Whatsa matter buddy? Yous gotta problem with Javascript?

After more than 10 years as a professional software developer I have decided that you can write good code in any language…or bad code.

I’ve seen great assembly language, bad Java, scintillating Visual Basic, poor Python, ludicrous lisp, crisp Hypertalk, and even some very good Javascript.

David Chelimsky asks What’s the Problem with Javascript and all I can do is nod my head and state “I concur”.

Javascript allows you to create classes, subclasses, and even has studly regular expression support that would make a Perl user feel right at home.

Many languages suffer from what can only be considered “the AOL” effect. When AOL really took off, (slightly) longer time internet users considered AOL users to be worthless. Some of it was that they didn’t understand [http://www.dtcc.edu/cs/rfc1855.html netiquette], but it was also that their entry onto the internet was considered too easy. They weren’t smart enough, or technical enough, or elite enough to count like ”’real”’ internet users.

Programming languages are the same way. Lisp and C++ users regularly look down on programmers using almost any other programming language because the barrier of entry to Lisp and C++ is high. Mastering difficult languages, and anything else with a high barrier of entry, should result in feelings of pride, but they also often result in feeling of superiority over others.

When I started doing web development, I felt the same way about Javascript. I had mastered C++, Lisp, and many other languages. Perhaps I would do a little client side validation in Javascript, but certainly nothing more.

It turns out Javascript is a pretty nice language. It has a fairly modern runtime: easy, built-in arrays and mapping types, garbage collection, a well designed library, and the ability to manipulate almost anything in a client browser. With a little more study I discovered that the prototype based object system was very handy for developing classes and subclasses and the syntax for doing so was only slightly more awkward than Smalltalk, Java, or C#.

These days I am asked to, and am willing, to write code in many languages I once thought beneath me.

Today if someone were to say about me “Writes good code regardless of language.” I would proud.

Any developer worth hiring should be.