If you’re trying to get a job as a software engineer, you’re more likely to be hired by learning just one programming language and mastering it, according to a former Googler on Quora.That’s despite the existence of a huge number of programming languages. You don’t want to be OK at every language, and should instead focus on mastering a single language if you want to work at a technology company, Leo Polovets writes on Quora.
For example, if you want to work at Google, many products there are typically coded in Java, according to another former Google employee.
So if you really want that software engineering job at Google, or really any tech company, start brushing up on the company’s most-commonly used programing language, Polovets writes.
It isn’t just about mastering a programming language though. You should master different skills of building a technology product, like user experience and infrastructure in addition to the typical ferreting out of bugs and development, he writes.
Here’s the full post from Quora:
Become awesome at one language — you’ll stand out much more than being pretty good with a bunch of languages.
Most software teams use 1-2 languages for the majority of their work. Which of the following do you think they would prefer?
- You know their most-used programming language like the back of your hand.
- You kind of know their most-used programming language, but hey, you also know a little bit of Haskell and Scala and Python and ML?
I can assure you that as an employer, #1 is much more appealing than #2. (Of course, being an expert with several languages is even more appealing, but it’s not expected when you’re just finishing your studies.)
As an analogy, think about picking players for an elite basketball team. Do you want 5 jacks-of-all-trades, or would you rather have an amazing forward, a terrific centre, and the best point guard in the league? The first team would be solid, but the second team would be incredible.
That said, your best programming language should not be the only thing you focus on. Try to be great at one (or more) software skills: algorithms, software design/architecture, UI/UX, database design, etc. An uncommon combination of 2-3 skills that you’re really good at makes you a very attractive candidate for lots of jobs.