To all devs knowing 10k (exajurated) worth of languages

How on EARTH do you do it?
This is something that has not only got me concerned…but also fascinates me, there are SO many different languages out there and a lot of devs cover 5-10 different languages, from database to app creation to mobile, you name it.
I’m busy with JS right now and finding it a handful, how am I going to learn MORE if push comes to shove or are they roughly the same when it comes to functionality?
I suppose…if one starts to study and learn the brain gets used to “learning” and so taking things in gets easier? I don’t know…

I/personally would like to become fluent with JS and specialize in this language, is that wrong, I’m not really a “jack of all trades” but rather “specialize” in one (or will do HTML/CSS as well) is this wrong?

Thanks devs :wink:

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I don’t think anyone knows 10k languages, but we’ll call that hyperbole.

OK, how many languages do I (as a mid level dev for 5 years now) know?

What is a language? Is HTML? I guess, kind of. Is TypeScript a language? I mean, it’s really just JavaScript with some add ons. Is SQL? Yeah, I guess.

I don’t think that is easy to quantify.

I will say that after you’ve learned a few languages, learning new languages gets much easier. There are only so many basic operations and concepts. Once you learn them in one language, understanding them in another language is pretty easy, just a matter or learning a new syntax. I would say that it’s like a Spanish speaker learning Italian or Portuguese - they have a huge head start over someone that does not speak a Romance language, like someone that speaks Japanese.

I mean, in reality it is a little more complicated than that because there may be things that are done differently, but it’s a lot easier than you think. I knew an experienced programmer that needed to learn a new language for a new job - he did it in a week.

Don’t worry about learning a lot of languages. Worry about learning the languages you need, well. And you will pick up things as you go along.


Learning one language is adequate. I would only learn additional languages if you discover you need them for a specific project. The important thing is learning how to solve problem and express logic in code. Different languages just express logic with different syntax. Some languages make it easier to express the logic for certain types of problems, but the logic is what’s important.

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Does it count if you used to know them very well but then haven’t used them for almost twenty years and so many updates have been added since then that you are basically a beginner again :slight_smile: I’m looking at you C++.

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lol, I was wondering the same thing. I used to be a decent C programmer but would struggle with the most basic program now without some review.

Yeah, answering the question “How many computer languages do you know?” is a difficult question. “Anywhere from 5 to 50, depending on how you define the question. But it’s not really a useful question, anyway.”


You don’t really remember all those languages though. I have one primary language, three others I use regularly, and a bunch I occasionally use. I lookup syntax specific stuff for all my languages daily.


I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
There is a lot you can do with javascript.

Between all of the frameworks, libraries, node and express, that’s enough to keep you busy :grinning:

There is the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” :grinning:

When I was a musician, I met a lot of woodwind doublers that played 4 or 5 instruments.

But in reality, they were really good in one instrument and just ok at the rest.
They basically had to know enough of the other instruments to get the job done.

It’s not really that different with programming.

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thank you for that) and yes, I’ve heard of “jack of all, master of none” it’s where my saying originated, just a shorter version :wink:
“keep yourself busy”? I actually found that funny :wink:
But thanks anyway, you’ve been great

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That sounds like a good plan. I’m not sure what it would mean to be “fluent”, but just focus on what you need to learn. Just keep getting better and better at that. If you find you need to pick something else up, you will.

People don’t learn “10k languages” because they set out to, they learned them because they needed to, because the need arose on a project/job.

But focussing on JS, with some HTML/CSS - that is a good start, especially if you are pursuing web dev. There is a lot you can do with just those languages, especially adding in some libraries that extend those. In fact (if you exclude the Python) stuff, you could argue that that is all FCC teaches. That’s what I used to get my first job. That’s pretty much 99% of what I use.

Side note, the full quote is

A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.

Don’t feel like you must master everything, but be open to learning new things because those new things can make you a better programmer overall.


sounds great :wink: and re: first interview, I actually find that really funny stating that it’s all they teach on FCC…and you got the job? ROFL…WOW!..
What I meant by “fluent” was that I get REALLY good at knowing JS, id pretty much be able to do it with my eyes closed, it’s my aim and then…of course study languages needed for the job, sounds like a plan! :wink:

interesting…no, I don’t expect to master “everything”, but…to know a little about different things couldn’t hurt, like you say, could make a better dev overall

If you have the free time I think it can be beneficial to dabble in other languages. I seem to “explore” a different language every few years, most of the time just out of curiosity. Last year it was Rust since that’s all the rage right now. Made it about half way through the “Programming Rust” O’Reilly book. Because it has an emphasis on safety (that’s an understatement) it sort of encouraged me to think about such things in the context of using JS. Also, I might actually get around to playing with WebAssembly some day :slight_smile:

But if you are just beginning or have a specific goal in mind (which it sounds like you do) then I would just focus on that for now and worry about learning other languages when either required by your job or you find yourself with some extra time because you already know everything you need to know :slight_smile:

P.S. Even though I replied to @JeremyLT, this comment was intended for OP.

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But first of all, in frontend web dev, that is ALL there is. There are no other languages. You have libraries (React, Redux, jQuery, Angular), you have preprocessors (Sass, etc.) but when it gets down to it, that’s all there is. And then FCC also teaches some backend, using Node which is JS, and adds on a few support libraries (express, mongo, etc), but still, that’s basically the MERN stack, where everything is JS, HTML (as JSX) and CSS.

I learned those plus I added React Native (which is JS and is 92% the same thing as React). And that’s basically what got me hired. #ymmv They didn’t even care about my b/e stuff, except that they liked that I’d done stuff, but all that was JS anyway.

What I meant by “fluent” was that I get REALLY good at knowing JS, …

Yeah, I guess people throw those words around and it’s not always clear what they mean. I would say to just keep focussing on getting better. Just keep learning.

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I 100% agree. Rust is one of my secondary languages, and learning Rust greatly improved my C coding.