Is English a necessary skill for a developer? Why or why not?

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Like the title says - is English a necessary skill for a developer? What do you think?

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Absolutely necessary? No (usually).

Useful? Very. Most software you're likely to use as a developer has documentation in English, and a lot of software is written in a very anglo-centric manner. Quite simply, just like for international business, English has become a lingua franca for software development.


So if at least a working proficiency of English is preferred, should/could anything be done? I’ve dreamt of the ideal coding boot camp overseas that teaches English and software dev. That would open up a world of possibilities! (Speaking as a linguist and a developer)


Necessary? No.

I will say that if you can read and write it without help then you are very lucky.


Language keywords are in English so I would say yes. For example, "map," "while," "class," "list," "string," etc.


It is necessary to the extent it helps the developer in question accomplish whatever task they are doing.

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Joshua Rutkowski  profile image
Linguist, sailor ⚓, speaker, trainer. iOS Dev Student at Lambda School. I18n/L10n advocate. 🌍