Recent Presentation: Understanding JavaScript in the Browser

I recently gave a short presentation to mostly non-Web developers, on what goes into the soup of the browser platform. I began by covering the many parties involved in standards - the W3C, WhatWG, TC39 committee, and others. Then, I introduced some of the other characters, like each browser vendor's rendering engine and JavaScript engine. It's a lot to keep track of, even just to keep a loose eye on things, not to mention the day-to-day effort (and fun discovery) of the many libraries and frameworks available to solve a problem. tldr - there are a lot of cooks in the Web kitchen.

I tried to highlight the great community tools like caniuse.com or csstriggers.com, and later demonstrated a few features of the developer tools, and the idea of the browser as the app platform and the IDE. (the JavaScript profiler, logging and analyzing xhr requests, the timeline, ol' trusty console) I also showed the final example from a great talk, What the heck is the event loop anyway?

Finally, we looked at some of the idiosyncrasies of the language. After talking about some of the basic structures in the language (objects, functions, less-than-intuitive rules around 'this'), I posted this example, to a room of very experienced (but mostly non-JavaScript) developers, and there were some pretty confused looks on people's faces. However, when we went through line by line, everyone immediately understood. And shook their heads in disbelief.

The slides can be viewed here.


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