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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Learning Multiple Programming Languages at a Time – Is It Possible?

When you’re starting out, should you learn more than one programming language at a time?

Today’s question is, “Should you learn more than one programming language at a time?” Well, my advice here is no. Certainly, when you’re starting out as a programmer, you should aim to learn one language at a time.

Now the reason for that is simple. Let’s just say I’ve allocated 100 hours to learn the basics of a programming language. Just an arbitrary number that I’ve picked. If you’ve got that 100 hours, at the end of that 100 hours, you’ve focused on one programming language and you’ve probably built up a reasonable knowledge of that programming language within that time. Certainly, you won’t be a guru, but you’ll know the basics.

Now, if you’ve got two programming languages at a time, firstly, that’s only 50 hours of time on each programming language. First off, you haven’t gotten to the level you’ve wanted to get to and that means to get to the equivalent level of 100 hours in each programming language, you need to spend 200 hours. But secondly, you probably have found a lot of confusion along the way and that’s because the syntax, the keywords, or what you type in your programs are going to be different for each programming language.

Depending on which programming languages you picked, they might be dramatically different. So you’re going to be spending a lot of time accidentally typing in programming commands for one programming language into another one. So you’re really setting yourself up for failure to a large degree if you’re doing that.

What I think is a better solution is for you to focus on one programming language first and foremost, get good at that, and then start looking at other programming languages. The other advantage of this is that once you are fairly well-versed in one programming language, you’ll find that it’s actually a lot easier to learn second and subsequent programming languages.

I hope that helped and if you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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