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Magical Coding

I’ve come back to JavaScript from the Ruby world. There, over the last 5 years or so, we’ve learned some very painful lessons (courtesy of Rails) about how “explicit is better than implicit”. I’m not terribly far along my React-learning odyssey, after briefly considering Vue and Angular, but I’m thrilled with React, and your examples clearly demonstrate why.

Yes, I have to write more lines of code. But, when someone new comes onto the project, or I revisit my code a year later, it requires no hand-waving appeals to Magic Behind the Scenes to understand how the code works. The cognitive load required to reason about the code is reduced and, you’ll find, your ability to actually put useful work into production tends to increase rather dramatically. It also gives you more control over the future of your software, being able to adapt it to meet changing needs before, or in ways different than, those changes are reflected in your third-party toolkit of choice.

A wise man once said that software “is a conversation between developers that incidentally happens to be executable by a computer”. Another observant soul noticed that “your code is a conversation between you and your future self”, whether that future is five minutes or five years from now, and whether or not other individuals are privy to the conversation along the way.

Wouldn’t you rather have an intelligible conversation? Or do you prefer The Merchant of Venice in the devolutionary 1ee7speak?

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