I went to a "job fair" recently and I was surprised to see how much emphasis workplaces seem to put on the programming languages candidates are familiar with.
From my (admittedly limited) experience, while truly mastering a programming language may take years, learning it to a reasonable level is a fairly simple affair to someone who already has experience with other languages, and can definitely fit within the timeframe employers usually allocate for the initial ramp-up.
I'd think an employer would care more about how many languages / paradigms I am familiar with, or what's my algorithmic / software design experience, as opposed to the specific technology I'm skilled with at the moment.
Say I already know Java, C++, Smalltalk and Prolog... should a workplace that relies on Objective-C really consider me unqualified because I lack experience in that language? Is this a flaw in recruiting methodologies, and if it is, what can I do to convince that workplace that my lack of experience with Objective-C should not matter? I'm asking hypothetically, not specifically about the mentioned programming languages.
Alternatively, my experience is limited and I admit I may be missing something. Is previous experience with a programming language more crucial than what I think it is? Does it make a difference if it's a junior or senior position? Should it make s difference?