Why Do People Dislike JavaScript? The 3 Main Reasons

So, you want to know why people dislike JavaScript so much? Well, that’s actually a pretty good question to be asking. I personally know a lot of people who really dislike JavaScript as a programming language, even some of my friends who don’t even code! Surely that must be raising some red flags. So I decided to dig in and do some research on why JavaScript is so heavily disliked despite it growing to be one of the most popular languages in 2022.

Overall, I found 3 main reasons why JavaScript is so despised. Some reasons make sense while others just don’t. Either way, I hope by sharing this knowledge with you, you can have a better idea of whether or not JavaScript truly deserves the hate that people give it.

So without further ado, let’s jump straight into the article!

1. Quirky and Unconventional Syntax

The main reason why JavaScript receives so much hate is due to its unconventional and strange syntax. You can find a ton of memes online making fun of the way JavaScript handles type coercion and bugs in its runtime environment. In fact, there is a whole GitHub repo dedicated to it that you can find here.

This can be especially frustrating for programmers who already know how to code and are using JavaScript for the first time. Without having a deep understanding of these quirks, writing code in JavaScript can lead to a lot of unintuitive and hard-to-decipher bugs.

With all of this time frustrated with the language, it might start to dislike JavaScript too!

javascript-meme-1

Not to mention the fact that JavaScript was originally written in only 10 days. It had a lot of bugs and the language was not nearly as robust as it is today. This has led a lot of developers who used it in their early days to really dislike the language. Although there has been a ton of work done to the language in the last 30 years, JavaScript has had a hard time escaping its past.

2. JavaScript Burnout

Disregarding the actual core features of the language, there is a second major reason why JavaScript is so heavily disliked. JavaScript Burnout.

Burnout has become well known by JavaScript developers that work in the frontend development sphere. Mainly because it seems there are new JavaScript features, frameworks, and practices coming out every day that further complicate the role of JavaScript development and make the job harder.

This can be incredibly frustrating as a frontend developer because you aren’t just learning one skill and then benefiting from it. Instead, you need to consistently be learning new things about JavaScript just to stay relevant in the industry.

I know this is an issue that I struggle with a lot. Although I would rather be spending my time learning new algorithms, data structures, or languages, I always have a small voice in my head telling me to learn Gatsby or Next.js. Despite the fact that I could learn a lot more from the prior subjects.

For that reason, JavaScript can be a very draining language to work with and it causes many developers to dislike JavaScript.

JavaScript Meme 2

3. Bandwagoning

Finally, it seems the last major reason JavaScript is so disliked is that there are a ton of developers who just want to seem like they know what they are talking about. So when they hear that JavaScript is a terrible language, they just go with it. Telling everyone how bad it is without really knowing the language. This creates an even larger group of people to believe JavaScript is a bad language too.

It’s a vicious cycle and probably one of my least favorite parts of the development community. Although I think the dev community does a lot of good for humanity. We have people like Linus Torvalds blessing us with revolutionary version control tools and the Linux kernel after all. However, we still have a long way to go when it comes to being hard-headed and overly opinionated!

Does JavaScript Deserve The Hate?

So does JavaScript deserve its reputation as being a bad language? I personally don’t think so. Just because JavaScript does not act the same way as other languages and its fast-growing environment means continuous learning really isn’t such a bad thing.

I, for instance, think JavaScript’s prototypal chaining inheritance to be more utilizable than a class-based system you see in other languages.

In addition to that, you can easily find bad things to say about nearly any programming language. C is extremely slow to write code in and not practical for web applications. An outdated Java library caused a vulnerability that could have taken down the whole internet. While real C# projects are practically unusable on anything other than a windows machine. Don’t even get me started on PHP!

However, those languages don’t seem to get the same flak that JavaScript does. Is JavaScript perfect? Absolutely not. However, until we do find that perfect language, we’ll have to deal with the quirks we have in the tools at our disposal.

That’s about it! Hopefully, you guys found this article helpful. If you are just getting started out with JavaScript and web development, check out my free resources here.