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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love JavaScript

Cover Image for How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love JavaScript
Steven Confessore

I made fun of JavaScript. It was not a language to me. It was an inferior abomination and I decided I wanted nothing to do with it.

Silly me.

JavaScript is everywhere. It may not be the most performant utility, however, rapidly solving an issue has no simpler interface. I could spend a year architecting, building and optimizing in a lower level language (yes the gains are worth it) or I could spend a week or month and push the same proof of concept to production with tools such as Next, React, Tailwind, and all of the publicly available modules on the community hub repository NPM.

Yes, I began with systems level exposure and moved through the stack to reach the top level. I learned computer science from the bottom up. I recognize that most people learn computer science from the top down beginning with interpreted technologies such as Python, TypeScript and of course JavaScript. Particularly, individuals may be of the more inquisitive mind and delve deeper into the stack where they might find some compiled languages such as Java and C#. Deeper still, Rust (my personal favorite), C++, Objective-C and various others that communicate nearly directly with hardware.

My focus is on becoming the best engineer that I can be. This precludes me from discounting tools that can get the job done no matter my bias towards them. After all, if it works, it works. I do not wish to take a hammer to a screw nor a screwdriver to a nail either.

So we dance, we fall in love and we pound the keys through the night fueled by coffee on to sunrise. I wondered why I had allowed myself to believe that I would not operate within certain domains. I felt silly. Like I had all of these opportunities right in front of me and I realized my ego was holding me back.

You are an engineer. You may have learned from the bottom at the low system level on the back end and somehow you found yourself at the top on the front end interpreted level. You may feel you have lost complete control. I am here to tell you that you gained time. All of the time that you would have spent optimizing in your preferred realm has now been gifted back to you.

There is nothing wrong with JavaScript. There was only something wrong with the way that I viewed JavaScript.

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