Knowing JavaScript Is Not Good Enough

Especially on social media, I see and read this preached a lot: “Learn JavaScript and you won’t need to learn anything else; you can do everything with JavaScript, from front-end, to back-end. It is the best investment you’ll ever make!” — That’s a complete and utter 🐴💩.

Expand Your Vision

Especially on social media, I see and read this preached a lot:

“Learn JavaScript, and you won’t need to learn anything else; you can do everything with JavaScript, from front-end to back-end, to AI/ML, to game development… It is the best investment you’ll ever make!”

That’s a codswallop! Complete and utter 🐴💩.

Don’t believe me? Check the profiles of these preaches. You’ll see that they are highly likely selling a JavaScript course, book, newsletter, or something along those lines. However, be aware that that advice is targeted more towards the preacher’s benefit rather than yours.

Learning JavaScript is a Great Starting Point

And if you want to stay there for the rest of your career, that‘s totally okay. Just do this knowingly. Do it because you know that it is the right decision for you. Don’t do that because some figure with many followers on social media told you you should do it.

Yes, learning JavaScript and related front-end technologies will take you places. But that will only take you so far. It is okay, as long as you and you only realize that that’s only part of the journey, and that’s where you want to be for the time being.

However, if someone claims that only knowing JavaScript is good enough for you because you can get whatever you need out of it. Or, worse, they tell you that you’ll be a (quote/unquote) “full stack developer” once you master JavaScript, then approach that person’s “thought leadership” with a grain of salt.

There is No Spoon

On top of all these, people who preach these things intentionally ignore that there is no such thing as “the stack”. The term “full-stack” is redundant at least, useless at worst.

The boundaries between the layers of “the stack” vanished a long time ago. It is a “mesh”—if anything—rather than a stack. Nowadays, the things one needs to know to manage an application end-to-end are so broad and wide that nobody can claim to know it all.

Think about it.

Can anyone claim to be an expert from Orchestration, to InfoSec, to performance optimization and SRE, to supply chain management, to Flexbox, to Edge networking and Serverless Compute, to CSS, sass and friends, to Accessibility and Usability, to Message Queues, Streams, Consensus Algorithms, Rate Limiting Distributed Tracing, to front end frameworks, to Databases, Sharding, Clustering, Distributed system design…?  

☝️ The list can go on and on… No one on earth can assume to know the entire stack of things.

If one considers understanding the MERN Stack inside out as a sufficient prerequisite to adding the term “full-stack engineer” to their résumé, they likely don’t know how much they don’t know yet.

Is There Such Thing as a “Half-Stack” Anyway?

The curios thing is, there is no such thing as half-stack either.

To be a great software engineer, you’ll have to know both front-end and back-end anyway. Why? Because to be a great front-end developer, you first have to be a great back-end developer and vice versa. So if you think otherwise, you are deceiving yourself.

There Are No Boundaries
The stack is not layered. You cannot isolate the stack. Nor can you restrict the stack. Without knowing about one part of the stack, you cannot be productive in the other parts either.

Ergo, any qualified developer has no other choice to work across the stack. Calling a developer a “full-stack” developer is akin to calling a car a “horseless carriage”—It is redundant, outdated, and a tautology.


Know your path. Know where you want to go. And walk your path knowingly.

If you claim to work on the entire stack with a single language under your tool belt, it only proves that you are afraid of and closed to learning new things—None of these are good attributes to have in a developer who wants to get better at what they do.

Everything changes. And everything starts by knowing yourself.

Knowing one’s self, in itself, is a lifelong journey. A Twitter thread cannot show you that. Ironically, neither this article can show it to you. Though, I humbly hope it shed some light on the “why”s and “how” of expanding your horizon.

Until the next one… May the source be with you 🦄.

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