Software, Development, and WordPress

Learn a New Language (But Don’t Stay Away)

As programmers, one of the things that we often hear is how we need to expose ourselves to other languages and environments in order to become more diversified in our experience. Or maybe it’s presented in a way that says we need to get to know other environments so we don’t get stale in the areas in which we currently work.

Whatever the case – whatever you’ve heard, or however you’ve heard it – I don’t necessarily disagree with it.

do think it’s important that we stay up to date on a lot of the new technology that’s available and I do think that it’s important that we learn some of the ways other languages do things. It helps us to become better thinkers.

And by becoming better thinkers, we can become better programmers and we can bring all of that experience back to the place where we started – in the environment in which we work best or in that we like most.

I don’t think it’s at all a surprise to hear people hating on working within WordPress as the a specialty. I mean, the software has enabled people to build amazing looking websites without having to write any line of code.

That’s really, really impressive and it’s not something that we should ever discount.

On the flip side, WordPress has also enabled developers to do some really amazing things. Aside from some of the great themes designers and developers have created, there are also some really cool plugins, applications, and so on that people have built very, very successful businesses.

Learn a New Language

But from a programmer’s perspective, what’s one of the coolest things?

It’s that we can take all of these new concepts that we learn either via reading books or blogs, learning other languages, etc., and then bring them back into the world in which we primarily work. We can continue to become better programmers building better tools and experiences through the things that we’ve learned.

And since it’s open source, we can pass that information along to the next group of people who follow behind us.

So the next time someone urges you to branch out or learn something new or try a new language, and so on, don’t be afraid to tinker, to build, to get frustrated, and to learn.

You don’t have to leave the things you’ve love working on or working in simply to learn something new. And that’s something that we’re sold more often than we should.


  1. Timothy Brand

    I only recently learned PHP a few years back so that I could work with WordPress. I don’t think I actually know enough that I could write just PHP, I really only know what I need to for WordPress. I want to change that though.

    I’m also really interested in learning JS but I can’t really find any good sources. Books are great, the manual is great but I just feel like I’m missing something. I understand the basics but I’ve seen what it can do when you know a LOT and that’s where I want to end up. Guess I just need to crank at it more.

    • Tom

      I’m also really interested in learning JS but I can’t really find any good sources.

      Look up “JavaScript: The Good Parts” by Douglas Crockford. It’s a short read and is the best book on the subject.

      I also recommend “Head First: JavaScript” — probably read this one first, actually :).

      Guess I just need to crank at it more.

      That’s exactly it. Time and experience, man.

      • Timothy Brand

        Internet was down all morning so I went to Barnes and Noble. I picked up Sams Teach Yourself JavaScript. Hopefully that’s a decent enough start. I did see the Head First: JavaScript but wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted. Also didn’t see your reply until just now ;) I’ll check out those materials after. Thanks Tom.

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