Learn X Programming Languages in Y Minutes ?

Is it that easy to learn any new X programming languages in Y minutes ? Maybe. If you already know how to code and the new X share the similar syntax and programming paradigm. For example, is easy for a PHP programmer to pick up Java or vice versa as both are C-based programming language with very similar syntax. Not so with learning Erlang as a PHP programmer. Not only you're moving to a different programming paradigm (functional in this case), the syntax itself is way different and not beginner friendly.

Even if you can code and pick up the syntax fast within Y minutes, you will need many years before you can truly master the language itself. Initially, you can read and understand the code but still can't do anything useful with it. As you progress, you will start to write many small programs as well as experience (unfortunately the hard way) the quirks and gotchas of X. After years of continuous usage, you may (some may not) reach to a phase to write in X idiomatically.

In my case, I am having a tough time (myself to blame) switching to Python from PHP. Experience is a double-edge sword. When you code in Python, you have to rewire you brain to think differently, in a Pythonic way. Imagine the frustration when you felt slow, clumsy, and constantly want to revert to the old ways. Unlearning any habits are never easy.

How to solve this? Stop learning syntax and write small program. Build something, build something relevant to your interest.

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