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Thinking in JavaScript

Over the last week I’ve gradually come to the realization that the fundamental reason why most people have trouble with JavaScript is because it doesn’t fit their mental model of how programming should be done.  This isn’t to say that most programmers don’t manage to achieve their end goal.  But if you sit back and take an objective look at the code we end up writing, you have to admit, the code ends up being quite ugly.

Now, this isn’t a dig at the way we’ve been doing things.  We’ve all been doing the best we can with what we have.  But, the JavaScript world has progressed and there is a better mental model that has developed and should even be expanded which will allow us to develop more complex and feature rich applications now and well into the future.

Thinking in JavaScript
Photo credit: freddie boy via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

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Coasting, Curiosity, Diversification and Being Awesome

There are two twin evils that I see in the programming community.  The first is the programmer who knows what he knows and has no desire to learn more.  I call these, “coasters”.  And then there are the programmers who are so curious that they try to learn every new thing that comes along, with no focus.  The interesting thing is, both of these types of people end up at the same place. Out of work.  The cure for both is the same.  Being Awesome.

Coasting, Curiosity, Diversification and Being Awesome
Photo credit: aaronHwarren via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND

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3 JavaScript Fallacies You Might Believe

You know, you think the whole world knows something is true until you hear someone people respect say something really dumb.  The three JavaScript fallacies I have here are actual statements I’ve heard over the last week during a discussion about Angular2 and Rect.  What makes these fallacies particularly interesting is that they sound plausible.  In fact, there are time when they are even true.  But in the larger context of a JavaScript application they are nearly always false.

So, here are 3 JavaScript Fallacies you may still believe that you may want to reevaluate.

3 JavaScript Fallacies You Might Believe
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JavaScript Fatigue Makes Me Scream

Maybe JavaScript Fatigue makes you scream too.

Are you annoyed with the constantly changing JavaScript environment?  Do you wish things could just settle down for a bit?  Have you decided that you won’t learn anything new because there will just be something new to learn tomorrow?

Welcome to JavaScript Fatigue.

But frankly, unlike many people who talk about JavaScript Fatigue, I see JavaScript Fatigue and the much broader subject of language fatigue as a symptom of a much larger problem that has less to do with JavaScript and more to do with human psychology and the state of the programming community at large.

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What if Everything Was Immutable?

The first time a programmer who was trained in the classical procedural/object oriented history is confronted with the concept of making everything immutable, the first question that comes to mind is, “won’t that make my application slow?”  This is because of how most programmers have been trained.  Making everything immutable generally means that we must copy a lot of memory from one place to another.  Moving memory around is generally considered slow. And so, most programmers dismiss the whole idea as crazy talk.  But is it really all that crazy?

What if Everything Was Immutable?
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