After this answer, I'm done for now:
Hi Gavin and thank you and the team for the great work you've been doing for Bitcoin,
For somebody learning to code , and wanting to go into writing smart contracts and contributing to the cryptocurrencies community , where do I start?
Any specific programming languages I should master?
How deep my knowledge of cryptography and distributed networks be?
Any specific cryptocurrency resources I should look into ?
Which direction you see the need for coders is going (smart contracts, ethereal, banking? ,,, sorry for the last word
I dunno nuthin about writing smart contracts.
I'm not sure anybody actually knows enough about writing smart contracts yet for me to recommend that anybody start writing smart contracts that actually secure anything of value.
Where to start... the developer documentation on bitcoin.org is great: https://bitcoin.org/en/developer-documentation
Coders will be needed all up and down the technology stack for the forseeable future, so pick something interesting and then dive in and learn and do a lot.