Learning multiple programming languages


I’m a PHP developer but i’m looking to expand my horizons. I’ve tried a few different programming languages including Python, Ruby, C# + ASP.NET, C++ and Objective C. I’ve never gotten past the basics of any of these because i’m reluctant to dedicate that much time to something I don’t need to use in my job - it sometimes feels like a backwards step.

I want to make myself a more rounded developer, improving my overall understanding of programming as well as making myself more employable and opening doors in terms of my career.

What are people’s thoughts on learning multiple languages? Should you aim to master them all? Should you learn the basics of everything and pick a couple to master? Should you stick with one and become a true expert in it - or is that too narrow? Is it a waste of time to learn a new language that you’re not using (and never will) in your current day job on the off chance you’ll need it one day?

Thanks in advance for you thoughts and advice on this.

I completely understand what you mean. You should study the market on which programming languages are in demand in YOUR area. In my area, Java is most demanded. Learning the language doesn’t mean you can get employed and get a job. Typically, most jobs require that you know the language well, know popular frameworks, and years of experience matters. If you’re lacking experience then you may need to get certifications. I don’t mean programming language certificates, framework certificates are much more valuable. For example, this is how you can become professional java developer

  • Get 2~3 Spring Framework Certificates (Spring Core / Spring MVC)
  • Get Hadoop Developer Certification
  • Get Hibernate certification
  • Get JEE certification
  • Read top 5 JavaScript framework (jQuery/ExtJs/Angular/JavaScript for Ninjas/etc…)
  • Know HTML 5 / CSS

This may seem a lot and it is but there’s good chance of getting a job after few certificates. Of course, you should keep aiming to get more.

Thanks for the advice. I’m not looking to move jobs at the moment, but looking at the job listings to see which skills are in demand is a good idea.