Why is the English language important to learn as a programmer? While not having a great command of the language can stop you from being a great programmer, it would hold a big advantage if you do though. If you’re a programmer, I’m sure to some degree you would have realized this at some point but have you really wondered why at all?

Okay. I’m not saying that all programming languages are in English. However, most programming keywords used are in English. Double, float, string and more. While every programmer has the choice to declare his methods and classes in any language other than English but that might be confusing especially for code maintenance or working with other developers.

Here are 3 of the most important reasons why knowing the English language helps in being a programmer:

Resources, Tutorials, and documentation

The most important reason why knowing English helps to us programmers is almost all documentation, resources, sample programs, forums are in English. You need help figuring why your codes aren’t working? Search the web. Chances are the first few pages you’ll get are in English. If you do find a translated one, there’s no telling how accurate that page or document is.

Books in a shelf

Communication

Applies mostly to companies that have more than 1 nationality. I have worked with multi-national IT companies and one of the main requirements to being hired is one should be able to communicate in English. Imagine if Developer A speaks German and Developer B speaks Arabic there would be a communication gap. If everyone is communicating in one language, work gets done faster and more efficient.

Long-term Goal

If your goal is to be a professional developer and be great at it, you will at some point have to interact with someone who does not speak the same language as you. English may not be the official language of the world but it is the most used language specifically in programming. Either you understand native English speakers enough to communicate with them or you have to get used to English being spoken with an accent.

There you go. Learning English is not essential but it is important and it helps a lot especially if you’re serious about your programming career. The resources are in English, the language barrier and to make yourself available worldwide

How about you? Do you have any more reason why the English language is important to programmers? Let us know in the comments below.

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