New Language Every Year

The Pragmatic Programmer says:

Learn at least one new language every year. Different languages solve the same problems in different ways. By learning several different approaches, you can help broaden your thinking and avoid getting stuck in a rut.

For few years I have followed this. Last year I learned Python. I have to admit I didn’t master it so much that I can use it in my work but I have learned different approaches and it broadened my thinking. For example, the way that Python handles arrays powerfully in many ways was something fresh and new for me. I don’t anymore see arrays just as a static collection of objects and I can thank Python for that.

Don’t worry too much whether you will actually use that new language for work. If you learn something new to expand your mind, it’s likely that the knowledge will come in handy at work, and even if it doesn’t, it will have helped you cultivate an alternate perspective towards problem solving. www.programmr.com

This Year’s Choice: JavaScript

I made the following poll on Twitter few weeks ago:

Even if the poll wasn’t a big success I made my choice to learn JavaScript this year because that was the one I was already thinking before the poll. Even if JavaScript is one of the most common programming languages in the world it is quite new for me. In past years I have done some free JavaScript course for example in Code School but that doesn’t count.

Why did I choose JavaScript? The main reasons are:

  1. I want to learn front-end programming and
  2. It is used in my workplace.

It is a bit ashamed to admit the first reason that I am not good at front-end programming. But now is the time to get some knowledge in this area!

The second reason is quite practical. I guess many of us want to understand programming languages used in our workplaces. If I know JavaScript better I will probably understand better our software’s big picture, even if I won’t ever program front-end in the workplace. And as a back-end developer, I would better understand how my programs are used.

My First Touch to JavaScript in 2002

It was about 2002 when I had my first touch with JavaScript. I had a web programming course in university and JavaScript was one part of it. As an exercise, I made a 3×3 tic-tac-toe game with JavaScript.

At that time JavaScript wasn’t very popular among developers. The main reason was that every web browser didn’t support it and it was better to create web pages that work in every browser. Nor there wasn’t any back-end capability in JavaScript like Node.js nowadays.

For few years I didn’t update my knowledge about JavaScript, even if for a couple of years I was developing web applications. I was thought to avoid it. Then in 2007 new programmers were hired to our company who told about Ajax. Little by little I started to realize that JavaScript had become a programming language that should be used.

Beginning

If you have good hints about books, websites etc. to learn JavaScript or you recommend some particular JavaScript framework please contact me. I am all ears. So far I have thought to start from the JavaScript path in Pluralsight.

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