Jonathan's Blog

Jonathan's Blog

Mindful Leadership and Technology


JavaScript Software Development

When is a Hammer not a Hammer?

Posted on .

I am learning a new stack, for a side project:

  • Node.js
  • NPM (ooh scary)
  • Express.js
  • Webstorm
  • Handlebars
  • Sqllite

I will probably use some Angular on the front end, when I get there, but I am not there yet. I technically "know" Angular, since I learned that last summer.

It is very time consuming to learn all these things. But I chose it because I run this site with Ghost and this is what they use, or at least, something close to that. I have no idea if they use Webstorm, I just picked that.

Why did that (the blog) make me want to learn all this tech? Well, I think it was partly that editing a few Handlebars templates to make my theme work in Ghost made me overconfident, and partly that since I plan to host it similarly to this blog I wanted to use something similar.

I forget sometimes how much work it is to learn new technologies. It's hard, especially when you are learning several at once. You always spend a lot more time learning and Googling than you plan to, even when you've used analogous tools before.

And CSS slows me down too. That's another technology that technically I "know", but of course those quotes are there for a reason.

All this got me thinking about proliferation of tools and productivity and so forth. It would be nice to have a hammer we all could learn to use. But of course, sooner or later, you have some type of central planning committee and none of us want that. Over time the marketplace will answer some of these questions and some it won't.

But we do need to ask ourselves, at this point: Is JavaScript becoming a hammer? Has it already happened?