The desire to know it all in programming.

Nicholas zakas /

Nicholas said something quite obvious. If you can productive with JavaScript, you may “know enough”. In our trade we sometimes like to segment the land of the programmers. You have the Computer Scientists, and the engineers, and the programmer, and the app developers, and the hackers, and the script kiddies, and on and on.

Some groups like to make fun of the others (e.g. “heh. PHP kiddies. heh.”). There is a notion that you really need a deep understanding of the programming world before you can get going.

This isn’t something special in the world of computing. Various fields talk about tinkerers compared to trades compared to rich disciplines.

If you are going to do brain surgery, the bar is high before you can do so. We want to have a rigorous process before someone gets to your head.

For building apps and tinkering, I prefer to think of us more akin to cooking. With cooking you can become an amateur pretty easily, even more so than computing. You can grab a recipe (script) and get hacking.

There is a large range in technique with cooking. You can take on a simple script, and make something very delicious. But you can also go deeper, learn new skills, and new tools (new languages, new platforms). You can even get into the chemistry of food (low level computer science) and get a deep understanding at the lowest of levels.

So, I appreciated Nicholas’ thought. You don’t need to know every feature of JavaScript to starting building something useful…. just like I can make a pretty tasty omelet with the very limited cooking skills that I have (let alone the understanding of how it all works.)

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