If you do not know English, you are not a programmer (s)

Published on September 22, 2009

If you do not know English, you are not a programmer (s)

    The English-speaking Internet (sic!) Has been discussing the question
    “Do you have to know English to be a programmer?” For more than a year now .
    It would seem that the question of the need for English in work is no longer being discussed. English has long been the language of international communication in the field of information technology and business. The debate is caused mainly by the very statement of the question "you are not a programmer if you do not know English." That's what it is designed for - categorical judgments provoke a protest. In addition to the wording itself, the degree of language proficiency is also discussed:
    - what exactly should a programmer know,
    - to what extent,
    - whether the programmer should write comments in the code in English, and if English is very bad, whether or not to prefer the native language for these purposes,
    is there sufficient understanding of English-language content, or other skills need to be developed - and others

    Opinions are polar, butin the bottom line, we get:
    1. you can be a programmer without knowing English.
    2. You must know English to become a better programmer.
    3. You should have access to English-language content immediately after its appearance, and not after months / years that will be needed for translation and publication in your own language.
    4. You must know English if you work for an English-speaking customer.
    5. even if you do not work for an English-speaking customer, the likelihood that the product you are working on will be in demand by both English-speaking customers, as well as customers for whom English is still lingua franca, is quite high.

    Discussions, however, are limited to an English-speaking audience (to one degree or another), so there is no need to talk about a representative sample. Therefore, I propose to discuss this here.

    Speaking of Russian realities:
    Yes, the average Russian- speaking programmer / developer can read professionally-oriented sources.
    Yes, the average Russian-speaking programmer / developer would like to increase the level of language proficiency, because this opens up new career opportunities.
    Yes, the average Russian-speaking programmer / developer is often not very clear about how to do this, because 1) the previous experience of learning the language does not warm and does not please the results, and 2) the avalanche-like flow of information about the methods and techniques of language learning puts pressure on the brain and does not contributes to a clear allocation of priorities and the adoption of informed decisions in this direction.

    Or still:
    No, a real Russian programmer does not need English, because a Russian programmer is valuable in itself. Whoever needs, let the great and mighty be taught.