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We have launched an English school for software developers. Practice speaking and lose your fear.


The first "coding language" any developer should learn is not Python or Go. It's not even Kotlin or Javascript. To tell you the truth, it's English — the official language of software development. If you're aiming to get a job in a serious international company then hop on. We’ll explore the essentials you need to give your career a boost.
A banner promoting English language skills for software developers, featuring a woman working on a laptop.

Many people wonder if they need to learn English to land a software development job. The common answer online? “No, not necessarily.” 

Indeed, your coding skills matter the most. But let’s dig a bit deeper than “general online wisdom”.

Many developers struggle with English. Take a look around forums and you’ll see this can be a real barrier. 

Consider awkward silence during job interviews. Imagine trying to participate in meetings with colleagues around the world. Then imagine collaborating on projects or writing technical documents. These tasks require a decent knowledge of English.

Here’s more…

Say Malik and Robin - junior developers at a job interview - are both great talent. In fact, their coding skills are identical. However, English isn't Robin's strong suit. For Malik though - who's been learning it since age six - English is almost a native language. 

Who would you say is more likely to get a job, Robin or Malik?

Sure, you don't absolutely need English. We get that. But being stronger in English could significantly improve your career path. Wouldn't you agree?

If you're a developer that wants to land an international job faster by speaking English fluently, Leap, the online English school for developers could be for you. Learn more here.  

Is English necessary in software development?

Yes, English is necessary in software development. 

Here’s a quick list of things where you’ll need to know English right away.

List of professional things English is required for

Imagine you're a junior software developer who just landed a first job. On your first day, you find out quickly how important English is in your new role.

First, your team leads would tell you to (1) read the documentation. All those guides and manuals that explain how to use tools and write code? They're mostly in English. You need to understand these to do your job right and not have a panic attack.

Next up, (2) writing code. The programming languages themselves, like Python or Java, use English words for commands and functions. If you’re not comfortable with English, it would be like trying to cook a recipe without knowing the names of the ingredients.

Then there are (3) meetings. Your team uses English to discuss projects, solve problems, and share ideas. It helps everyone understand each other, even if they come from different countries.

In the world of software development, English acts like a bridge. It helps you and your teammates connect your ideas. 

Without English, starting a new job would be a lot more stressful than it already is. Plus, you might also learn things slower, which could affect your career development.

Should software developers be good at English?

A less formal email about project needs for a client, written in a confusing manner.

Tell us, do you get what the email is saying? 

No matter how anecdotal this example is, you get confusing emails like this almost weekly. After reading them, you don’t have a single clue what to do. 

Often, busy senior colleagues just ignore unclear messages. And why not? They have a lot more serious business to attend to.

Indeed, software developers should be good at speaking English. And yes, they should be able to write better emails. 

A solid command of English helps developers explain things clearly. Like how urgent a problem is, what needs to be done, and when. 

They also need to be able to describe the obstacles they're facing. Good fluency and vocabulary in English make their messages easy to read. As a result, people understand the message clearly and feel the right emotions from it.

This way, everyone on the team can engage in a better dialogue. They can know what's going on, and how it’s affecting things. Imagine how this helps teams solve problems faster. 

A great professional email is short and clear, and allows the reader to visualize one idea. Like this one:

software developers
Photo by Steve W Dames Jr

Email in English as a Software Engineer

In the email above, the subject gives you a quick summary: A great start on your first project with Microverse, taking place in June 2023. This direct approach ensures you quickly understand the key details and can start working remotely without delays. 

The opening sentence addresses the client's requirements and identity, helping you understand the essential information right away.

Each professional email includes a CTA (call-to-action) section. This prompts you to take a specific action. For instance, it might say, ‘Please feel free to contact me with any questions.’ This is a good way to invite responses. It uses key vocabulary to explain to a reader that they can easily reach out for clarification.

Use polite phrases like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘could you’, and ‘I regret that...’ It’s crucial to maintain a common language of respect among professionals working in diverse environments. This is particularly important in large, international companies. Hiring so many people from all around the world, English serves as the common language.

If you want to excel in tasks like reading documents, reviewing code, learning in courses, or succeeding in job interviews, mastering English is essential. Large international companies often use English for written communication to simplify discussions among culturally diverse teams. So, if you're aiming to improve in any of these areas:

  • Reading documentation
  • Code Reviews
  • Taking part in courses and further development 
  • Being competitive in job interviews.

Then you need to understand industry-specific English language. 

This is where Leap - the online English school for developers - can help. With Leap, software developers gain the confidence to speak English fluently and land a higher-paying international developer job.

Why Is English the Main Language in Information Technology (IT)?

English has become the main language in Information Technology (IT) for several reasons. 

Historically, many of the early computers and programming languages were developed in the United States and the United Kingdom. Countries where English is the primary language. This includes inventions like the first computers and programming languages like FORTRAN and COBOL.

Because these technologies were English-based, English naturally became the standard language as technology spread globally. Not to mention the fact that English is the lingua franca, the common international language between speakers whose native languages are different.

Therefore, major programming languages, documentation, and software are primarily in English. This uniformity makes it easier for developers worldwide to work together and share ideas.

Moreover, many global IT companies are headquartered in English-speaking countries, and they influence global IT standards and practices. For example, tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Apple, all based in the U.S., play significant roles in setting these standards. 

Statistically, it's shown that 60.4% of the top 10 million websites are in English. This makes it essential for IT professionals worldwide to use English to stay updated and competitive in the field.

How can the English language help when working remotely?

When you work with people from different places, knowing English can help a ton. First, as we said, it’s a common language that helps everyone understand each other better. By now you should understand how important it is when you need to follow instructions or share your ideas.

Furthermore, most tools we use for working together online, like email, video calls, and project management apps, are in English. If you know English well, you can use these tools easily without getting confused. 

Another important thing… English helps you feel closer to your team, even if they live far away! This is super important for you to have a more pleasant experience in a company! We’re humans after all. Chatting and sharing things without language problems makes us feel the bond more strongly.

Lastly, many companies that hire people globally use English to talk to each other. This means if you're good at English, you will find more job opportunities. So, learning English not only helps you work better but also opens up more chances for you to grow in your career.

Speaking of chances… if you want to stack the odds in your favor to get hired remotely you should read these 7 tips to help you get a remote job

What is the best programming language to learn for software development?

Frankly, not a question that can be easily answered. Choosing the best programming language for software development can be tricky because it depends on what you want to do.

For example, if you want to make websites, JavaScript might be the best to learn because it's used a lot for that. If you're interested in making computer programs, Python is a great choice because it's easy for beginners and very popular.

Statistics show that Python and JavaScript are among the most used and still-growing programming languages. This is because they are versatile and have a lot of resources to help beginners learn. That’s a plus if you think about the ease of learning. 

However, the best language to learn also depends on the job market. For example, if you want to work in big tech companies, they might prefer languages like Java or C#. It’s a good idea to look at job ads in the companies you would want to work for to see what languages they ask for.

So, there isn't one "best" programming language for everyone. It really depends on your interests, what you want to create, and where you want to work.

How to improve your English?

Improving your English is similar to learning to code. Just like you would write more code to get better, practicing English regularly can improve your skills. 

Think of it as a tool to share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. A tool that gets rusty if you don’t sharpen it daily. Keeping this in mind makes learning English feel necessary, not just a chore.

To level up your English, especially for use in software development, you need to practice speaking. Sure, watching courses and videos can help with grammar. But speaking practice is crucial for fluency. 

A great way to do this for free is by connecting with other developers who speak English. Perhaps, you can subscribe to an English magazine that covers your favorite topic and read it out loud. Furthermore, online video rooms allow you to chat casually with strangers, helping you relax.

For more structured learning, consider joining Leap, an online English school tailored for software developers. This can help you gain the confidence to speak English fluently and lead to better job opportunities internationally.

How to learn English on your own (tools)

The internet is littered with free and paid resources that help you learn English. Take your pick of Leap, the option specifically made for software developers, or Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Quizlet, Coffee Break Languages that allow students of different backgrounds to have fun while learning. 

Instead of nailing on you the endless “keys” to better learning, here’s a story.

One day, I was studying at home and noticed a lot of ants. It made me think about how determined ants are. They never give up and carry loads 10 times heavier than themselves! 

One night, I tried to keep a pie safe from them. I put the pie in a glass dish, placed it on a cup without handles, and set it in a pan full of water. I thought, "Now, let’s see if you can get to my pie."

The next morning, I found the ants feasting on my pie! Somehow, they had figured out how to get across the water. It surprised me a lot.

What can we learn from this? 

Be like the ant when you're learning English. Imagine English is like the pie you really want. Even if it seems hard to get, keep trying and don't give up. Your effort and persistence will pay off, just like the ants getting to the pie.

What are best practices for learning English?

There are a dizzying number of “best practices” for learning English. Just take a look at various mediums and you’ll see for yourself. For this reason, knowing where to start in your English learning journey can be difficult, to say the least.

During my five years as a TEFL educator, here are the ones I considered “the best”. I’ve seen these practices supercharge the learning journey of many students. 

✓ Learn phonetics

Years of teaching English in Latin America taught me this. Correctly pronouncing English words from the start is often overlooked.

For example, in Latin America, the sound of the consonant ‘R’ is formed with the tongue placed just behind the top teeth. By barely tapping the alveolar ridge you get the tone right. Based on this fact, the advice for forming the Spanish trilled 'R' was created.‍

Whereas in English, we don’t form the sound near the top front teeth. The vibration isn’t at the base of the tongue. Quite the contrary, the English ‘r’ is made in the middle of your mouth. By pretending you’re lifting your tongue to look underneath it, and tightening up the tip, you’ll sound like a true native speaker.

At first, learning phonetics may feel a bit weird. However, as time goes by you’ll feel a lot better speaking English regularly. 

teaching english
Photo by Polina Tank - Pexels

✓ Listen, Listen, Listen

When we are little, we learn words by listening to our parents or other loved ones as they talk to us every day. 

We hear the same phrases over and over, and this helps our brains connect words to the things and events around us. This is how we start to understand what words mean.

Likewise, as an adult, you can apply the same logic as toddlers do. By listening to different language contexts, you’ll learn much more intuitively. 

Therefore, watch movies, vlogs, TV shows, or news broadcasts. Podcasts, radio shows, and music are also great ways to improve language context association.

✓ Read simple and often

When we read English texts, we naturally pick up on the language’s rules and patterns. Therefore, it’s a good idea to read about topics you like in English because it helps you learn better.

Start simple and advance as your comfort level and vocabulary expand.

Use articles, blogs, breaking news, novels, and even children's story books. You will be amazed at how quickly your English skills progress.

✓ Speak and own your language progress

Having learned Spanish as an English speaker, I know how scary it is to speak a new language for the first time.

From feeling like you’re solving advanced algebra to not wanting to sound like a complete novice… It’s challenging, I know. 

So, a little word of advice - take the pressure off of yourself. 

People are generally very forgiving when you are learning a new language. You may find that the majority of people are more than willing to help you speak, and are even happy that you are trying your best. 

The key here is to Speak, Speak, and then Speak some more. Own your English progress and know that every day you remain committed to English, you improve.

This is why Leap was created. We want to help software developers who want to improve their English the opportunity to do so. Even more, we want you to gain the confidence and fluency in English needed to land a higher-paying job.\

This is why Leap was created, to give software developers who want to improve their spoken English the opportunity to do so, with other software developers, to gain the confidence and fluency needed to land a higher-paying job.

That's English for Software Developers

Well, you’re one step closer to becoming an international software developer, armed with the knowledge you need to step up your English. 

All you have to do next is use the free and paid resources online. Speak and speak and speak. And then, watch as you become a master of the language.

If you're ready to commit to improving your English to land a higher-paying developer job, learn more about Leap and start improving your spoken English!

For more tips from ESL learners at Microverse, watch Studying and Working in English: How hard can it be?

We have launched an English school for software developers. Practice speaking and lose your fear.

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