Christoph Wagner

Freelance Software Developer

Don’t Learn CoffeeScript Until You Understand JavaScript (Part 2)

05 May 2015

In the last part, I talked about my motivation for re-learning JavaScript. In this part, I’ll tell you how I went about it. The third part will be about how being better at JavaScript will make you better at CoffeeScript as well.

After the sobering conclusion that I didn’t really know how to write JavaScript very well, I decided to fix this once and for all. It just seemed to make sense. Web application had (and still have) been consistently getting more front-end heavy, and after serving as a sideshow for almost 15 years, JavaScript was getting ready for prime time. Everyone was investing in it, and Google was leading the charge. But where to start?

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Don't Learn CoffeeScript Until You Understand JavaScript (Part 1)

29 April 2015

When I first found out about CoffeeScript a few years ago, I was immediately hooked. Here was a language that looked a lot like Ruby, in fact, it borrowed almost all the syntax from Ruby, and mixed in a little bit of Python just for aesthetic effect. It promised to get rid of the most annoying bugs and wrinkles in JavaScript, while making it look like a language I already knew and loved. It had a sane syntax for defining classes, array comprehensions, and a variety of other goodies I had come to love. THIS was going to be the end of my shitty JavaScript days.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Remote Work is like JavaScript: Async

09 April 2015

In August 2014, I started working for a company called Panda Strike. Apart from the unusual name (and the cute mascot), there is something else that’s unusual about it: there is no office.

Even though about half of the team members are based in Los Angeles, we rarely meet face to face. Yet we communicate all the time. Instead of face-to-face interaction, our founder and Chief Panda Dan Yoder champions the credo of remote work, similar to companies like 37 Signals or Buffer.

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Link post

08 April 2015

Programming languages shape the way their users think—which helps explain how tech startups work and why they are able to reinvent themselves.

Excellent article on Technology Review about how the choice of their primary programming language has an influence not just on the product they built, but also on company culture as a whole.

Aside from some obligatory PHP-bashing, we learn that Wikipedia’s principal engineer hates PHP (it was largely responsible for not having a mobile version of their site until 2008), the idea for Ruby came from a science fiction novel, and OCaml powers not just at least 2% of Wall Street’s computerized trading, but also the type checking system in Facebook’s Hack language.

The only gripe I have with the article is that it’s much too short.

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