JavaScript has always been a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it language. People seem to either really enjoy working with it or really despise it. As one of the most popular and widely used programming languages in the world, JavaScript has attracted its fair share of criticism and derision from developers who would rather use other languages.

People hate JavaScript because it’s challenging to learn. Furthermore, JavaScript is renowned for being slow and inefficient. Paired with the fact that it doesn’t follow traditional conventions from other programming languages, JavaScript garners hate from novices and professionals alike.

Many developers find JavaScript to be a difficult, frustrating language to work in. But, what makes it so hard to navigate and use? This article will break down the reasons why people hate JavaScript and what makes it such a complex language.

Is JavaScript a Horrible Language? 11 Reasons People Hate JavaScript

When you’re first learning about JavaScript and you hear everyone complaining about it, it can start to make you wonder if it’s a horrible language, or if people hate it for other reasons. So, is JavaScript a horrible language?

JavaScript is not a horrible language. While JavaScript is challenging to learn, it’s a language that many beginners use. Therefore, beginners will often write bad code as they’re learning and improving their coding skill.

I’ll go over the various reasons why people hate JavaScript (and why you might hate it too) in the following sections.

1. JavaScript Has a Steep Learning Curve

JavaScript was designed to be easy to learn and use, which is why it has become one of the most popular programming languages on the web. However, many people dislike JavaScript because of its steep learning curve. This learning curve can be difficult for some people to overcome, especially if they’re new to programming.

The language does indeed have a bit of a steep learning curve, but with the right resources, anyone can learn JavaScript. JavaScript is a complex language, and you can’t expect to be able to learn it simply by reading a few articles online. You need a comprehensive guide that will take you through the basics of the language and teach you how to use it.

2. JavaScript is Dependent on Too Many Frameworks

JavaScript is a powerful language, but it can be challenging to learn everything it offers. This can lead to frustration for developers who are not familiar with all of the different frameworks that are available. You need to learn a lot of different languages and frameworks to properly leverage what JavaScript has to offer.

Additionally, it doesn’t help that the language is overly dependent on frameworks, particularly React and AngularJS. These frameworks make it difficult to write code independently. This can lead to problems because the code may not work as expected when it’s run on different websites.

3. JavaScript Is Very Difficult To Read and Write for Non Programmers

JavaScript is notoriously difficult for non-programmers to read and write. One of the main reasons for this is that JavaScript constantly evolves and introduces new programming paradigms. This can make it difficult for developers who are not intimately familiar with its inner workings to understand it.

Additionally, JavaScript is built on top of the underlying platform of HTML, which makes it vulnerable to various web browser inconsistencies.

Another reason for the hatred of JavaScript may be its broken semantics. JavaScript was not designed with immutability in mind, leading to problems when trying to write the correct code.

For example, a variable can be changed after it has been declared, leading to errors and confusion. Moreover, JavaScript’s lack of static typing means the language isn’t always clear and concise, which can lead to confusion and frustration.

4. JavaScript Performs Differently on Different Browsers

For some people, JavaScript is frustrating because it behaves differently on different browsers. This can cause problems when coding because you may not be able to rely on the same behavior across browsers. For example, if you’re using JavaScript to create a web page, some browsers will allow you to use inline HTML while others won’t. This can lead to compatibility issues and inconsistency in your codebase.

JavaScript is very dynamic and can change over time depending on what browser is being used. This means that if you’re trying to write code that works across browsers, you’ll have to keep up with changes in the language as they happen. This can be difficult because JavaScript changes quickly and is constantly evolving.

5. JavaScript Uses Global Variables

Global variables are accessible from anywhere in the code, which can lead to confusion and difficult-to-debug problems. Additionally, because global variables are available to all functions and scripts within a website or application, they become a prime target for hackers.

JavaScript is infamous for its global variable problems. These problems can occur when you accidentally create an implicit global variable. This can lead to some dangerous and difficult-to-track code. If you’re struggling with the global variable problem, several tips can help you avoid creating implicit global variables.

6. JavaScript Encourages Anti-Patterns

An anti-pattern is a bad programming practice that leads to problems such as code duplication, decreased readability, and spaghetti code. JavaScript is often vilified for being a language that encourages bad practices. Here are some common problems caused by JavaScript:

  • Code duplication: Whenever you have to write the same code multiple times, you’re encouraging repetition. This makes your code harder to read, understand, and maintain.
  • Overuse of global variables: Whenever you store data in a global variable, other parts of your application can access it without having to declare a variable first. This can lead to spaghetti code and complicated dependencies between different parts of your application.
  • Lack of abstraction: When you write code directly related to the underlying business logic, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage when it comes time to change that logic. If you can abstract the underlying business logic, your refactoring will be easier and more efficient.

7. JavaScript Implements Type Coercion

JavaScript’s weak typing can lead to errors. In other languages, such as Java and C++, you must explicitly specify the data type of a variable. However, in JavaScript, the interpreter automatically infers the data type of a variable based on the value that is assigned to it.

This means that you can assign any type of data to a variable, and the compiler will do its best to figure out what you’re trying to do. As you can imagine, this can lead to some very unexpected results.

Aggressive type coercion is a feature of JavaScript that forces different data types to be compatible with each other. For example, if you try to assign a number to a string variable, JavaScript will automatically convert the number to a string, regardless of the original value. Therefore, this can lead to unexpected results and can be challenging to debug.

8. JavaScript Implements Prototype Inheritance

JavaScript is often despised because of its prototype inheritance mechanism. Prototype Inheritance is a feature of the JavaScript language that allows code to be inherited by subclasses.

Whereas classical inheritance in object-oriented programming languages like Java or C# enables a class to inherit all of the properties and methods of its parents, prototype inheritance allows a subclass to inherit only the properties and methods of its prototype.

This can create complicated codebases and lead to inconsistency throughout an application. The biggest problem with prototypes is that they can add significant performance overhead depending on how they’re used.

9. Need To Understand JavaScript’s Semantics

Understand that JavaScript is largely functional but also has imperative and object-oriented constructs. If you’re not a fan of languages with multi-paradigm features, you might be better off avoiding JavaScript entirely. But, if you understand how to make a function work as an object or can operate on collections of data in a classless fashion, then JavaScript might not seem so bad after all.

Every coding language includes a series of instructions for a computer to perform. Often, when you’re first learning a new language, you can get away with approaching syntax as just another set of rules that don’t mean anything other than what they say. But, when you start writing more advanced programs and dealing with non-trivial applications, semantics become an issue.

Understanding how syntax can be manipulated to create wildly different outcomes depending on context is an essential lesson that anyone who wants to work with programming should learn early on.

This becomes especially crucial when you start using libraries and frameworks like jQuery, React, or AngularJS, where specific variations in syntax determine whether something works or not—that’s why understanding JavaScript’s semantics is so important, yet difficult, for beginners.

10. JavaScript is Hard To Debug

Different programming languages have different paradigms. Often, programmers will try to make their language as similar as possible to other languages that they’re more familiar with to make the language easier for them to learn.

One of the most common ways this is done is by making the language strict and inflexible about how code should be written. However, in JavaScript, any syntactic errors will cause the program to fail silently at runtime. This can make programming in JavaScript frustrating for developers who are used to dealing with syntax errors.

Developers often complain that it’s too hard to debug and test JavaScript. It’s a problem that led major developer advocate organizations like Mozilla and Google to suggest developers shift towards alternative options, such as TypeScript.

However, using Google’s Closure compiler can alleviate some of these concerns. Closure allows you to test individual functions in isolation. However, some programmers argue that even with Closure, you’ll still find yourself falling back on tricks like wrapping sections of code in anonymous functions so you can focus on one section at a time rather than having an entire page open for testing purposes.

11. Every Year There’s Something New With JavaScript

JavaScript fatigue is real. It’s the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of new JavaScript features and libraries being released every year. This constant change makes it difficult for developers to keep up and can lead to burnout.

It’s not just the language that’s constantly evolving but the tools and libraries that go with it. The JavaScript ecosystem moves at a breakneck pace. New tools, libraries, and frameworks are released every day. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep up, and many developers are feeling the fatigue of catching up.

Some people argue that JavaScript fatigue is caused by too much innovation in the language. Others say that there are too many tools and libraries to choose from. And still, others believe that the problem is that there are no standards or best practices in the JavaScript community. No matter the cause, JavaScript fatigue is a real problem for developers.

Conclusion

JavaScript has been around for a long time, and it has been the backbone of many websites. However, JavaScript has not always been loved by developers or users. In this article, we’ve explored some of the reasons why people hate JavaScript and why you might hate it too.

JavaScript can be a complex language to learn and use for many people. However, there are ways that you can make your life easier with JavaScript, such as using an IDE or debugging tools like JSLint or JSHint.

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