Breaking the Language Barrier: The Role of English For Software Developers And Methods For ImprovingApr 18, 2023
There are 27 million software engineers in the world, and by 2030, it will be 45 million. Despite that being a good indicator, there is not good news about recession in IT and massive layoffs which only emphasizes all the struggles being a software developer right now - you not only must be competitive in your technical knowledge but always be good in soft skills, and especially in English.
Why is English an unpartable part of soft skills and what are the main reasons that prove how important it is to be a fluent English speaker? Let’s find out all of these and even more in the article below 👇
True Reasons Why Programmers Must Be Fluent In English
Today's globally interconnected society makes English fluency crucial for programmers rather than just desirable. Here are the main arguments in favor of English proficiency for developers:
- Access to a wealth of learning resources
The majority of technical manuals, tutorials, and online courses are written in English. Software programmers who are fluent in English have access to a wide range of educational resources, such as books, blogs, and online videos. They will be able to stay current with the newest frameworks, programming languages, and best practices with this access.
- Collaboration with global teams
Globalization is a trend that is also seen in software development. Many businesses employ distributed teams, whose members are dispersed across the globe. Since English is the team's primary medium of communication, software developers who are fluent in it are at a distinct advantage.
- Effective communication with clients
Many clients choose to work with English-speaking software development teams. This is due to the fact that English is the language of business and that using it facilitates open lines of communication between the client and the development team. Programmers are better able to comprehend and meet client needs when they are fluent in English.
- Improved job opportunities
The employment prospects of a coder can be considerably enhanced by English fluency. Employees of many software development businesses are expected to speak English fluently, and those who are unable to may lose out on prospects for overseas work placements or career progress.
- Increased participation in online communities
Online groups on social media and forums are excellent places for programmers to share expertise and concepts. Although many of these groups are done in English, non-native programmers may miss out on insightful discussions and networking opportunities.
In today's globally interconnected world, developers must be competent in English. It can promote career prospects, facilitate involvement in online communities, and facilitate access to learning resources. It can also strengthen collaboration with international teams.
What role does English have in programming exactly?
Sure enough, some of you can say - ‘I don’t usually speak much, I just code’. But there it is! Coding is in English also, right? 🤔
Even if a programming language is written in a different spoken language, the majority of its keywords will still be in English because English is the universal trade language for coding. Why?
So how significant is English in programming then? Very.
Top Methods How To Improve Your English Level
Enhancing your English language abilities might have a big impact on your employment chances as a software engineer.
Spoiler alert! Don’t be afraid - you shouldn’t do all of the things below every day. Just 10 minutes in an English app, 20 minutes of watching some interesting video on Youtube and 1-2 times in a week to talk with classmates in an English course or just 1:1 with an English tutor - and that’s already very good.
So, let’s switch on some efficient ways to raise your English proficiency ⬇
Attend language classes
One of the best strategies to boost your English is to enroll in language programs. Look for courses that are tailored to software developers because they will focus on technical terms and vocabulary that is pertinent to your industry.
These might be helpful:
- List of English Courses from ClassCentral;
- Ultimate catalog of English Classes from Coursera;
- Roll of courses from Udemy.
Practice with native speakers
Working with native speakers of the language is one of the finest ways to enhance your spoken English. Participating in language exchange activities or joining online forums to meet English speakers who want to advance their language abilities is a great option for you, as a software developer.
Here are some platforms to use for this purpose:
- Preply - it’s a good place to pick up some English native tutor;
- italki - it has a lot of similarities with Preply, from the layouts of the tutor profiles to the filtering processes that help users choose their tutors;
- AmazingTalker - it offers personalized courses that fit your preferred schedule, financial constraints, skill level, and learning objectives;
- Lingoda - it allows you to choose between taking private lessons or sessions with three to five other students;
- Verbling - Verbling Video, the company's in-house video chat technology, is used for all private classes. The hourly rates that teachers charge can be changed at any moment through different payment options.
Read technical articles in English
You can increase your technical vocabulary and comprehension by reading technical publications in English. To keep up with the most recent trends and advancements in your industry, subscribe to technical publications including online blogs, magazines, and newsletters.
Some blogs to pick up from:
- CodingHorror - despite a big scary name, it’s quite interesting to read;
- Joel on Software - He once worked with Microsoft as one of the earliest workers. The business and management of software are the main topics of Joel's postings. He is now Stack Exchange's CEO;
- Geeks for Geeks - An online blog for aspiring software engineers with a passion for programming who aspire to land interviews at major IT companies;
- .cult by Honeypot - it exists to share untold developer stories, such as how your favorite framework came to be, your biggest coding error, or how you handled challenging members of your tech team.
Watch videos and listen to podcasts in English
You may hone your listening and understanding abilities by watching movies and listening to podcasts in English. Look for podcasts or videos that discuss technical subjects because doing so will help you increase the vocabulary and comprehension of technical concepts.
You should watch and listen topics you like, but if you in search to some programming themes, here are some enjoyable podcasts:
- Software Engineers Daily - This daily podcast about software engineering is hosted by Jeff;
- Soft Skills Engineering Podcast - You need more than just amazing code to be a great engineer. Software engineers can find advice on the non-technical parts of being a successful software developer on a weekly podcast called Soft Skills Engineering.
Write in English
You can effectively develop your written communication skills by writing in English. Creating simple technical reports or documentation in English should be your first step before creating more intricate ones. And no ChatGPT 😜
What are the best software programs for technical writing in 2023?
- Whatfix represents a paradigm shift in the manner in which online help documentation is provided;
- Powtoon is a useful web-based animation tool that is offered as a SaaS;
- Prezi - here you are free to write or draw on it whatever you like. Changing the focus from one frame to another on the same canvas while zooming in or out of the in-focus content.
Use English language learning apps
You can improve your English language abilities by using one of the many language study applications available. Look for apps that emphasize the jargon and technical terms used in your industry.
Best apps to learn English in 2023:
- Bright - with the aid of the app Bright, you may swiftly pick up new words;
- Mondly - it has various cutting-edge capabilities and focuses on conversational language for commonplace scenarios;
- LingQ - you can select how you wish to learn on this app;
- Beelinguapp - it concentrates on teaching languages through electronic books;
- Lingbe - it links you up with native speakers so you can practice speaking the language, and it gives you precise feedback on your calls.
Attend conferences and workshops in English
Your hearing, comprehension, and communication abilities can all be enhanced by participating in English-language conferences and seminars. Look for conferences in English-speaking nations that include technical subjects like software development.
Here are some upcoming conferences and workshops:
- OWASP AppSec Israel, May 3-4, Tel Aviv, Tickets: To Be Announced
Due to its success over the past ten years, this conference has established itself as Israel's leading cybersecurity event. Over 800 developers, team leads, and business executives attended the event last year.
- Game Developers Conference (GDC), May 20-24, San Francisco, Tickets: Expo – $293, Summits – $996, All Access – $2204
The Game Developers Conference, or GDC for short, is anticipated to once again bring together tens of thousands of developers, team heads, and business executives. Panel discussions, networking events, and exclusive speakers.
- Identiverse, May 30 – June 2, Las Vegas, Tickets: Early Bird – $1595, Standard – $1895
Through a series of exclusive presentations, summits, and workshops spread over 4 days, Identiverse will cover all the most recent advancements and assist you in making connections with the world's most brilliant thinkers.
- RenderATL, May 31 – June 2, Atlanta, Tickets: General – $600, VIP – $1500
With 85 tracks from the top influencers in the business, RenderATL is becoming larger and bigger every year. Product management, web and mobile engineering, and leadership and entrepreneurship.
- Collision, June 26-29, Toronto, Tickets: General – $495, Executive – $3495
Although the list for this year has not yet been decided, you will still receive your daily dose of best practices and insights, in addition to the networking possibilities with the thousands of attendees throughout the course of the four days.
Summing things up
Knowing English is essential for software engineers due to its significance as a global language for business, science, and technology. Fluency in English can provide access to a wealth of learning resources, enhance collaboration with global teams, facilitate effective communication with clients, and increase job opportunities. To improve your English language skills,you should attend language classes, practice with native speakers, read technical articles in English, and use language learning apps or try something else from the list above.
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