Do people think itâ€™s worth learning R if you already use STATA*?
Probably in the general sense that itâ€™s worth learning new languages or applications so as not to get too rusty.
Iâ€™m not sure whether Kieran meant to refer to computer languages here only or foreign languages as well. I remember reading generals requirements in some graduate program (perhaps my own, I donâ€™t recall) that equated speaking a foreign language with being proficient in a programming language. Iâ€™d always found that to be curious. While I believe both are helpful and important skills to have, they seem to be sufficiently different not to equate. Foreign languages (and time spent in other countries) allow us to get to know cultures, histories, peoples in a way that is very difficult to do through translation. Knowing a programming language lends itself to other potential benefits.** The two hardly seem interchangeable. Iâ€™m just curious to know what other people think about this.
[*] It’s actually Stata not STATA, I’m not sure why so many people spell it with all caps. Same goes for the Pew Internet & American Life Project. It’s Pew, not PEW.
[**] Yes, yes, I can think of ways in which knowing a programming language might also help one get to expand one’s horizons on those other dimensions as well and feel free to offer entertaining scenarios, but my overall question still stands.:)