Number of languages known [was Re: Python is readable] - somewhat OT

Tim Delaney timothy.c.delaney at
Sat Mar 24 23:08:25 CET 2012

On 23 March 2012 06:14, Chris Angelico <rosuav at> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 4:44 AM, Steven D'Aprano
> <steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> > The typical developer knows three, maybe four languages
> > moderately well, if you include SQL and regexes as languages, and might
> > have a nodding acquaintance with one or two more.
> I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "moderately well", nor
> "languages", but I'm of the opinion that a good developer should be
> able to learn a new language very efficiently. Do you count Python 2
> and 3 as the same language? What about all the versions of the C
> standard?

Absolutely. 10 years ago (when I was just a young lad) I'd say that I'd
*forgotten* at least 20 programming languages. That number has only

Being able to pick up a new language (skill, technology, methodology, etc)
is IMO the most important skill for a developer to have. Pick it up
quickly, become proficient with it, leave it alone for a couple of years,
pick up the new version when you need/want it.

Tim Delaney
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