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Does jQuery Make Us Lazy?

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Does jQuery Make Us Lazy?

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Yesterday I read a post that proposed that using jQuery as the answer to every JavaScript problem makes us lazy programmers.

This is not what I was expecting to hear since the post was titled, “Is jQuery always the answer?” To that, I could easily agree, no it is not.

But, the article actually went on to argue that using jQuery for every JavaScript related problem makes us too dependant on a library and abstracts too much of the JavaScript internals and therefore makes the up and coming programmer who never had to use raw JavaScript a less capable programmer.  Most of those arguments have been taken out of the original post, but you can see many of the same arguments in the comments.

Yep. jQuery may not be the right solution

So, first let me concede that using jQuery for every JavaScript problem may not be the right solution. But, saying that using a library or a new language that abstracts the previous generation of programming tools makes us lazy just doesn’t make sense.

But Does The Logic Make Sense?

First, if you want to use that logic, you should be doing all of your programming in ones and zeros.  I mean REALLY!  Come on people. The who reason we have assembly language is so we don’t have to do that.  The reason C was created was so we don’t have to write assembly language. In fact, every progression in programming has been so that we have to know less and less about the internals and so we can just get the job at hand done.

Is Being Lazy Bad?

Good programmers ARE lazy to a certain extent. That’s one of the things that makes them good.  Having programmed now for 20 years, I’m at the point where I don’t want to write any more code than I have to. I copy and paste more code than I write, or I buy a library, or find something open source.

Would it be good for programmers to learn raw JavaScript? Sure it would. Is it necessary? Probably no more than it is to learn Assembler.

Will learning raw JavaScript make a jQuery programmer a better programmer? Probably not any more than learning Assembler would make him a better CSharp or VB.NET programmer.

Keep the eye on the ball people.

Programming isn’t about how much you know. It’s about what you can get done. This includes both as you write the initial code and as you maintain the code. You don’t need to know JavaScript to write maintainable code in jQuery any more than you need to know Assembler to write maintainable code in CSharp or VB.NET. In fact, in both cases, writing in the lower level language will probably make your code less maintainable. That’s a far worse programming sin than being a lazy programmer.


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