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JavaScript development

This week we talked to Razvan Tudosa, one of our new colleagues specialized in JavaScript, who took the time to answer some of our questions. He’s an eager learner, as most of the members of the Thinslices team are, and he gladly accepted to share some JavaScript development tools.

What are the top ten things a beginner must know about JavaScript?

1. JavaScript is not Java, nor does it work like Java.
2. JS is a loosely typed language, therefore any variable can hold any type of value.
3. Global Scope & Hoisting
4. Prototypal Inheritance, objects inherit directly from other objects (there are no classes, yet!)
5. What 'this' is, in JS. Sometimes 'this' is that (joke)
6. Lambda functions
7. Clojures
8. In JS, 0.1 + 0.2 is not equal to 0.3
9. Understand Events in JavaScript
10. Google is your best friend

What are some cool JavaScript tricks?

===============================================

true && "some value" == "some value" (Guard Operator)
false || "some value" == "some value" (Default Operator)

===============================================

var arr = [ 'zero', 'one', 'two', 'three' ];
arr = arr.splice(2, 1); // this removes element 'two';

//arr wil be [ 'zero', 'one', 'three' ];

What are the best JavaScript shortcuts?

a ? a = 1 : a = 2 is the same thing as if (a) { a = 1 } else { a = 2 }

var a = [ ]; is the same as var a = new Array();
var a = { }; is the same as var a = new Object();

What is the best choice for JavaScript frameworks?

Razvan claims he is not a rigorous individual, and he therefore does not believe in the idea of an ‘absolute best’ regarding JS frameworks. He says it only depends on the needs of every JavaScript developer and on what they intend to accomplish. At the moment, Razvan is using Angular.js, as he enjoys it and it seems to suit his needs best. Up until now, he has not had the opportunity to experiment with Ember.js, but he is eager to give it a try as soon as he has some spare time on his hands.

What is the best editor for JavaScript?

Flexibility should be among the features of every web developer. Open-mindedness and the availability to try new things are also two musts that make the entire JavaScript development process flow naturally. According to Razvan, the best editor for anything is the one you are most comfortable with.

For a rather short period of time, Razvan used NetBeans. He has now switched to Sublime, which is traditionally used at Thinslices, but since he has recently been ‘exposed’ to Node.js, he is more and more tempted to use WebStorm. Razvan claims that WebStorm could make the debugging process easier, which is why, in the future, he intends to try it as well.

The JavaScript learning process. How it’s made.

Fortunately for Razvan, he started coming into contact with JavaScript at the time he was still an intern. He says that mentorship is, in most cases, critical when it comes to learning new things. Finding an individual who is able and available to explain and support an intern is a tough task, but learning from a master in the field is a desirable achievement. Mentorship cannot work alone in perfecting the recipe of a JavaScript developer, and it is best combined both with practical experiments and with web resources.

If you’ve recently begun learning JavaScript, you may want to consult the following websites:

- Eloquent Javascript. A Modern Introduction to Programming, by Marjin Haverbeke
- JavaScript: The Good Parts, by Douglas Crockford, along with the JavaScript Website by the same author
- The ultimate JavaScript encyclopedia, by Mozilla Developer Network
- Superhero.js, an immense database of JavaScript trends

For continuous documentation, Razvan recommends staying up to date with:

- JavaScript Weekly, a free once-a-week aggregator of news on JS
- All around JavaScript Tutorials
- The JavaScript Digest by Smashing Magazine

Remember, in web development, learning never stops.

 

Image credit: Flickr user Dmitry Baranovskiy

 
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