Job Seekers Dilemma

As a job seeker, someone might think having an experience in many programming languages is very important to get a job. It may even seem that people who know many programming languages are more preferred by hiring companies. As a job seeker my self I wanted to increase the set of tools I am familiar with to increase the chance of getting hired when applying for jobs.

But what most hiring companies look for in a developer is not how many programming languages are in his or her programming language set. What matters is how well you know a programming language and how good are you using it to solve a problem. After all a programming language is a tool that we use to build solutions and solve problems.

For instance, if you say you know a couple of programming languages and if you are not really good at one of those languages, It is not going to help in your job search. The number of several languages you know is not going to help you perform well in the job even somehow you managed to get a job, if you fail to finish a task using one of those languages.

This is a reminder that you don’t have to learn every single technology, library, paradigm, language, to be a great software engineer. It’s okay to learn certain things only superficially — or not to learn them at all!

It’s better to be really knowledgeable and actually productive in one specialized area than to never reach a basic level of competency in any area by way of being pulled in many different directions.

Even if you need to know another programming language, it is going to be easier for you. Because you have deeply understood one tool, and the fact that many programming languages are similar in one or many aspects gives you the capacity to learn a new language more easily.

There is a popular proverb in Ethiopia that says

ብዙ ያባረረ አንድም ሳይዝ ቀረ።

which can be translated as “If you chase many things at the same time you can’t even catch one”. You can even apply this principle in other areas of your life.

So at last what I want to say is choose a tool wisely, and be really good at it. Then for sure if you are a job seeker you are going to have a higher chance of getting employed.