Tim Han

@timhancodes

Why You Should Know Latest JavaScript

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As the popularity of JavaScript grows, we are seeing more jobs open up that involve JavaScript. My company was no exception as we were in search for a senior software engineer focused on front end engineering. During the hiring period, the feedbacks from my coworker on the candidates made me realize something valuable: stay up-to-date with your JavaScript.

To give some context, my company (start-up) uses JavaScript in many applications (front end projects and microservices) and we use some of the latest features of JavaScript like Promise and Async/Await. In my opinion, these are two very powerful features that enhances JavaScript’s ability to handle asynchronousity when used the right way. So, as a candidate, I believe it’s very important to know these features not just for the sake of the interview but as a general knowledge.

Getting back to the interview provided by my coworker, he had a chance to interview few potential candidates and ask them about building a Promise, using Async/Await, using Generator, and more. Believe it or not, all the candidates didn’t make it.

Why?

Surprisingly, many of the candidates had one thing in common. They were mostly old school JavaScript developers/engineers meaning their knowledge or JavaScript didn’t go beyond ES5. There are few reasons that contribute to this: lack of exposure to JavaScript in previous job, no real encounter of ES6+ in previous jobs, or no real personal effort to stay up-to-date with the evolution of JavaScript.

I believe these reasons are all valid, because not all places use JavaScript the same way from each other if they even use JavaScript at all. However, if JavaScript expertise is noted on your resume, not being familiar with ES6+ will be a huge mistake/disadvantage and bite you very soon just like how it did for the candidates that came for my company onsite interview.

If you still don’t think this isn’t the right type of time investment at your current stage, I would suggest researching more into how the company uses JavaScript and to what extend to really gauge how much you should be familiar with. Most importantly, be transparent. Sometimes, being transparent about what you know and don’t know can show what kind of person you are in a good way.

I know that many will raise a great point that not all places use these fancy async stuff, which I totally agree. However, I believe most people can agree that moving forward, some of the new JavaScript features will become standards that all JavaScript developers/engineers must know. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to know about the new JavaScript features at least for future interviews at companies that use later features of JavaScript (hint hint).

I hope this will help you guys to encourage learning ES6+ and realize the importance of staying up-to-date with the newer JavaScript. On top of that, I think the newer features in JavaScript are really cool and won’t bore you (hopefully).

With that said, good luck to everyone getting ready for interviews!

“Any applications that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript” — Jeff Atwood (Co-Founder of Stack Overflow)

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