What is Polyglot (and Hyperpolyglot) in Programming

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A traditional journey for non-programmers entering the programming realm is to choose one of many programming languages and begin mastering it until they are able to make some use of it and create a full-fledged application.

The journey would eventually end here if the person is uninterested or belongs to the electronic or mechanical field (not ditching); however, a software engineer or fascinated person will begin exploring other programming languages.

By learning different programming languages, a skilled programmer can combine them, leveraging the benefits offered by each, and thereby become a polyglot programmer.

polyglot programming

What is Polyglot in Programming?

Polyglot programming is the practice of using the best functionality and efficiency of multiple programming languages in a single software project or application.

In this way, a programmer can address the limitations of one programming language by selecting a suitable component from another programming language to fulfill that specific gap.

The choice of which component to use depends on a number of variables, including performance optimization, usability, functionality, and compatibility with existing code.

If you’re into full-stack web development, you might already be engaged in polyglot programming. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (for the front-end), as well as React.js, PHP, or MySQL (for the back-end), are entirely different programming languages, requiring a full-stack developer to be skilled in all of them.

Is Polyglot Programming Good?

Overall, polyglot programming is a beneficial practice that enhances your skills, motivates you, makes you more creative, versatile, flexible, and provides a broader perspective on your project.

However, it may impact the longevity of your project, as changes in one language can indirectly affect both languages, thereby influencing the functionality of your software or application.

If you’re a full-stack developer or working with Python, there’s no need to worry since it officially utilizes C/C++ behind the scenes. However, if you’re implementing JavaScript functionality in Python unofficially, you may take help from third-party applications, where the longevity criteria come into action.

In conclusion, if you are using two popular programming languages that have existed for a decade and officially provide compatibility with each other, you can use them together with ease without worrying about anything.

What is Hyperpolyglot in Programming?

The hyperpolyglot term is mostly used in verbal languages such as English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, etc., but this term is sometimes used for programmers, creating some level of confusion.

So, to clarify this term for a programmer, a good example would be a highly skilled programmer with expertise in various domains of programming languages, such as Android development (Java or Kotlin), full-stack development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL), application development (C/C++, Java), and many others.

In conclusion, a Polyglot programmer excels in multiple programming languages within the same domain, such as Android development (Java or Kotlin), while a Hyperpolyglot programmer excels in multiple domains of programming languages, including Android development, application development (C/C++, Java), and others.

Should You Become a Polyglot or Hyperpolyglot Programmer?

Yes, only for a curious mind who wants to explore the functionality and workings of multiple programming languages. However, if you are doing this to become a star in your peer group of programmers, it will eventually become a waste of time for you sooner or later.

Also, it is essential to be aware of certain domains, like web development, where a programmer must possess a strong understanding of multiple programming languages within the same domain, thereby indirectly becoming a polyglot programmer.

If you’re an application developer in C/C++ or Java and interested in learning Python, becoming a Hyperpolyglot programmer isn’t bad; however, mastering both languages can become competitive and challenging for you.

For instance, taking myself into account, I possess expert knowledge in web development, good proficiency in application development, and a certain level of expertise in Android development.

I’m not boasting, but what I want to convey is that acquiring skills in various programming languages has significantly benefited me, especially in hands-on debugging for a friend’s project written in one of the languages I’ve learned.

Moreover, when I started learning C/C++ after Python, I discovered the complexity level and details behind each concept, even how variables are handled at the ground level. This includes other important aspects that a programmer should be familiar with, including buffering, memory management, pointers, etc.

In conclusion, I’ll emphasize Steve Jobs’ most popular quote: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do“. So, whatever you undertake—essentially learning—do it from your heart. After facing lots of ups and downs, you will eventually become an expert in one or more fields.

A Few Learning Resources

Recently, I’ve written an article on using one programming language in another, so you can read that article to gain a better understanding of these terminologies and see how they look in action.

Final Word

I hope you find this article useful. If you have any questions about anything or if something important has been missed from the article, please let us know in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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