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Fernando Doglio
Fernando Doglio

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JavaScript of the Week: a conversation with Peter Cooper

Hello and welcome to a new installment of what I like to call "JavaScript of the Week". In it, I want to feature one person from our beloved Node.js + JavaScript community asking them some interesting questions and getting some advice for the newcomers.

Hopefully showing that these massively influential people started just like everyone else, and if they made it, you can too!

This week we have with us Peter Cooper (A.K.A @peterc on Twitter) , editor of JavaScript Weekly (from a publication we all know very well.

Let's take a look at what he had to say, shall we?
Peter Cooper

1. Tell me a bit about yourself (hobbies, education, etc)

I left school at 16 and I've been programming forever.

I have three children so who has time for hobbies? Haha. I play FIFA (the soccer video game) quite a lot just to ensure I actually have something other than programming I can talk about..

2. How old were you when you started programming? And what language was it?

Around 5. I don't remember but my parents have photos! I first remember programming around 6 years old but it was just very basic PRINTing to the screen, etc, nothing fancy!

3. How long have you been working with JavaScript?

My first posts about JavaScript online were in 1996 so 23 years? But it's been very on and off, I've not been a professional JavaScript developer all of that time, of course.

4. What got you started with it?

I have a bad memory but my earliest posts online were all about adding extra functionality to HTML forms. Basic validation, stuff like that, in the era before built-in validation (which arrived with HTML5). That's really all JavaScript was good for back then as it was really slow and limited.

5. If you could re-define the language, what would you change?

This'll be controversial but if this were a historical revision (and not a revision now that everyone's used to JavaScript) I would have avoided prototypal inheritance and gone with something less idiomatic.

6. What would you say is the best feature of JavaScript?

The accessibility. I'm not a huge fan of many of the language's features but people seem to find it easy to learn and get involved with.

7. What advice would you give to someone who's just starting to learn JS/Node?

Subscribe to JavaScript Weekly? Haha.

8. Any particular learning resource you'd like to recommend?

MDN, Wes Bos's courses, and always good books (such as those by Dr. Axel).

9. Is there a project / website / something you'd like to promote while you're at it?

No response given here, but I'd suggest checking out JavaScript Weekly if you haven't!

10. Favorite superhero?

Grace Hopper

(Note from Fernando: I love this question, we're getting responses that are outside of what we would expect. Do you know who Grace Hopper is? If you don't, you should!)

And that is it for our JavaScript of this Week coming all the way from the man who's usually getting in our inbox on a weekly basis.

What did you think?

I liked the fact that he's been punching keys on and off since he was 5 (or 6) years old! Coming from a parent of 2, I definitely want my kids to learn how to code in the near future, given the fact that now everything is digital. But that wasn't the case back then, I'm not sure when Peter was born (thinking back on it, I should ask a question about that... mh), but when I was a kid (early 80's), that wasn't the case and I would've loved having contact with computers at such an early age!

Leave your comments below if you have any questions for him or comments about his answers!

And if you haven't already, follow @peterc to stay up-to-date with his work!

See you on the next one!

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