we’ve already learnt. This is experience—what makes you valuable on the job market. But it’s also what makes you a staid developer, a one-trick pony. A dog that knows no new tricks.

We must continually face new challenges, continually learn, continually solve new problems, and continually use new technologies.

That’s how you become a better programmer.

KEY

Don’t become a one-trick pony. Position yourself to face new challenges, learn, and grow as a developer.

Love All Languages

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Part of this growth regime is to work in more than one language. Getting stuck in a single language rut will force your problem solving to be one-dimensional. Too many developers plough a career knowing only one thing and miss out on a world of opportunity.

Learn multiple languages so you are fluent in multiple kinds of solutions. Learn scripting languages, learn compiled languages. Learn simple languages with minimal tooling, learn languages with vast and comprehensive libraries. Most importantly, learn languages that follow ...

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