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10 Most Recommended JavaScript Scene Articles of 2015

2015 was our first full year serving the JavaScript community, and I’m very happy with the response. We started at zero in the middle of 2014. Today, thousands of readers share our articles every month.

We have appeared many times in the Medium top 100 and top 20 lists, and just this morning, appeared 4 times in the JavaScript Weekly best of 2015 issue. We’re humbled and grateful for your support.

Here are the most recommended JavaScript Scene articles of 2015:

  1. 10 Interview Questions Every JavaScript Developer Should Know

Lots of developers manage to skate by without ever truly understanding the Two Pillars of JavaScript, asynchronous programming, and essential principles of application architecture. But if you want to build scalable, high quality applications — if you want to lead teams and mentor new developers — these are essential skills you need to master.

If you think this article is just theory, think again. You’re probably using these techniques every day without realizing it. Every major JavaScript application I’ve ever seen makes heavy use of prototypal OO, functional programming, asynchronous JavaScript, modularity, and the other topics addressed in this article. Time to stop skating by and get serious about mastering JavaScript.

2. Must See JavaScript Dev Tools that Put Other Dev Tools to Shame

The tools we use now in JS make fancy IDE autocomplete look like a baby chew toy.

3. Forget the Click Bait. Here’s What the JavaScript Job Market Really Looks Like in 2016.
Some people seem to think that more JavaScript developers in training has been leading to a more competitive job market. This article sets a few things straight, backed by lots of data — most importantly:

It’s a candidate’s market, and that won’t change in the foreseeable future.

4. Why Hiring is So Hard in Tech
An article packed with great advice for people trying to hire JavaScript developers, and JavaScript developers trying to be hired. In Silicon Valley, 45% of tech employees are not from the United States. It costs tens of thousands of dollars more to hire non-US workers, and the process entails months of waiting. So why do we hire so many foreign workers? Because it’s even harder to find qualified talent locally. This article examines some of the reasons for that, and what we can do about it.

5. Common Misconceptions About Inheritance in JavaScript
Many seasoned JavaScript developers have neglected to learn the basic mechanics of prototypal inheritance: one of the most important innovations in CS history, and one of the Two Pillars of JavaScript. To me, this is like a professional photographer who has yet to learn the exposure triangle — the basic formula for controlling much of the visual style of a photograph. Put simply:

If you don’t understand prototypes,
you don’t understand JavaScript.

6. 5 Questions Every Unit Test Must Answer
Every developer knows we should write unit tests in order to prevent defects from being deployed to production. What most developers don’t know are the essential ingredients of every unit test. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen a unit test fail, only to investigate and discover that I have absolutely no idea what feature the developer was trying to test, let alone how it went wrong or why it matters.

7. What is WebAssembly? The Dawn of a New Era
What is wasm? Why should you care? What will it do for us? This post covers those questions in detail, and points you in the right direction if you want to learn more. Wasm is not final, yet, but there are working game prototypes, and there’s already a lot to learn about why this is an important development for the web platform — and why you may want to brush up on your C++ & lisp skills while we wait for wasm to become a widely implemented recommendation.

8. The Single Biggest Mistake Programmers Make Every Day
A simple tweet leads to some profound learning. This post breaks it down and presents lots of concrete ways to be a more effective developer — and make fewer mistakes in the process.

9. How to Build a High Velocity Development Team
I’ve spent years leading development teams. This post is a brain dump encompassing decades of hard-won experience and wisdom. If you want to build a high velocity development team, this is a must read.

10. Why I Use Tape Instead of Mocha and So Should You
Software testing is an essential part of application development. Tape simplifies the process dramatically.

Most Important JavaScript Events in 2015

2015 was a very exciting year for JavaScript — perhaps the most important year for JavaScript since jQuery hit the scene in 2006. We’ve been here to cover the developments. Let’s recap a few of the most important moments:

  • ES6 was finalized and Babel made it mainstream. More than half of JavaScript Scene readers report that they’re currently using ES6 in production thanks to Babel. Many are already using some of the more stable features coming in ES2016. The days of waiting for browser implementations are gone.
  • React officially arrived. In June we predicted that React may be poised to steal mindshare from Angular. That trend played out in a big way throughout the rest of 2015, and I am confidently predicting that the trend will continue into 2016, barring major changes in Angular’s strategy going forward. Angular may hold onto dominance for a while, but it looks like React will eclipse it soon.
  • Redux redefined state management in JS applications, taking the best ideas from the Elm and Clojure ecosystem to introduce centralized state management and time travel debugging to JavaScript applications.
  • Universal JavaScript Arrived in a big way. For several years, we’ve been sharing many libraries across the server and clients, but with React, universal rendering become common in 2015. Expect to see this trend continue into other areas in 2016 (such as universal state management).
  • React Native became available for both iOS & Android, which closed the loop for Universal JavaScript. This development allows us to share a lot more application logic and nearly identical application architecture across the server and all clients, including web and mobile.
  • WebAssembly was announced. WebAssembly is a major development for the web platform. At first it will bring more AAA games to the web platform. In that capacity, it will dramatically reduce install and load times for in-browser games. Eventually, it may pave the way for many more media productivity applications such as in-browser music workstations, video editors, and so on.


Eric Elliott is the author of “Programming JavaScript Applications” (O’Reilly), and “Learn Universal JavaScript App Development with Node & React”. He has contributed to software experiences for Adobe Systems, Zumba Fitness, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, BBC, and top recording artists including Usher, Frank Ocean, Metallica, and many more.

He spends most of his time in the San Francisco Bay Area with the most beautiful woman in the world.