How To Decide On The Programming Language To Specialize On By Omolara Adejuwon

On the 5th of December we had the opportunity of hosting a Tweet Chat with Omolara Adejuwon who is an Engineering Manager/SWE at Brainspace Venture Group. She spoke on she started learning and how she decided on the language(s) to specialize on. You can follow the hashtag #TweetchatwithOmolara on Twitter.

Please note that the contents shared in this article rightfully belongs to Omolara Adejuwon.

I will be sharing my personal experience on the subject. I will also answer all the questions you may have concerning this topic. This will tilt towards Software engineering but you can pretty much apply some of the lessons to other fields.

I build Android (Java/Kotlin) and iOS (Swift) applications. I had to also jump into Objective C at a point. I also write PHP. Slim is my go-to framework. Then sometimes, I help my team members fix some simple JS stuff when I have to.

I listed all these because I may touch how and why I picked these languages/frameworks. Before I continue, I will like to state that my experience doesn’t have to be the same as yours. That’s why we are different humans. Right?

I learnt each language for different reasons.

I started learning how to code in a language that is different from Fortran just immediately after my 200L final exams. I started with Java. So the question is, why Java?

I learnt the basics of Java, netbeans shortcut, built GUI apps e.g basic calculator, GP calculator (if you did this, do like this 👆 ), applets, then J2ME apps that did ‘things’.

It was quite easy to start learning and building Android apps because I had learnt Java. Udacity, Study jam and the need to solve some problems helped me on the Android Journey.

I picked up PHP because my first Job required it. I had to learn this because I wasn’t ready to disappoint my team lead. W3c schools, PHP documentation and stack overflow were my great allies. It was a perfect picture of learning on the job. I started learning iOS development because my team needed to build an iOS version of a completed Android app. Then my company there is a need to have an iOS team. I jumped at the opportunity.

The previous tweets were just to highlight why I chose to pick all these languages. Each decision to pick up a new language was for different points and reasons

However, there is one thing that was common to all the processes — opportunities. I was at the stage where I had to learn new things and join new teams. I mean I had to sample different fields before I conveniently settled (not really).

The following tips have helped me through all these processes:

  • Resources — there are several places you can get information about a subject. Documentations, detailed answers (and questions) on StackOverflow, Youtube.

  • Know the kind of resources that fit your style and subject — There are some topics that may require you watch videos, read plain articles and sometimes combine both

  • Share your learnings and victories with people. This could be via knowledge sharing at your work place, articles, answer questions on stack overflow etc.

  • Read personal stories of how people fixed some certain bugs/errors. There is a kind of feeling when a solution has a personal touch. I cannot explain ;)

If you are still at the phase of trying things out, you can see to joining different teams in your company. This gives you understanding of the languages/stack you enjoy working with.

You should also subscribe to newsletters, channels, publications, watch repositories. This helps you stay informed about changes, trends, approaches.

I will refer to myself as a Mobile Engineer because that’s what my day-to-day looks like. That’s my core. That’s not to say I can’t wear other hats when necessary.

Chat ended here after questions were answered by Omolara.

The #TweetchatwithOmolara was very enlightening with a lot of tips on HOW TO CHOOSE A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE TO SPECIALIZE IN.

This is something the Ingressive community will be doing weekly, we have other resourceful programs in the Ingressive Community on Slack. Which you can join HERE.

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