The Worth of Learning a Language Just for Fun

I really enjoy learning new programming languages. Actually, I love learning new programming languages. I always have something in my mind that I want to learn. Some things I just want to tinker with a bit and others I want to have a deep understanding of.

Two languages I’ve been trying out recently are Scala and Flex. Both are very enjoyable languages to use. I’m running into a bit of a problem though. How do I find the motivation to really learn these languages and is it worth it? In the past, I’ve usually just learned languages because I’ve had to for my job. But this time it is just for fun. Sure, someday in the future I might want to get a job using one of these languages but not yet. I just find them to be fascinating languages.

So the question is this: If I am just learning these for fun, should I invest the time to have a deep understanding of it or just a superficial understanding? Will it benefit me that much? If so, how do I motivate myself to learn it? If one day I want to get a job using either of these languages then how do I get the work experience an employer would be looking for?

Whatever I do, it is critical for myself and every other programmer to continue learning. Whether that comes from thoroughly learning a single new language, superficially learning a multiple languages, reading books, or simply trying new things in your language of choice, it is vital for our continual improvement.