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Discussion on: When can you say you know a language?

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Simon Dirmeier • Edited on

That is a question I've thought about a lot.

If you are "good" at a language, I think knowing the fundamentals or syntax is not enough, because this only requires a month or so of intensive learning.

It also requires deep understanding of the surroundings, for example,

  • what is specific about its VM,
  • how do build systems work,
  • how do I write idiomatically,
  • what are its corner cases and puzzlers,
  • do I identify with its community,
  • am I up-to-date about recent libraries/..,
  • what are good practices.
  • ...

Knowing to hack something in a language is achieved very quickly, so it is not a good indicator. And then it really depends on the language.