The energy to become productive in a language

I’m not doing programming for it’s own sake, but because I’m trying to get my real work done and that involves writing code. I have neither the inclination nor the luxury of time to really delve down and spend three or six months learning a complex language in the hope that I’ll be more productive

— Janne

In the past I have said the same thing myself. This seems to be the status quo for the industry. I don’t feel that way anymore, though. It was the result of a feeling and not a rational thought process. Once you think about it, it doesn’t really make much sense.

If we don’t learn anything more than what we already know, then how will we ever get any more productive?

(via this comment)

2 thoughts on “The energy to become productive in a language”

  1. The comment says in the hope of becoming more productive. The risks are:

    try to learn a new language – do not do well. Do not become more productive.

    try to learn a new language – do well. Do Not become more productive.

    the potential benefit is to spend the 3 or 4 months and become more productive.

    It’s sort of difficult to evaluate that potential benefit in relation to the risks.

    A lot of people might thus decide to put their learning time into learning new ‘tools’ in the hope that ‘tools’ will make them more productive.

    It is furthermore not taken into account how increase in productivity and learning relate to learning languages that are not used in ones workplace, especially if these are languages unlikely to be used in the future.

  2. Hi Bryan:
    These days everyone is crunched for time and I respect that people don’t want to waste it. What I find disheartening is that taking 3-4 months to learn a language, or to learn anything for that matter, is seens as a waste of time. Some things are hard, and they do take time; and it they make you more productive. Tools also make you productive, there is no question there. What tools can play substitute for making your a better thinker though? What tools teach you the problem solving abstractions that you can apply in any language, technology, or situation? Probably, the answer is none.

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