Do You Need English To Be A Good Coder?

3 min read

Competitive programming (CP) and programming, in general, are fields of study that most students regard with a lot of dread. The fear of tackling a subject that looks so complex often hinders students from trying it out in the first place. With a tough and rigid academic curriculum, a highly competitive environment, and various other pressures, we understand why students might find CP and programming daunting.

Where Students Struggle

A pressing issue that most students face is the very prominent language barrier. While most schools in India are based on either Hindi or the language prevalent in the state, high-quality courses on coding are usually in English. Programming is a skill heavily based on problem-solving abilities, and while a student could be a master problem-solver, the language barrier would hinder them from giving their best. After all, how can we expect a programmer to solve an already complex problem when they fail to understand the problem statement itself?  All of this creates a tough to bridge gap for the students and also proves to be harmful to their confidence. Alongside this, students also feel apprehensive about appearing for interviews based on their lack of knowledge in the discipline and English.  

How We Hope To Combat This

Analyzing these problems, and empathizing with the struggles that college-going students face on the regular, we came up with our learning program “Learn Competitive Programming With CodeChef” last year. 

The program proved to be an absolute win for us as we finally managed to turn our vision of introducing audio-visual learning to students into a reality. We pondered about the various struggles a student might face and tried to solve them the best we could. The first problem on our priority list was making sure our course was accessible to everyone and so we’re proud to say that the program is available in both English and Hindi. While we certainly count this as an achievement, we are constantly working to have the program available in more and more regional languages for optimum learning on the pupil’s side. 

Of course while actually coding, students will require fairly little knowledge of English to code. A general suggestion/advice from us, even if someone has not mastered English, they can take the problem statement one sentence at a time and understand what is being asked. Once they are clear with what the problem statement demands, the skill required is their logical thinking and not English.

Is English Required For Interviews/ Placements?

This is a question that cannot be generalized. A good technical recruiter knows how to evaluate the candidate. They know that they need a problem-solver in their programmer, not a customer-support executive. So, a person’s fluency in English or lack of, will not hold a lot of weightage in most cases. Additionally, through personal experience, we can note that while hiring Tech recruiters tend to look at the coder’s stars or ratings and performance in the DSA round to decide the hire or no-hire question. 

So, yes, while it is definitely suggestible to learn English, fluency in the language is not a must-have. As a coder you need to remember that you are a problem-solver by heart, and focus on mastering that skill. Rest, there are tons of coders who have made history by joining bigger product companies like Google or Facebook, while coming from small colleges and schools, with mediocre english. 

To check for some Hindi/Hinglish classes on programming (beginner, intermediate & advanced levels), check our Learn CP With CodeChef Program on Unacademy here

Other Problems We Hope To Combat With The Help Of The Program

Alongside eliminating the language barrier for students, we have kept quite a few things in mind while creating our Lean CP With CodeChef program to ensure that students can learn efficiently like – 

  1. A Structured Curriculum Accessible To Everyone – Outside of Tier – I colleges, it is rare that you will find structured courses that actually dispatch knowledge. We have taken a step forward in bridging this gap with our program, as the online lectures are accessible to all students regardless of other outside factors.
  1. Helping Students Battle Their Inferiority Complex – With our program we hope to equip budding coders with enough knowledge to help them navigate the fairly tough world of competitive programming. Although, it will be impossible that they ace their very first contests credit to the program, we can at least ensure that they enter the field as confident programmers. 
  1. One on One Doubt Solving –  We have come up with the idea of highly qualified “Teaching Assistants’ in our live class, apart from the educators. This makes sure that students get their concept cleared in the live class itself. Additionally, we also have 24/7 doubt support on our discord server for extra assistance. 

Coming back to language, since quite a while now the Chef has been serving a dish called “Translations”. The Translations provide problem statements from each of our 3 contests in 5 languages – Hindi, Bengali, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Vietnamese. We want to know if you want an update on this dish, so please head on over here and share your review with us! 

In conclusion, the relation between a good coder and a person fluent in English is negligible, so that’s not something you need to fret over! Until next time, keep coding!

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