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Tech Book Face Off: JavaScript: The Good Parts Vs. JavaScript Patterns

After learning a new language and getting comfortable with its syntax and feature set, it's a good practice to explore how to write well in that language. Each language has its own quirks, and writing well in a programming language means learning how to write in it idiomatically—how to structure statements, functions, and the entire program in a way that is most efficient for that language, and how other programmers expect things to be expressed in that language. I figured it was high time that I learn more idiomatic JavaScript, so I picked up a couple of books on the subject: JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford and JavaScript Patterns by Stoyan Stefanov. Both books are fairly slim, easy reads, but there's no need to read both. Let's see which one comes out on top.

JavaScript: The Good Parts front coverVS.JavaScript Patterns front cover

Learning Without Understanding

It's funny what you can do without knowing what you're doing. For instance, I started programming in Lisp over a decade ago without even knowing it. I realized this, when a few months ago, I started learning the Scheme dialect of Lisp and things felt oddly familiar. I had seen function names like car, cdr, and cons before, along with all of those parentheses. It turns out that I had already learned another dialect of Lisp called SKILL, and I had had no idea what I was learning at the time. I wonder if I would have learned more and gained a wider understanding of the development environment I was working in had I understood what I was doing those many years ago.