Strange Loop

Learning to Love JavaScript

JavaScript is an imperfect programming language. It’s weakly-typed, scoping rules and type coercion can make difficult-to-diagnose bugs, and cross-browser compatibility sometimes feels like a pipe dream. But does it matter?

JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world, and continues to grow year after year. How did that happen? Has JavaScript succeeded despite its warts, or did its shortcomings help pave the road to its widespread adoption?

In this talk, I’ll argue that judging the merits of JavaScript solely as a programming language is missing the point, and to accurately weigh its place in the world, you must consider JavaScript beyond types, scope, and syntax. You’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation for the feat of human cooperation that is the World Wide Web, and how JavaScript became one of the Web’s most important threads.

JavaScript is here to stay. Let’s learn to love it together.

Tara Vancil

Tara Vancil


Tara is a developer at Glitch, the friendly community where anyone can build websites, apps, bots, and more. Previously, she co-founded the Beaker Browser, an experimental Web browser that explores how peer-to-peer protocols can make building and sharing on the Web more accessible. Her work is rooted in understanding the Web as a universal canvas for creation and expression, but also as an evolving platform that must always be carefully cultivated. She lives in Austin, TX.