Monday, June 04, 2012

We know JavaScript is weird... enough already!

So it looks like JavaScript is close to being considered a "real" language nowadays. There are frameworks which allow you to do MVC (like Backbone.js), you can use it on the server (with Node.js) and you can even use it to interact with datastores (via MongoDB).

So why is it that almost every job posting you see for a JavaScript gig and/or every interview you go to that has a JavaScript component, asks you to interpret/debug (without using a browser) some esoteric fault of JavaScript that you probably wouldn't run into in a 100 years because you actually write decent JS?

Like
  var cities = ["NY", "SF"];
  cities.length = 1;
  console.log(cities); // outputs ["NY"]

or 


  var a = 1 + 1 + "1"; // equals "21"
  var b = "1" + 1 + 1; // equals "111"

It's as if they are trying to say to you "Look at that piece of crap language you are programming in! You must be an idiot!" while at the same time offering you a job in said language whilst wanting to build up their systems in it.

Also, there are so many of these quirks in JS (and web development in general) that just because you may not have seen one, it does not mean that you are a bad programmer and you don't know JavaScript.

Instead, ask them to do FizzBuzz at a console with a text editor and a browser (whilst looking over their shoulder to see that they are not cheating) and really look at how well their code is written. Ask them to generate a recursive function. Ask them to create an instance of an object and add some functionality to it via prototype.

In short, ask them to do something they do in real life and what you probably want them to do for you.

Don't remind them how shitty JS is, believe me, they know this more than you.

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