Learning another language

I was writing something funky[1] with JavaScript at work today. It meant taking my skills up a notch.

Its like my knowledge of French. I remember some of the basics from school, so I can ask for a beer and a pizza, or fumble my way through a leaflet. There’s no way I could hold a proper conversation or write extensively myself though. I use it so rarely that I have next to no idea how to do anything meaningful with it.

Yet here I was today having to write something new. I couldn’t just copy and paste this time – it required real thought. Trying to work with a foreign language when you know so little about it is a frustrating exercise to say the least. I spent quite a lot of the afternoon swearing under my breath, sighing loudly and frantically googling for answers. Then all of a sudden it began to click. It all started to make sense.

Its a good feeling when that happens. That stupid little thing you’ve been trying so hard to do all afternoon works perfectly. Its only a simple bit of code in the grand scheme of things, but the page would be useless without it, and what’s more, I made it do that all on my own. I feel better about having it on my CV now.

I should probably go through and give the variables proper names though. if (heffalump = document.forms[0].monkey.options.length) doesn’t look too professional does it?

[1] That’s funky in the loosest possible sense of the word.

4 Responses to “Learning another language”

1. matt

Javascript is a PITA.

2. Olly

Well spotted. I had it all working cross-browser a minute ago. And then I made a minor (but vital) change and Internet Explorer went off the rails completely. Grumble.

3. Simon #2

I remember the French knowing English… Fork.. Fork?… Fork!! Fork!! FORK!!!!

4. Olly