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Is It Time To Switch To JavaScript?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

JavaScript LogoQuestion from the mailbox: "After many years as a server side developer and DBA, is it time to make a switch to JavaScript and focus on client side development?"

I think you need to work in an environment you enjoy. Some people do not enjoy client side development, and that's ok. There is still plenty of work to do on the server and in the services that run there.

The funny thing is, you don't have to leave the server to learn JavaScript. Take a look at technologies like NodeJS or MongoDB first. Having some JavaScript experience will be good, and I think there is no better way to learn a new language than to use the language inside a paradigm you already understand.

Once you know more about JavaScript the language you should take some time to explore the HTML development landscape and try working with some of the tools and frameworks, even if you have to use some of your spare time.

Maybe you’ll find you like the new world, only then it would be time for a switch, because in the end you gotta do what you enjoy...

Gravatar Michael Sullivan Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Agreed. Just listened to the recent JavaScript convo on .NET Rocks. Great stuff. I'm currently watching the Node.js for .NET Developers on Pluralsight (and some K. Scott courses as well). It's a whole new world.
Gravatar Sunil Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Good advice. I am going to further add, be it server side or client side, javascript or C#, it's just programming. If it looks like fun, learn it and make yourself a better developer. Even if you don't use it at the current work place it can definitely add to your resume.
Gravatar Bob Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I agree. If the answer to should I switch to JS is yes, then the answer to should I focus on client side is not necessarily. You can if you want, but you'll do perfectly fine sticking to the server side with JS.
Gravatar Captain Betty Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Agreed. You don't have to leave one for the other. There has to be a balance and it's good to know both.
Khurram Wednesday, April 23, 2014
It seems to me that you learn 1 language and then there are different frameworks which you can adopt very easily. Specially in my case when I decided to investigate NOSQL I picked up MongoDB and it was very easy for me to understand the underline query language as the shell understands JS. Personally I have decided that this year I will invest my time in learning things like MongoDB , ExpressJS , Nodejs and it is always fun to see how other non-microsoft platform approach to certain situations. Regards Khurram
Gravatar lakhdar Thursday, April 24, 2014
Javascript Server side for nowadays its a lot of speak for nothing , its just for small apps and beginners or learning purpose as JavaScipt is easy to handle .all of That is based on V8 implementation of javascript . Now for javascipt client side it still limited and one big limit in my sense ; Web application mean universal app so it can run on different platforms and machines but there is a small machines(i mean small resources in that machine small RAm...) So Writing a big App in JS html5 and it will be impossible for unhappy person whith a small machine ?no ! I think serve side coding like PHP , ASP, JSP ... still have a long ...
Gravatar Roman Thursday, April 24, 2014
Scott, did you have a chance to try Sencha ExtJS? When about year ago I had to create pilot web app using SPA-approach without help of web designers I found ExtJS. It took some time time to learn and adapt to it. After getting more experienced with it I start looking out for alternatives. The only realistic one I can see is AngularJS although I'm not sure about such a variety of out-of-the-box components Sencha has. Major downside of ExtJS is extremely heavy code and page processing. But it's not very critical while building intranet/corp applications. I use Visual Studio to write web APIs in C# and at the same place manage ExtJS MVC components without touching HTML/CSS at all. Again, I'm sure you at least heard about ExtJS. Just wondering what do you think. Your opinion is very valuable.
Gravatar Charles Williams Friday, May 16, 2014
Yes. But you don't need to abandon all your other skills. Certainly don't abandon all your experience programming. JavaScript can be a great language to learn and work with, particularly if you learn some basic patterns and how they're expressed in JavaScript's world. Understanding JavaScript loose typing, scoping and closures, the module pattern, first-class functions, and prototype inheritance are essential to getting a useful grasp of the modern JavaScript programming world. Then there's the whole trip back to Functional Programming that's an exercise for the traditional OOP practitioner. JavaScript has come of age with tooling and frameworks for getting real work done. It will continue to grow in use and popularity. It should be in most developers 'toolbox'.
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