My transition from Python to JavaScript

Recently, I’ve been very Python focused, from writing automated tests in Python for Mozilla, to writing web applications like and Pattr using Flask, a Python web development framework. It’s safe to say I’m no stranger to Python or its development kits. In fact, there’s a plethora of projects I’d like to get started on that would be simple for me to do in Python.

However, I began to think about my skill set as a whole, examining the projects I’ve worked on and the projects that I would like to work on. With various internships opening and opportunities arising around me, I’ve begun to think its time to branch out and strengthen my JavaScript skills. Now, I’m proficient in JavaScript, don’t get me wrong. I’m confident in my abilities to pass a technical interview and do some cool stuff with it, but I’m nowhere near the level I am in Python.

I mentioned earlier that developing in JavaScript and exploring different tools and frameworks out there would allow me to do a lot more. In fact, it’d open up a whole new area of possibilities that I only dreamed of working on. For example, one of the most exciting changes in the tech world recently was WordPress’s move from PHP to JavaScript. To me, this was extraordinary (maybe even worth a post in the near future). JavaScript has always struck me as a lightweight, yet powerful language — one of the main reasons Python and JavaScript are so attractive to me. Being able to contribute to the WordPress platform in a language I enjoy and am familiar with would be an amazing experience I hope to partake in soon.

Second is the expansion of repositories and projects I can contribute to as a Mozilla volunteer. Given many of their web tools are focused on the web, JavaScript is the most popular development language, with Python following closely behind. Not to say there’s not much to do with my Python knowledge, but imagine the potential when my JavaScript skills level up to that of my Python skills. Not only would I be able to contribute to more of Mozilla’s web properties, but also hack on Firefox OS, something I have always wanted to do (definitely a new post coming soon). The potential here is tremendous, with extraordinary room for growth, improvement, and mobility across projects.

Now, a lot of this may make it sound like there’s a lot of work to be done for me to attain this goal. There is. BUT, I’m not at square one. I can write code in JavaScript and know all the basics. The true journey begins in branching out and exploring the limits of what I can do. I never got better at Python by writing the same old number guessing programs. I built my own projects and contributed some pretty cool code to Mozilla. I challenge anyone in this situation to follow in my steps and do the same. Get out there and do something with what you know. Fork a repo and dig around. Build a simple app. Do anything you can to expand your knowledge, and by the time you know it, you’ll be a pro.