Dev Career

Does a programmer need to know English?  Is it important?

March 20, 2022

Does a programmer need to know English?  Is it important?

In this article we will answer classic questions such as: Does a programmer need to know English? Is English important for programming?

programmer need to know English thumb

What’s up programmer, how are you? Let’s learn more about the importance of English in programming!

Answering the question: YES! English is super important for a programmer, and why?

For various reasons such as: documentation, excellent content that only exists in English, job vacancies that pay in dollars or euros, and also for whom we are writing our software, among others.

I mentioned the most important ones, and also the ones that I will discuss during the article, let’s go then!


Documentation is the most reliable source of information a developer can consult.

When new languages, frameworks and technologies emerge, we can be sure that, at least, in English it will be available.

So, depending on the project’s deadline, we will not be able to expect the goodwill of someone to translate or also depend on a Google translator and similar services.

Here we will need to have a good reading of technical English to be able to interpret what the tech devs want to convey so that we can implement what our project demands.

Contents in English

As the documentation is mostly created in English, the contents that come from countries that have this language as their mother language are also very good.

And other countries, in Europe for example, which is not their main language, also tend to create content in English for greater coverage.

Another important fact to link the first two pieces of information is that the biggest and best technology companies are also outside Brazil.

In other words, it is natural that content with quality and also that was never created in our country or by someone in it, is created in English.

So if you can’t understand the video or rely on subtitles, you’ll miss out on good content from a good professional

It can delay your career in the search for new knowledge, so it’s one more reason that the programmer needs to know English

Work for another country and earn in dollars

A great reason to learn English, don’t you think?

By the way, I wrote an article dedicated to this topic, you can read it by clicking here, and get to know what it takes to work as a programmer for another country.

Returning to the subject, to work in a foreign company, you will need good English, both in reading and in conversation.

That’s because  you need to explain what you are doing in the project, and also some decisions you made to create a feature, for example

In addition, if there is a problem caused by you, you will need to explain what happened and also explain how you definitively resolved it.

Also the code must be in English (comments and documentation), system versioning and emails

So many of the processes that can be automatic for you today will become impossible if you are a programmer who does not know English.

Making it unfeasible to apply for a vacancy, even if you can do it with average English, you will have problems already in the interview, recruiters are usually very demanding

Because communication is one of the most important softskills a developer needs to have!

Who the code is written for

If the company you are going to work for sells software abroad, English will be the basis.

Because of course the documentation and code comments will need to be in English, and even a possible contact with the customer

A failure to understand the system requirements that the customer has passed can result in the design being unfeasible or too much rework.


English is certainly important for all programmers, my idea in this article was to bring important points that take you out of inertia

My English has always been reasonable because of video games, but I confess that I’ve been embarrassed in interviews, even considering my level is medium to advanced

The biggest difficulty I had was to explain how I thought about some code points or even about certain features

So now that you have reasons and also some of my experience as an example, what are you waiting for to learn English?

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