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ES6 is Just JavaScript! Ladyleet's Favorite Tweets

This article was written over 18 months ago and may contain information that is out of date. Some content may be relevant but please refer to the relevant official documentation or available resources for the latest information.

As JavaScript developers, we know that the vast majority of community engagement as well as industry networking takes place on Twitter. Likewise, many of the most thought-provoking technical conversations are happening within the confines of 280 characters.

Welcome to the first in a new series that features some of my favorite, most thought provoking tweets, why they’re important, and what we can learn from them!

Jamie Kyle: ES6 is just JavaScript. Stop confusing people!

Jamie Kyle

ALT: Y'all it's time to stop talking about "ES6/ES2015" it's been 7 years since that was new. Most JavaScript developers today have not known a time before ES6. It's just JavaScript now. Your articles making it seem like a different thing are confusing people.

Our first Tweet comes from Jamie Kyle, Co-Founder and CTO of Rome Tools. Here, he is pointing out the near ubiquitous use of EcmaScript or ES versions 6 or better as standard practice in JavaScript. The reason why ES6 stands out as the first ES iteration to be considered “modern” is because the two previous ES releases occurred in 2009, six years before ES6’s release, and in 1999!

However, ES6 (and its more recent versions) is now supported by nearly all web browsers capable of handling modern JavaScript, and its use has become so common that, as Kyle argues, developers who have entered the industry within the past decade have never known a version of JavaScript that does not utilize ES6. Because of this, he feels distinguishing between JavaScript and ES6 is unnecessarily confusing for new developers, who have little reason to use JavaScript without the latest ES standards.

That being said, there are still edge cases, especially in legacy codebases, where there is no support for post ES6 bundles, and therefore a distinction should be made so that developers are aware that, especially as they progress in their careers, they may be asked to use a version of JavaScript that does not incorporate ES6.

But I believe Jamie’s tweet points to an important observation about the difficult language and lack of clarity sometimes present in online JavaScript tutorials. If our goal is to produce content that helps newcomers, juniors, and some mid-level developers, we should be using the clearest syntax and concepts available to us. Because of this, it may be unnecessary or even counterproductive to discuss ES6 and subsequent versions of it as if they are an entity separate from Modern JavaScript.

Novall Swift: Uplift Your Team!

Our second tweet comes from Novall Swift, Engineer at Apple. I’ve noticed Novall recently taking to Twitter to openly discuss an array of topics related to workplace culture and I found this one particularly engaging!

Novall Swift

ALT: A more senior member of my team told me he learned something from me and I can't even begin to describe how happy this makes me feel.

At many points in my career, I’ve benefited from the guidance of those I work with: both those in positions more senior than me, as well as those at my level, and even those who might be considered “less experienced” than me. Mentorship takes many forms, from informal interactions such as the one Novall points out, or it can come in the form of structured relationships within a workplace.

While formal mentorship relationships can be invaluable, those in the workplace should still be willing to reach out to others to offer help, and to offer praise and encouragement where appropriate.

And while this seems so simple and obvious, with the prevalence of remote work, and the workload of many developers, informal mentorship is less common than it probably should be.

Take, for example, Andi Rohn’s response, pointing out that she tends to find senior engineers less willing to offer help than their junior counterparts. Andi suggests that senior developers’ skills often become “ossified” or set in stone, which I would take to mean that those skills are difficult to share as seniors may be less willing to engage in the conversations where skill sharing takes place.

Andi Rohn

ALT: I always learn more from "junior" engineers. You can learn from anyone if you keep an open mind. "Senior" engineers often become ossified in their own knowledge and skills. I think part of this is mental bias where the constantly have to position themselves as "superior".

But what I like most about Andi’s response is that observation that “You can learn from anyone if you keep an open mind.” which is completely true. We often think of mentorship as being a traditionally hierarchical dynamic where someone more senior helps someone less so. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

I am constantly learning new ideas and concepts- technical and otherwise- from people who are traditionally less “senior” than myself. Mentorship can, and should be symbiotic- where people at all steps in their careers are able to bring something to the table.

The most important thing, however, is just getting started. And I definitely recommend starting with noticing the work of the people around you- especially those less senior than yourself- and be willing to offer your help and praise, as Novall suggests!

Thanks so much for checking out this week’s “Ladyleet’s Favorite Tweets”! Hope to see you for the next one!

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