Friday, March 14, 2014

The road forward for technology (something old is something new)

I never thought I would drink the kool-aid. I have known JavaScript for more than a decade. It was a terrible language and has managed to survive because nothing else came along that either didn't give one company all of the power of the universe or didn't just out and out suck (I am looking at *you* DHTML)

I just got back from the Fluent Conference by O'Reilly and I am convinced. With the modernization of the language, especially what is coming in ECMA 6, most of what we do with the Web as a platform will have JS involved. If you are a developer and are not actively working on a JavaScript project, you should start now. Today.

Let me unpack what I mean by that. First, JavaScript does have a standard. The body overseeing it is ECMA. It is just now coming up on its sixth standard for the language and what it should support in its engine. They don't actually put out the language like Microsoft does with C# or like Oracle does with Java. They just specify the standard.

Secondly, the argument that performance of an interpreted language versus a native language is almost completely dead and certainly not relevant in any meaningful sense. Because the execution containers are so amazingly fast, JavaScript can frequently outperform many other expensive platforms.

Most importantly the browser is no longer the only Web surface that is being reigned in by powerful, elegant and responsive JavaScript stacks. Combined with DB technology that may as well be the definition of scale, JavaScript runs Web services that can create a dynamite API that can drive Mobile Apps, Desktop Apps, Web Sites and your mom's broccoli casserole.

Just try it already:
WebStorm http://www.jetbrains.com/webstorm/
NodeJS http://nodejs.org/
MongoDB http://www.mongodb.com/