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Why JavaScript Will Become The Dominant Language Of The Enterprise

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Today in a piece for ReadWrite, I make a case for JavaScript becoming the lingua franca of the enterprise. So far, reactions range from, ‘Yes, I buy it,’ to ‘This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard since the Y2K hysteria.’ (Ah, internet discourse.) Still, I’m curious what you make of it. My case for JavaScript boils down to this:

  1. On the client-side, JavaScript provides a way to build rich clients with a relatively lightweight syntax. This combination – rich interfaces that can be developed with a minimum of code convolutions – is pretty much table-stakes in our mobile world. Users expect an excellent experience, and they expect a steady (read: weekly or monthly) flow of changes and enhancements, all delivered to their device of choice.
  2. Perhaps less obviously, JavaScript is seeing swift – really swift – adoption as a technology platform for server-side development via Node.js. Node.js is a software platform used to build scalable network applications based on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. It boasts more than 35,000 downloads per day and it’s supported by five of the six major platform-as-a-service providers including Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
  3. Demand for JavaScript skills is rising. Earlier this year, an Australian book publisher that focuses on developers compared data for job vacancies in 2012 and found that demand for JavaScript skills had increased faster than any other language: double that of Ruby, Objective C and Android (Java), and more than three times that of C++ and C#.
  4. JavaScript is incredibly popular in high school computer courses, owing to its simplicity and quick learning curve. At least the next few generations of programmers are likely to treat JavaScript as their native programming tongue. 

It’s not that I think every other programming language will disappear, any more than the English language’s dominance has made other languages obsolete. But like English, I strongly suspect JavaScript is going to become the new common tongue for the enterprise.

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