They often go on to point out all the "magical" things you can do in the language; how JS shape-shifts to fit whatever you're doing. For example, its (in)famously weak typing system is a favorite feature of its followers, while being a chief bone of contention among some of its detractors.
In pondering the praises sung of JS by bright-eyed young developers, many of the same who decry many other languages as "clunky," "too hard," and "sharp-edged," I've come to formulate an alarming theory:
Look at the other trends that have emerged in our global culture in the last five years:
Shortened attention-spans have given rise to
TL;DR(too lazy; didn't read) whenever it takes more than five minutes to read an article.
Frameworks fall in and out of favor at a historic rate, at the same pace as teen fashion trends.
Basic human language skills, like spelling and grammar, have been eschewed by many who scoff at the necessity to communicate clearly to others (and then who often get angry when people don't understand them.)
An alarming number of young developers dismiss the relevance of learning algorithms altogether, as "the older generation of math nerds did that for us, so we don't have to." (I wish I weren't quoting an actual person.)
I've known college students (some of them my own classmates at the time) who would whine about having to spend 30 minutes on their homework. I knew one student who argued he should be allowed to copy answers out of the back of his algebra book because, and I quote, "the professor shouldn't expect me to take the time to learn this stuff."
I've interviewed candidates who bragged about their code only just being good enough to pass a college assignment, or who laughed off their failure to read the specification for a coding challenge as unimportant and irrelevant.
Understand, I'm only documenting the trends I've observed; I have no intent on sticking labels on any individuals. Whether these statements apply to you personally, you'll have to decide for yourself.
In short, there is a growing cultural trend towards a wholesale avoidance of anything that requires concerted, prolonged thought.
Mind you, those consequences still manifest themselves as logic bugs and performance problems, and no one can deny that modern apps and websites are rife with both problems. One might even argue that the quality of shipped software is at an all-time low.
I've noticed that a number of these developers who use JS in this manner rarely have more than a passing familiarity with other languages. They dismiss C++ as "too hard" and "legacy". They often have to seek out regular help debugging Python code they wrote with the same slipshod "anything goes" mentality, while dismissing the admonishments of experts to change their approach.
Far from the wild stories novices claim about the language, C++'s developers often produce code that is stable and performant, as the language's own touchy nature requires the programmer to exercise care and concerted thought. Yet we seldom feel like we're wasting our time because we know that the extra effort to produce working code also minimizes our debugging efforts later. We're probably not often going to be awake at 2 AM because "prod crashed".
you're not going to thrive in this field
P.S. This doesn't mean that C++ isn't without its flaws, and many languages exist that effectively resolve some these issues (such as D and Rust).
And while Python appears to be "magical" in its own right, experienced Python developers are among the strictest sticklers for pedantic technical accuracy alive, always pursuing the best possible solution, rather than the quickest.
Denizens of this crowd exist among the users of every language. They're usually the ones to avoid
-Werror in C/C++, because "they can't get their code to compile." They're the ones who complain about linters and other static analyzers, because they "just fill the code with a bunch of red sqiggly lines." They're the ones who use
double any time their value has a decimal point, instead of considering
float, because they don't want to think of the actual needs of their data and calculations. I could go on.
If you're reading this and seeing a reflection of yourself in my warnings, I hope all this comes as a cold splash of reality for you. You can become a good programmer, but the road to get there is not by any means easy or level.
Bad code is bad code, whether it compiles or not.
You must learn algorithms, paradigms, and design patterns, no matter how "magical" your favorite language seems.
Just because high-level languages and tools abstract away the underlying computer logic, that does not excuse you from understanding said underlying logic.
NOTE: It's unfortunate that some have chosen to misinterpret my words as "gatekeeping", either because they didn't fully understand what I said, or because they chose to willfully make a controvery out of this.
A good programmer can come from anywhere, just as a good football player or violinist can come from anywhere. But, as I've already said in the article and repeatedly in the comments, one must consider two things:
Programming isn't right for everyone. Not everyone will be a good programmer, just as not everyone will be a good football player or violinist, because we're all different. Our skills, abilities, talents, and interests are varied.
If one wishes to be a good programmer, they must count the cost of what is involved in becoming a good programmer. A football player must practice the sport, build muscle strength, spend a lot of time on drills and fitness. A violinist must put in massive time for practice, learn music theory, play both technical exercises and songs over and over again, and take proper care of their hands and their instrument. Count the cost. There will be one; only you can decide if it's right for you.
To pretend that programming requires nothing of the programmer, that it is a free-for-all wherein anyone can build a successful career with nothing more than casual play, does no one any service.
As I've said repeatedly, only you can decide this for yourself. You're welcome to come through the gate; no one is stopping you. But you must decide for yourself if you really want what's on the other side.
Self care is a hot topic these days, and I’m not just talking about face masks. There is a growing movement that underscores the importance of taking time to take care of yourself (in addition to all the other things that you already take time for). You can prevent problems down the road by taking proactive steps to ensure your health and happiness.