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That depends on what is meant by "holding his own with seasoned Javascript & Ruby devs". In my experience, the only thing that makes you a good programmer is building things. What has this guy built? A handful of project euler solutions? That doesn't make you a valuable programmer. There is no free lunch. There is no magic bullet.

I've seen him solve algorithms problems for coding interviews in Javascript and Ruby. He also helped with some html content on a site I'm building.

By holding his own I meant able to understand and contribute to technical conversations. I can't even have a technical discussion with some CS students without having to explain the definition of recursion.

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