To be polyglot is to be a metaphorical global citizen of the software world; to accrue and know how to apply skills beyond the technologies you use in your day-to-day activities. When we're already expert in the technology stack we're mostly paid to work on, how can we widen our horizons and begin from scratch with something completely unfamiliar? The short answer is: learn what you already know, and how to apply it to a different space. Some of our most vital skills as engineers are those that transcend a particular language or tool: debugging superpowers are required in all areas of technology, and the ability to coax an unfamiliar toolchain to play nicely is absolutely a key skill. Tips for approaching new tools, platforms and communities will give you ideas for how to confidently start to pick up some fresh technologies and add new tools to your toolbox.
Lorna Mitchell is a Leeds-based developer advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services. She brings her technical expertise on a range of topics to audiences all over the world with her writing and speaking engagements, always delivered with a very practical slant. Lorna is the author of PHP Web Services (O’Reilly), PHP Master (Sitepoint), Git Workbook (Leanpub) and is regularly published at a number of outlets, including net magazine and her blog, Lornajane.net.