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Why you should include WebAssembly in your knowledge portfolio? Reasons for pragmatic programmers.

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We’ve already made an overview of WebAssembly. It was focused for entry level in the IT industry. People who are curious about technology in general. We usually do that with every Letter for students and we do our best to have a letter for students for every technology. And by student we mean those people who don’t know from where to start and struggle in making their way into the marvelous programming world. And if it is something students should learn about WebAssemblyfrom that letter is that WebAssembly is not for beginners, yet. Throughout this article, we’ll address the more experienced technical audience. People, who do code on daily basis and want to answer this basic question: why should I learn WebAssembly?

Surprisingly, the best answer (in our believes) doesn’t come from WebAssembly itself. But from a very old well know book for developers. This book is still relevant today. The pragmatic programmer, by Andrey Hunt and David Thomas.

The pragmatic programmer

with very small exceptions, texts too long that we had to shorten, being marked as `…`, this is the original text of the book:

Your knowledge portfolio

We like to think about all the facts programmers know about computing, the application domains they work in, and all their experience as their Knowledge Portfolios. Managing a knowledge portfolio is very similar to managing a financial portfolio:
Serious investors invest regularly - as a habit.
Diversification is the key to long-term success.
Smart investors balance their portfolios between conservative and high-risk, high-reward investments.
Investors try to buy low and sell high for maximum return.
Portfolios should be reviewed and rebalanced periodically.
To be successful in your career, you must manager your knowledge portfolio using these same guidelines.

Building your Portfolio

Invest regularly. Just as in financial investing, you must invest in your knowledge portfolio regularly. Even if it’s just a small amount, the habit itself is as important as the sums. …
Diversify. The more different things you know, the more valuable you are. As a baseline, you need to know the ins and outs of the particular technology you are working with currently. … The more technologies you are comfortable with, the better you will be able to adjust to change.
Manage risk. Technology exists along a spectrum from risky, potentially high-reward standards. It’s not a good idea to invest all of your money in a high-risk stocks that might collapse suddenly, nor should you invest all of it conservatively and miss out on possible opportunities. Don’t put all your technology eggs in one basket.
Buy low, sell high. Learning an emerging technology before it becomes popular can be just as hard as finding an undervalued stock, but the payoff can be just as rewarding. Learning Java when it first came out may have been risky, but it paid off handsomely for the early adopters who are now at the top of that field.
Review and rebalance. This is a very dynamic industry. That hot technology you started investigating last month might be stone cold that you haven’t used in a while. Or perhaps you could be better positioned for that new job opening if you tried out that other language….
Of all these guidelines, the most important one is the simplest to do: Invest regularly in your knowledge portfolio.

React, Angular or Vue? Which one fits best in your knowledge portfolio?

Assuming you are JQuery developer. You didn’t experience any other modern framework (React, Angular, Vue) or predecessors like backbone.js or knowkout.js. You feel the JQuery days are numbered. And if you are not doing anything about it, you’ll just continue working on legacy or the less interesting web projects. Well.. you are right about one thing. jQuery is getting less and less interest.

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Eventually, you want to develop your knowledge portfolio. Which target framework to choose? Globally, Angular gets the most interest. You may explore the data yourself and see that in the USA they mostly converge.

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But React ranks as the favourite framework for developers in almost any popular survey.

Stateofjs

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Stackoverflow

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This might make you believe React is the best choice for you. Now compare React with jQuery.

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So, you might learn React for new concepts, which is good, for the sake of better design, quality and performance for good looking, rich and powerful websites, nearly impossible to achieve with jQuery. But you’re definitely not doing this because it will get you new jobs or more money. jQuery is enough for that.

Mirror the options

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Invest regularly

If you just know jQuery, either you don’t invest regularly either you’re new to the industry. Assuming that you’d be qualified at 1, on a scale from 1 to 5 (where 5 is you invest regularly, meaning very good, and 1 is you don’t invest at all`, for your current situation, you’ll get a 1. For learning another framework, you’ll just have a slightly better score. A 2. But not more as you don’t invest regularly, even if this would be a great new start.

Diversify

Whatever framework you choose. You’ll diversify. That’s good! Just learn one to get more comfortable for future changes. jQuery is not helping you choose a job for the far future. You’ll get a 2 for any option.

Manage risk

jQuery will still be there for the next 2-3 years. Even more. Therefore, you cannot get a 1 (the lowest score) because knowing just jQuery is not a risk. You still know something that brings value and is highly requested on the market. Going to another framework in trends, like Angular and React will increment your score by 1. Vue’s future is still uncertain as the community waited too much for the 3rd version.

Buy low, sell high

You’ll get the highest score here with Vue.js. It has the shortest learning curve. You might even be operational in one week. Than with Angular. In average, it will take you 1 month. And the lowest score with React, as it might take even 2-3 months to become autonomous.

Review and rebalance.

React or Angular are no longer that hot technologies. But jQuery is dead cold compared with them.

Looking at the average notes, oversimplifying the conversation, the best option becomes Vue.js:

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Including WebAssembly in your knowledge portfolio

Invest regularly

You will not get a better score than a typical modern framework.

Diversify

Learning WebAssembly will make you learn at least a new language (AssemblyScript, C, C++, Rust…), WebAssembly itself, algorithms efficiency and much more. All of that with the same goal: better, faster and a safer web. So you’re not changing completely the domain. You’ll get a +2 score from these regards.

Manage risk

Once you’ve done something useful with WebAssembly, is a low risk investment. All the big and important companies are behind it. It is already supported by the most important browsers. We may also say that WebAssembly has a much more certain future than React, Angular, Vue or jQuery.

Buy low, sell high

You don’t buy low with WebAssembly. The learning curve for autonomy is 3 months as well. But you will sell very-very high as there aren’t many specialists available. Much more than a job like Vue or React will get you to.

Review and rebalance.

You cannot get a great evaluation just because you’ve reviewed once your knowledge portfolio. Even if WebAssembly would be a deeper review.

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Wrapping it all together

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Of course, as any perspective, this is a biased one. But one collectively biased at WantToLearn and our friends in the industry. We recommend learning WebAssembly! And we’ll follow-up closely new resources and make them available here at www.wanttolearn.xyz

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