Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Just another Perl shrine

Comment on

( #3333=superdoc: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
If the goal is to master the most languages, then one year probably isn't enough time. But if the goal is to learn the most, and to be the best programmers we can be, one year is probably as good of a guideline to follow as any.

Our brains are extremely good at selecting and retaining useful information while letting less important things fade away. We get the most value from our brains by feeding them lots of weird, new ideas. That way, our brains will have more opportunities to find and retain new, useful ideas and add them to our "working set" of knowledge.

If, on the other hand, we feed our brains with the same ideas over and over again, we can't take advantage of the amazing selection and filtering capacity at our disposal. For this reason, I think the best learning strategy is to maximize the likelihood of being exposed to new, valuable ideas.

When learning programming languages, then, it pays to choose the languages that are the most different from those we already know and yet are still likely to be practical. If Perl is our first language, for example, choosing Python or Ruby as a second language probably isn't the wisest learning investment we could make. Most likely, Scheme or Haskell or Erlang would be a better use of our time and brain cells.

Similarly, once we start to learn a new language, we become exposed to its radical new ideas quickly, and from then on the quantity of new ideas fades rapidly. It's a classic case of diminishing returns. Once again, we risk re-learning the same old ideas and not using our capacity to its fullest.

For these reasons, I think that the one-new-language-per-year guideline is reasonable. While one year may not be enough time to master a new language, that time probably is sufficient to provide reasonable exposure to the most valuable new ideas that a language has to offer. It also makes a good milepost at which to stop and ask ourselves whether switching to another new language would be a better investment than continuing with the current language.


In reply to Re: (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right. by tmoertel
in thread (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right. by FoxtrotUniform

Use:  <p> text here (a paragraph) </p>
and:  <code> code here </code>
to format your post; it's "PerlMonks-approved HTML":

  • Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
  • Titles consisting of a single word are discouraged, and in most cases are disallowed outright.
  • Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
  • Please read these before you post! —
  • Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
    a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
  • You may need to use entities for some characters, as follows. (Exception: Within code tags, you can put the characters literally.)
            For:     Use:
    & &amp;
    < &lt;
    > &gt;
    [ &#91;
    ] &#93;
  • Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
  • See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.
  • Log In?

    What's my password?
    Create A New User
    and all is quiet...

    How do I use this? | Other CB clients
    Other Users?
    Others contemplating the Monastery: (6)
    As of 2018-05-25 15:14 GMT
    Find Nodes?
      Voting Booth?