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How important English is to a software engineer 😵

As we know English is the lingua franca of the world, and when it comes to software industry, English is the main language for sure.

Try to imagine some scenes.

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If you are a software engineer, English might be important to you. Because sometime you need to find some information from the official documents.

If you are a software engineer in the international company, English may be important to you on each working day. Since some business documents are written in English, and even there are some global collaboration chances.

However, if you are a software engineer in the global team, English must be important to you. Discussing the business, reading the documents, writing lots of e-mails are inevitable to being used in English.

Due to my current job, I have never felt strongly that how important English is before. And, when I flash back to my past working days, there was a hard time in the beginning of my career, even I know it is an ideal job.


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Each working day, we only have the limit time to deal with lots of working items. Have an efficient discussion and being focus on the business during the work are essential. But following these two vital points would be a challenge to me if I have to speak in English and organize all the business details in English because I haven’t any experience on working with the foreign co-workers before.

There are three main difficulties that I faced before.

1. Different accents

To adapt the different accents, it takes time. Try to listen what others say and mimic them would be more quickly to know how do they pronounce general alphabet. It would be the first barrier have to conquer. If we can not realize others sayings, and then it will also impact on discussing the business. Even, if we misunderstand on some vital points, and then it could cause lots of redundant time to fix the problems.

2. Language barrier

We are not a native speaker so it is common there are some slang words never heard before. Slang words pop out everyday and every moment in different country.

If we find some word hard understandable in the text or documents, we are no need to be worried. Because we can google it! But try to use English key word to find the meaning, and realize the meaning in English would be a quick way, with a long-term perspective, to familiar with English.

More, if the words we can not understand in the conversation, don’t spend much time focusing on the word. Try to listen all the conversation and realize the context what do others want to convey, it is the first step. Second, ask the questions about unrealized things or reconstruct all the context and double check it is correct or not. Last, we can google the word after the conversation is end.

3. Nuances

Both on writing and speaking we notice that some words have the slight difference. Take the correct word and precisely meaning to express the thinking is an important thing on the business daily life. It will facilitate the discussion and make the meeting more efficient.

To me, it is the most difficult lesson, and it takes time, also. But it is interesting. We can compare the words difference and have the chance to review the words, so when we have to use it, we will pick the precise word. Choosing the precise words can improve the clarity of a sentence. It is valuable for business discussion greatly.

Final Thoughts

It was a hard time to enhance the English ability and pick up the business knowledge also learn the skill at the same time.

Learning, this process, takes effort and time. Sometimes, we might feel uncomfortable. But, learning is supposed to feel uncomfortable, and this is a great evidence we keep growing.

No one knows what everyone had been through. But, it will be worthwhile to investment if we do the thing with no regret and that is we eager to.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. — Anthony J. D’Angelo

This quote is useful on everything, the work, the life and the relationship. Hope someone who reads this article will find or keep the passion in your life! (๑و•̀ω•́)و



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Bonnie Chen

Bonnie Chen

I am a software development engineer. I like to code, think, exchange thinking with people, and also explore everything in this world :)