While CoffeeScript has been the default since Rails 3, and continues to be the default in Rails 5, the wider developer community is moving to ES6 whether Rails developers like it or not. I won’t pretend some deeper technical knowledge that makes ES6 “better” than old reliable CoffeeScript, but I think most Rails developers will be depreciating CS for ES6 in the months and years ahead, if for no other reason than keeping two different dialects of JavaScript in your code and you brain is Probably a Bad Idea.

As a Rails first, js later kind of developer, ES6 has been on my ever lengthening technical todo list for months. But two really well done resources I’d like to share with you are definitely helping me adopt the new master standard for all things JavaScript.

  • First up, what else, but a cheatsheet. But not just any cheatsheet, The ES6 cheatsheet by Swizec Teller. This nicely organized set of interactive CodePen examples gets right to the heart of the ES6 world. You can spend 5 minutes or 5 hours on it profitably as you rewire the js part of your brain.
  • Second, for people ready to take an in-depth plunge into all things ES6, Wes Bos has a 67-video course, ES6 for Everyone ($69 master package is what you want) that I think will teach you everything you might ever want about ES6, and in a way that will stick to your brain. Since I’m still working through all of this material, I’ll save the real review post for later, but I was amazed and enlightened by two other video courses Wes has done: React For Beginners ($127 for the master package) and What the Flexbox!? (free, along with other tasty treats at Wes’ web site.)

If you’re wondering is it time to bite the bullet and learn ES6, it is: you’ll increasingly find it in job postings not only for JavaScript positions, but for Rails jobs too – a solid sign ES6 is moving from the Worry about it later category to the I’d Wish I’d already started this List.