Do You Really Know JavaScript?

Photo by Christopher Robin Ebbinghaus on Unsplash

By Eric Wise

As educators, we get a lot of requests for the most popular tools and frameworks across all of our program areas: software development, data science, UI/UX, cybersecurity, and more. One of the more frequent requests is for modern web frameworks such as Angular and React. These inquiries always lead to an interesting conversation that goes something like this:

Me: How well does your team know JavaScript?
Them: They’ve been using JavaScript for years.
Me: <skeptical face>

Why the skepticism? Because most people (including me a few years back) who came from the back-end coding world learned enough JavaScript in the browser to be dangerous, which often meant using jQuery to handle simple events and requests. To be clear, this is not modern JavaScript development.

Don’t believe me? Email me your answers to these two questions and I’ll send the first person who gets them correct a Trilogy t-shirt.

  • How do you add an element to the beginning or end of an array? Bonus: Is there another way specific to ES6? 
  • Write a sum function that will work with both of these two calls:
    sum(2, 3);

In recent years, we’ve gone from plain HTML and JS to using package managers such as NPM to download many third-party packages, bundlers to create single-script files, transpilers to use JavaScript features, task runners for automation, linters to do static code analysis, not to mention the rise of functional programming concepts and features found in ES6 and ES7.

The JavaScript language and ecosystem have come a long way in a few years and claiming to know JavaScript has an entirely different set of assumptions than it did five years ago.

We are finding that many experienced developers are like I was a few years ago; I would have claimed I knew JavaScript, but if I were challenged with the above features, I would have quickly been exposed as more of a hobbyist than a professional.

If you or your team desires to code in JavaScript like professionals, there is a pathway to follow. Trilogy partners with more than 45 universities to bring a variety of programs that can bring your teams up to date in the latest and greatest languages and frameworks including JavaScript, Java 9, Python, and .NET Core.

So… how well does your team know JavaScript?


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