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Speaking a language other than your native is a highly valued skill today. People who are bilingual or are at least proficient in more than one language have better chances of achieving their professional and social goals. This is why language learning is recommended to everyone, regardless of their profession or industry. But, people in the IT sector should pay very close attention to it.
Language learning can enhance programming skills in IT. Surprising, right? The connection may not be obvious, but it’s there, and we’ll break it down for you below. Here’s how learning a new language can make you a better IT programmer.
The Impact of Language Learning on Our Brain
Our brain is the most fascinating organ in our bodies and the reason why we do things a certain way. Nurturing our brain health is essential, and language learning is like great cardio training for the brain.
This is because learning a new language keeps our brains active and alive. It activates different parts of the brain and helps us develop certain new skills. This means that the impact of language learning on our brain is beneficial on so many different levels.
Language Learning and Programming
Now that we can start seeing a connection between improved programming skills and language learning, it’s time to explain how this is possible. Below, we’ll break down the skills that are developed through language learning and are essential for those in IT programming.
1. Improved Cognition
Your cognitive skills are your foundation for any activities involved in being a programmer. You need to have strong cognitive function to be able to focus all day and perform at the top level.
Language learning is best known for its positive impact on cognition improvement. Studies have shown that bilingual people outperform monolingual in multiple mental tasks. Language learning enhances cognition on multiple levels:-
- improves focus
- sharpens critical thinking
- helps you store and process information
Simply put, it makes your brain work on an upgraded level and achieves more with less energy spent. This is extremely important for IT programmers who sometimes spend hours looking at the screen and dealing with sensitive coding.
2. Better Memory
What is a language learning if not memorizing sets of new words, grammatical rules, structures, and phrases? Exposing your brain to such an intense memory-boosting activity goes beyond acquiring the language faster. You also end up with a trained and boosted memory.
Then you get to use this improved ability for programming languages and the syntax and structures that come with them. You’ll find it easier to write and modify code and develop new software from scratch.
3. Quicker Problem Solving
To be a great programmer, you need to be good at problem-solving. That means that you need to know how to:-
- approach a problem
- analyze it
- break it down into smaller pieces
- prioritize solving each part
With language learning, you are training your brain to approach and solve language problems systematically. You try out several options, think about different words or rules that apply, and choose the best way to express your thoughts. Many people practice this skill through translation. There are academic translation services that can do the job for you, but you can still translate more simple texts on your own.
4. Creativity & Innovation
Generating new ideas is another important part of every programmer's daily routine. They need to be able to bring something new to the table and think outside of the box. This is the best way to create efficient end products that sell.
Language learning is a highly creative process. Language is such a wide concept that is changing daily and challenging us to adapt to all the new things. Even the natives need to keep their eyes open for new vocabulary and phrases.
And, because it's so challenging, it requires the learners to be creative. The more you learn and use the second language actively, the more creative you get. Some learners even practice translation to push their boundaries further. TranslationReport can help in case you have more complex translations to deal with.
5. Increased Attention Span
Finally, language trains us to be more attentive to the activities we're engaged in and not let our thoughts slip away. This is another very important addition to the list of skills that programmers need.
Being able to stay focused and work at your best level for as long as possible is a skill every programmer needs to nurture. Through language learning, it becomes better by the day.
Language learning and programming don’t seem to be connected at first. But, as you look into it a bit more closely, you can clearly see the connecting dots.
Learning a new language as an IT programmer will help you improve some of the most crucial skills you need to perform great at your job. You’ll train your brain to work better, think faster, and get tired more slowly. So, find a language you’re interested in and start learning.
Ruby Butz is an IT expert and a blogger. She writes about creative and surefire ways to improve all kinds of hard and soft skills and use them to strive professionally.