Over on Coding Horror Jeff Atwood wrote a post which claimed that “All Programming is Web Programming“. Jeff made some good points about how the web provides programmers with the ability to reach an audience of a previously unimaginable size. Definitely agree. Also mentioned was that for better or for worse JavaScript is becoming the most important language in the world of software development. I agree with this as well, though I would add that the significance of JavaScript is in user facing applications only at this point.

It was unfortunate that the post was written in such a polarizing manner and that the comment thread quickly eroded into a shouting match because there is another important point to be made here.

Something else I want to put out there to developers is that the evolution of programming should be focused less on desktop vs web vs embedded or choice of language/platform, and more on how lowering the barriers to entry for new programmers is a positive and not a negative.

To someone writing device drivers or kernel patches the idea of writing a JavaScript function to manipulate the DOM may seem “uninteresting”, but the fact is that more and more people are getting started with programming this way. All they need is a text editor and a web browser and they are on their way. This is a very good thing.

Programming is about automation and automation is about improving efficiency. The more people we can somehow involve in this process the better because in the end the web provides not only the largest number of potential users, but also the largest number of potential programmers. The exciting thing is we are just getting started.