Why we teach Javascript

We love Ruby on Rails and Python/Django- however, the future of web development has moved towards sophisticated, responsive and dynamic "single-page" applications running in the browser. Apps like Gmail, Asana, Trello, Facebook and Google Maps have redefined what users expect from "Web Applications" and thus what developers need to be able to deliver. Listening to these industry trends, and after lots of research and conversations with our CTO colleagues at top startups from Y Combinator, we've come to the conclusion that full-stack JavaScript is the future of web development. Consequently, it is what we primarily immerse our students in at Fullstack Academy.


Full-stack Javascript is also the best way to learn how to code in general. Modern web development requires keeping many different parts of the stack in your mind at the same time. As a student, this is challenging enough. Now imagine that on top of this, each part of the stack requires you to understand and write in a completely different programming language (e.g. Ruby, SQL & JavaScript). The context-switch required by switching back and forth between languages significantly slows down the learning process. Full-stack JavaScript eliminates this problem as every part of the stack uses one language.

What about Ruby on Rails? Why are other schools teaching Rails?


When we first discovered Rails, in 2005, developers were coming from an age where PHP back-end sites were getting increasingly complex and were becoming difficult to manage and scale. Rails excelled in this world, where the goal was still to develop HTML/CSS centric web interfaces with heavy back-ends. Rails consolidated many of the "best practices" in back-end web development and made it easier for developers to build large sites in an organized way.

A lot has changed since 2005, however. Cutting-edge companies today want to give users highly interactive and responsive experiences that don't require a page refresh at every step. As a result, the web of today is dominated by "Single Page Applications" or SPAs written in JavaScript using frameworks like React or Ember.js, making JavaScript one of the best programming languages to learn. Increasingly, the role of Rails has shifted to serve as an API layer to the back-end of web applications. 

On top of these reasons, JavaScript offers several educational advantages over other languages. And as the majority of other coding schools teach Ruby on Rails, Fullstack graduates have a more in-demand skill-set that separates them from the competition.