New Year 2013

It’s that time again.

And aside from starting off the New Year with a pestilent stomach virus, I’m going to go ahead and make some new years resolutions:

  1. Be a more Active Blogger.
  2. Eat less fast food.
  3. Save like crazy for my wedding and cohabitation plans that will be put in to action starting in August of this year.
  4. At least spend less money on fast food…
  5. Improve my JavaScript game.

Last year, around this time. I pledged to myself that this year (2012) would be the year I attain my ZCE. Nine months from then, that dream was realized. This was probably my biggest professional and personal accomplishment thus far, and speaking in regards to the level of growth it gave me to study for such a test, I am more than delighted to say that the pride of proclaiming yourself a ZCE is easily dwarfed by the pride you get from the sense of knowledge and understanding of PHP that you attain. Fueled by that success, I’m setting sail this year on a new ship, one destined for the shores of JavaScript Island.

According to RedMonk, the most popular scripting language in September 2012 is JavaScript. My language of choice – PHP, came rounding in at 3rd place. Therefore it’s easy to see why it’s important to learn and become proficient in JavaScript. Up until now, all the JavaScript that I know and use is learned on an As-Needed basis. This usually happens by me saying “Hmm, well… It’d really be nice if I had some client side validation here.” or “I’d really like to see this execute asynchronously/update automatically”, or the like. But aside from the popularity contest, it’s simple to see that all the cool and fun JavaScript libraries like Backbone.js and Node.js are all, well, JavaScript! And to make beautiful Web 2.0 functionality come to life, it’s imperative to develop a fundamental understanding of JavaScript.

I also had an interesting conversation with one of my fellow developers at work about a week ago about the language, and he mentioned something interesting that actually fell in line with something that I once believed as well. He said, “I used to think it was such a rinky-dink little language, but the more I discover about it, the more I say ‘Wow, this is such a complex and robust language we can really take advantage of..'”, and that made me extremely curious. Until now as I said before, JavaScript has been nothing but a little flash or decoration for my robust PHP applications. I don’t consider JavaScript as robust as PHP is, at least in my current state of disposition toward the language. Especially considering the fact that all the business logic in a pure JavaScript application is surrendered to the client side, not getting the benefit of server-side security, I’ve only utilized JavaScript as such. Tools with which to create flair, pizazz, but never business logic.

I want to change that this year. I want to forget everything I know about JavaScript, and attack it from page one of a book as if I’ve never heard of it before. Learn it from the grass up. I need to abolish that As-Needed mindset of JavaScript, and acquire a concrete understanding as I have with PHP. I believe somewhere in the course of doing so I will see what Aziz mentioned, as far as his remark about it being such a complex and robust language. I want to see that in JavaScript. I want it to come to me. I want to think of it as more than just fireworks, but maybe something of a solid structure from which to craft breathtaking web 2.0 applications.. He mentioned a phrase that day that I’ve heard about the language from many different sources, “JavaScript is easy to learn, but takes years to master”.

Respectable, for sure. I’m up for the challenge, and I hope that this year is as rewarding as last year was in pursuit of my ZCE. Here’s to a year of growth and prosperity for us all.


2 thoughts on “New Year 2013

    1. Dustin Post author

      I haven’t seen that Tech Talk, but I ordered that book from Amazon last week and it should be on its way in! I’ve heard that it’s one of the best books to read on JS that’s out there. Douglas Crockford is awesome, have a look at this :)

      Funny stuff! And thanks for the link to that talk, I’m about 30 minutes in to it and it’s already covering some great material!

      Happy New Years Keith!


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