Stretching your mind: Arguing for multiple programming languages for designers « Computing Education Blog

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Stretching your mind: Arguing for multiple programming languages for designers « Computing Education Blog.

 

Well worth repeating. Also, something I’ve been saying for years.

This is from jruby 2012 and the keynote by Venkat Subramaniam.

Knowing multiple programming languages changes how we design software in any language. It changes how we think about solutions. Most important, it changes how we perceive the world. This is something that monolingual programmers often do not appreciate. When we know several languages well, we see problems — and solutions — differently.

Why learn a new language now, even if you don’t need to? So that you can learn a new language more quickly later, when you do need to. Subramaniam claimed that the amount of time required to learn a new language is inversely proportional to the number of languages a person has learned in last ten years. I’m not sure whether there is any empirical evidence to support this claim, but I agree with the sentiment. I’d offer one small refinement: The greatest benefits come from learning different kinds of language. A new language that doesn’t stretch your mind won’t stretch your mind.

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