In the first Craftsmanship post I made, I mentioned that I am reading through Hoover and Oshineye’s book named “Apprenticeship Patterns”, which outlines certain patterns that inexperienced software developers may adopt so that they may overcome any potential hurdles during their personal learning experience rather than providing technical solutions. In fact, in that very post I mentioned (though not by name) two of such patterns, namely “Craft over Art” (introduced in chapter 3) and “Record What You Learn” (introduced in chapter 5). Though I may expand on these two particular patterns in a later post, I want to first address my reactions to one of the very first patterns that are introduced in the book, namely “Your First Language”.
Briefly put, “Your First Language” is a pattern that is meant to address a software developer’s potential issues that may arise due to the fact that, though they may know multiple languages, they lack sufficient fluency in one of them. As such, such lack of fluency may put the developer in a difficult position when they are needed to work on a project that needs to be in a specific programming language. In this case, the book suggests picking a specific programming language to learn and master, preferably one that is used by any experts one might know. Now, it is important to specify that “learning a language” is not simply achieved by reading some resources related to a specific language, but by using that language to solve problems and actually apply what has been learned. Thus, by continuous application, a software developer may hone their problem-solving skills, which then may help them in learning other languages as well.
While I personally found this pattern to be particularly helpful when I first started studying Software Development, I feel like my experience has changed the way I approach specifically learning a programming language. Though becoming fluent in a language is important, I believe it is also important to be proficient in the learning process itself. In my case, while I was learning my first language, I also made sure to internalize what that language was composed of in terms of concepts and structures I could use so that, when there is a need for me to switch to a different language, I would have some expectations as to what concepts I should expect to encounter and only worry about syntax while learning the new language.