Why I Don’t Get the Point of CoffeeScript

Being a front-end developer I have heard people talk about using CoffeeScript to code their  JavaScript. I didn’t really give it much thought because I didn’t really care to learn a new language. Lately there have been some new possibilities at work for using new technologies and I ran across someone using CoffeeScript. So I figured it would be a good idea to check it out.

Do not get the idea behind coffeescript

As I looked at CoffeeScript and read documentation for it, I just got the feeling I was missing something. I truly didn’t see the point of it. Why would I want to learn new syntax to code my JavaScript? It just didn’t make sense. I would have to learn CoffeeScript syntax and then compile those scripts into JavaScript. So why would anyone want to do this? Then I ran across some who mentioned it saved some time writing code. So I started getting into the CoffeeScript syntax.

For really simple functionality it looks like the most you save yourself with the CoffeeScript syntax is the typing of parenthesis, brackets, and curly brackets. So my initial thought was that CoffeeScript was for the lazy programmer. I continued to read the syntax and noticed that they offered a way to easily write classes. This seemed pretty cool as JavaScript doesn’t have traditional classes. Looking at the JavaScript that these classes produce, I noticed that it again pointed to just being lazy. Going through the code I noticed you can easily write the same code in JavaScript without too much effort.

Still thinking I was missing something I asked some of my co-workers about it and got their thoughts. Not too many had any real experience with CoffeeScript but there were a few that knew about it. They also could not find a real reason to use CoffeeScript. One theory that kind of made sense was that a lot of JavaScript developers are just script kiddies anyways so they may not know how to code proper JavaScript. So learning CoffeeScript might be an easy way for them to do it. Again pointing more toward laziness than anything of any real value. This was an ok explanation except that there seemed to be too many people excited about CoffeeScript.

I didn’t stop there though. I continued to search the internet and see what others were saying about it. The most logical answer that I ran into was that it was just a matter of syntax preference. CoffeeScript was molded from Python and Ruby syntax. So it made sense that CoffeeScript would be perfect for those that already knew Python and Ruby and didn’t want to learn yet another language.

Nothing against those that prefer CoffeeScript, but to me the syntax seems very unorganized and loose. I started programming in compiled languages so I prefer the more structured and strict syntax. So for me I’ll be sticking with pure JavaScript. I feel this will give me an edge in being able to troubleshoot or come up with sophisticated solutions.

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I was originally born in Missouri, but traveled around most of my childhood. My mom finally got tired of moving while we were in Dallas, Texas and I have been here ever since. After high school I started college at the University of North Texas (UNT) and started working in the computer field. I currently work for JCPenney as a front end software engineer for their e-commerce website. Before this I worked for AT&T about 12 years and started with them in 1999 (when they were Southwestern Bell). I have many passions and I really love photography. Besides photography I also love sports. I not only like to watch it, but I also love to play. Currently my friends and I play indoor soccer and flag football.

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