Upgraded to First-Class

30 Aug 2023

Checking in

In the summer of 2022, before I even transferred to UH Manoa, I looked up coding tutorials on YouTube. I learned about basic Python syntax, and then that was it. I barely made an effort to apply the programming language I had just learned to solve some coding questions or at least make a small-scale project with it. So naturally, all the things I have learned fell off my brain. Fast forward to the start of my UH Manoa journey, I was greeted with system.out.println("Hello World!");. You are probably already thinking about Java, and that is right. I took ICS 111, followed by ICS 211, which are both introductions to programming classes that utilized Java as the primary programming language.

I forgot about Python, but I already had the intuition on how to use variables and if-else statements. So, I guess that one day I spent learning programming back in the summer was not totally wasted. Going back, my initial impression of Java is that it includes a lot of typing, and it is very particular when it comes to declaring variables and return types. I am not saying I hate Java. It taught me so many things, such as the concept of object-oriented programming (OOP); I also learned different data structures in my ICS 211 class, and how to think more deeply as a programmer. Java helped me to check in on my journey as a computer science student.

This way to First Class

One academic year later, I am greeted console.log("We invite you to first-class lane");. Yes, you are right again; on the first week of my Fall 2023 semester, we had to learn a somehow different programming language called JavaScript. I said somehow because it kind of resembles Java’s syntax in some ways. However, as I spent more time with it, I came to realize that a lot of things are made easier to do in JavaScript. I no longer have to specify the type when declaring variables, and I could also assign a function to a variable – which relates to why people say JavaScript has first-class functions. I have also researched things about JavaScript prior to taking my ICS 314 class, that it is one of the main languages used in developing web applications. It is only the first two weeks of my semester at the time of writing, and I still have a lot to learn, especially in JavaScript, but the limited time I have spent with JavaScript felt as if I was upgraded to first-class seat after checking in. Of course, this is not possible in real life, so I better stop dreaming about it actually happening and start practicing for my Workout of the Day (WOD) tomorrow.