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El Marshall (she/they)
El Marshall (she/they)

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Too Many Languages

The thing about job hunting in the tech field is, everyone wants a different set of languages. Job A wants someone with Node and React, Job B wants someone with C#. Job C wants a WordPress expert and Job D wants Rails.

If you wanted, you could learn a little about absolutely all the languages out there, running yourself ragged making sure you have exposure to every possible language. But I sincerely doubt that's really going to up your chances of getting hired. There's just no way to learn everything, and I think you'd be poorer off than when you started.

I am, quite obviously, not an expert here. But here's what's working for me, in terms of keeping me engaged and learning, and giving me a sense that I am doing worthwhile things during my job hunt.

  1. Pick just a couple languages and learn those deeply. What this looks like for me is investing time in a project or two that can be enhanced by me improving my knowledge of a language. For instance, I recently decided to throw together a little two player online game, and it's given me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of Node.js, React Hooks, and even introduce myself to Sockets.

  2. If there's another language I'm curious about but don't have time to learn, I'll watch a 15-20 minute basics video so that I have a sense of what sort of language it is. Just enough that I can hold a competent and curious conversation about it.

I've said it many times, the most valuable thing the bootcamp taught was not any one coding language, but how to learn coding languages.

You learn the basic building blocks, and the patterns to look for, and then you're ready to strike out and learn more and more.

Top comments (1)

thisdotmedia_staff profile image
This Dot Media

Really insightful article Helen! You've definitely hit a prevalent struggle for developers in this time. Awesome advice :)