This week’s question comes from Mark L. and Scott S. who have both noticed some companies hire programmers who all speak the same language. Spanish is a common example. And they want to know why. What are the benefits of a software development team that all speak a language other than English?

I explain in this episode the importance of culture and how it really helps to match your primary customers. By itself, hiring programmers who all speak a language other than English won’t help you create better designed software. But it will help the software engineers to better understand the customer needs. And that leads to software applications that have more value for the customers.

I also talk about the importance of keeping the source code as well as any other material such as log files in English only. These are resources intended just for the development team and I talk about some of the trouble you will have if you try mixing languages. It will make your source code harder to read if you mix other spoken languages into the names of your variables, methods, and classes.

I suggest keeping everything English only that involves the actual software development and then make full use of the team’s preferred language and culture for everything else.