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There are diminishing returns to preparation: focus less on preparation (to include going to prestigious institutions and working for prestigious companies) and more on launching, learning, and iterating. This is true in business and a variety of other fields. As an add on: learn one programming language really well, and resist the urge to spend time learning new ones!



"diminishing returns to preparation" is a great turn of phrase.


I disagree. Jobs want multiple languages nowadays.


Good jobs want you to know at-least one language well.


Why the add on?


Second this, learning multiple languages is generally seen as a good thing, opening your mind to different ways of solving problems, no?


Any language in the area of discourse is a Turing-complete language. Therefore you can do anything you'd like to in any language.

Besides, I would be highly critical of anyone who claims to know a variety of languages since it probably means they are only familiar with a strict subset of their standard libraries and quirks. Or that knowledge is incredibly outdated.

Learning the syntax is one thing, the more time-consuming for development part is always knowing the quirks and patterns used today.


>Any language in the area of discourse is a Turing-complete language. Therefore you can do anything you'd like to in any language.

Well with that argument, learning brainf*ck in depth should give you all the programming experience you need to solve problems efficiently :P

Learning even the basics of a functional programming language for example (Haskell in my case) lead me to understand why things are the way they are in a few other languages. Sure you can write some solution in a few nested for loops, but why not use a list comprehension if it's more clear and less error prone for the situation? Specializing in one or two languages isn't a bad thing, but I would argue that learning even just the basics of other languages is beneficial. Understanding what tools are out there and what they're best suited to is a good thing if you ask me.


I'll ponder on that. Thanks for the shared wisdom!


It’s helpful to specialize at least. One should at least have a primary that they know in and out.


I'd say for me the way that 'overpreparation' has manifested itself is in trying to learn more languages, at the expense of expertise in one or two.




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