Learning English as a second language can be rather challenging. And if you haven’t had the opportunity to learn it since an early age (or at school), things get even more complicated. Nevertheless, there is a great number of reasons why learning English is good for your career – even more so if you are a software developer. Below are some tips on how to learn English faster, and why you should give it a try.
WHY SHOULD SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH?
Let´s be clear, like it or not, the most popular programming languages – whether they used for back or frontend, infrastructure, or cloud management – use English as base. Therefore, it is almost impossible to code without knowing basic verbs. At least, you´ll need to show user an error message or some service updates, right?
At the same time, writing in English and speaking English are two different matters. Some engineers are good at coding in English, but find it quite difficult to have a talk. Understanding the nature of this problem might help.
WRITING VS. SPEAKING
Did you know that the majority of people find speaking harder than writing? Such factors as the live reaction of the audience, or the inability to edit the message you send out to the world make it looks scary. But as a matter of fact, writing is far more rule-restricted and must work independently (without a helping context such as tone of voice, or body language) and can actually happen to be more challenging.
IS IT AN ENGLISH-FIRST INDUSTRY?
Different ages had their prevailing languages. Since ancient times Latin and Greek are the main language in medicine and biology. How it happened? Because the fathers of western medicine came from the Greek civilization (5th Century B.C.), and Latin was the common science language up to the 18th century.
French is widely used in diplomacy, staying the official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross, and international courts. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, headquarters of these organizations are based in French speaking Strasbourg, Brussels, and Luxembourg. Secondly, French is still spoken in a lot of African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern countries because of their colonial past.
No wonder that English has become the key language of Information technology. Evidently, the USA dominates research in computer technology – and, even if this changes in the future, the country has already impacted this industry.
THREE TIPS ON HOW YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH
#1 Sign up for a special online course
Today the internet offers an incredible amount of information. English for programmers is not an exclusion. For a start, you can check out English Grammar For Software Developers https://medium.com/swlh/english-grammar-for-software-developers-f5d0b054a2f3 or Voxy’s English for Software Engineering https://voxy.com/courses/career-aligned/software-engineering/
Sign up and give it a try!
#2 Engage with your peers
Are there people in your surrounding who want to learn English too? Join each other. English speaking club combined with happy hours after work might be a good idea. Whoever speaks their native language, pays a round of drinks;)😉
Online is another way to go. With app like Discord and various ESL (English as Second Language) groups even COVID isn’t an obstacle.
#3 Consume your favorite content – not just work-related!
Are you into games? Startups? SaaS? There is definitely a podcast or two on whatever topic you like. Work is work, but when it comes to your passion you might start digesting English faster. Just google it and enjoy!
IN A NUTSHELL
To sum up, we must admit that every ambitious software developer who wants to grow in IT career – especially those looking for a job abroad – has only one option. Practice. And practice a lot. Although English isn´t obligatory at a tech level, it will make your career path much easier.