How Many Languages A Developer Should Know?

How Many Languages A Developer Should Know?

Navigating the Multilingual Landscape of Software Development

May 11, 2024ยท

3 min read

That is a tricky question. A developer should know all the languages. But what does this mean? A senior developer can write in every language that he is given. Every language is basically the same; the only thing that changes is the syntax. Let's take a deeper dive into that statement.

Start simple

When starting to code, of course, you cannot write in any language, and you should focus on one. But learning that language doesn't mean that you know how to code. Learning how to code means that you learn to think like a developer; in extension, you can write in every language.

So, if you started learning Python and after 1 year you think you know Python, first, you are wrong, and secondly, you only know the syntax. It's like memorizing the letters of a new language, let's say Greek, but you don't know how to write you only know how to talk.

So don't rush it start but learning an full-spec language like Python, Java or Javascript and then move your way up in other languages.

When to start learning new languages ?

To answer this question, there isn't a specific timeframe for that. Also, I won't say when you feel comfortable. The correct answer is when the job requires it. For example, if you get a client who wants a really fast API that involves a lot of expensive computations, you should learn Go. If you find a client who wants a small custom AI model, then you should look to Python.

I started using Kotlin after seeking a more robust ecosystem for more long-term solutions, so the JVM gave me that.

Side Projects

After you know how to code and you are not a junior, only then should you use alternative languages for your side projects. I am saying this because if you don't know how to code, jumping from language to language can often confuse you.

Yet for all the mid to senior developers out there, when creating a side project, choose some new technology or language that you either like or that is cutting-edge so you always stay ahead of the curve.

What language I should learn next?

After using Javascript and PHP for years, I can confidently say that Javascript is trash. PHP is good for launching your MVP quickly if you are in a rush. But both languages are not what we call "enterprise."

What I did, and I think you should also do if you are into web development, is choose between Kotlin or Python to learn next.

If you want to learn more about Kotlin, you can read this article I wrote

Python can be either the perfect language or a trash language; it depends on the use-case. But it offers good solutions like Django, and let's not forget the foundation of AI is Python, so for today and today only, I will love it.

Final Words

In conclusion, the number of programming languages a developer should know is not fixed and largely depends on their career goals, project requirements, and personal interest in exploring new technologies.

Starting with a foundational language and mastering the principles of coding is crucial before branching out to learn additional languages as needed.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at, and I will respond.

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