What JS framework should you learn?

January 30, 2016
Posted in Javascript


PHP developers have to learn some JavaScript. There is no debate there, given that JS is the most important programming language in the world, and since when it comes to browser scripting, there is no other option.

JavaScript, like PHP, has several frameworks/libraries to choose from: jQuery, AngularJS, ReactJS … etc. With that in mind, I had someone put this question to me recently: “Is there JS framework you would recommend or to think about ?”

My answer:

Whatever you do, learn jQuery … although, you don’t have to learn everything about it. Just get an overview and understand the basics. jQuery is big and trying to learn everything might be a waste of time.

… It’s good to know WHAT a framework can do, so you can consider it for projects you are working on. But don’t use a framework for the sake of using it. People often think that they should be looking for a way to use a framework. No … use a framework only if you need to.

So much, and too much to learn!

The thing about learning tech skills, is that you have to learn to filter – there is so much to learn, you can never keep up. You have to pick and choose.

My advice is to first learn the basic concepts and techniques that are universal. Things like OOP, MVC design pattern (and others), separation of concerns etc … then get into more advanced programming concepts. Once you have that, you can poke around some frameworks, keep your eye on what is out there, but keep in mind that it is not possible to learn all things.

I lost 10% of my hair in the 1990’s, trying to learn too much!

Back in the 1990’s when I first cut my coding teeth, I used to drive myself bat shit crazy trying to keep up with all the ‘hot’ amazing nerd-tech hitting the Web. Most of the time, the new amazing thing wasn’t really much better than what was already there, and many a times, you would sacrifice some advantage in one library, framework or language … for another.

Again, know the basics well, learn the key libraries/frameworks so you at least know what they can do. But don’t go nuts. Personally, in the JS world, I would learn jQuery first and foremost. But not all of it.

Thanks for reading.

Stefan Mischook


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