Kurt's Blog

December 4, 2010

My new language for 2011 is …

Filed under: Programming Languages — Tags: — Kurt Häusler @ 2:29 pm

JavaScript! I chose this one for a variety of reasons:

  • It has a good mix of familiar and different. It is OO, but in a different way to what I am used to.
  • It is pretty useful. You really need it if you want to do anything web.
  • I will be pretty busy with my dissertation in 2011, so I don’t want anything too mind blowing or requiring learning too much new fundamental stuff, like with Haskell.
  • It should provide a good series of ‘quick wins’ where small investments in learning can lead to easily visible and realisable functionality.
  • It is very popular, across many other otherwise separated language ecosystems, in some ways it unifies communities. It is one of the few languages that the .NET, Ruby, Java, etc. crowds are interested in.
  • I noticed how weak I am with front end stuff, especially web based, so it is a good idea to focus there.
  • Lots of cool libraries and frameworks.
  • The biggest reason is probably because there is a great user group nearby.
  • There is a reasonable chance I will be able to use it, or some other similar ECMAScript language like ActionScript, at work.

I intend on sticking to my usual pattern. Book learning in the first half of the year, and doing practical work with it in the second half, ideally at work as things only really sink in when I spend eight hours a day on them, although I don’t expect JavaScript to be as resistant to sinking in as Haskell was this (and last) year.

I was considering starting off with the book Professional JavaScript for Web Developers Kindle edition, as I have already got my xmas present of a Kindle. However I just noticed that the Kindle version is the 1st edition from 2005, rather than the 2nd edition from 2009, so now I am not so sure.

Other books I was considering looking at after that are JavaScript: The Good Parts and High Performance JavaScript.

Kind of bummed out about Kindle books being older editions of the print books, lucky I spotted that before I bought it.

Other languages that made my short list were also on last years list: Erlang, F#, Factor, Objective C, Ruby (although I did play around with it this year a bit anyway I still want to make it an official language of the year sometime). New ones I considered include Assembler and Clojure. However after two years of Haskell, and a dissertation coming up, I wanted to set a lowish bar. Quick wins, not too far out, practical, focus on visible results. I am happy with choosing JavaScript. In 2012 I will probably jump a bit further outside my comfort zone.

Any suggestions on JavaScript books are welcome, especially if they have up-to-date Kindle editions.



  1. I don’t know about the kindle edition, but Christian Johansen’s Test-Driven JavaScript Development (http://tddjs.com/) is a real jewel if you like to do it the TDD way.

    Comment by Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen — December 6, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  2. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Comment by Kurt Häusler — December 6, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

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