Javascript Is Important

3 min read

You should learn JavaScript.

No, you really should. If you’re reading this, you probably have an interest in software development, and have access to a computer with a web browser - which means that you already have all of the tools necessary to learn and build things with JavaScript.

JavaScript is everywhere and it is doing a lot of things: from making websites interactive and a joy to use, to powering the brains for robots, you will even find that it is used to build desktop and mobile applications.

Learning JavaScript could be the catalyst for launching a full-fledged career as a software developer, or it could allow you to hold your own when it comes to leading a team. No matter what your software development goal is, learning JavaScript will help you get there easier.

JavaScript is Ubiquitous

JavaScript is the most widely-available programming language in the world. It is included, one way or another, in just about every browser shipped in every tablet, (smart)phone, and computer. As the web became more important around the turn of the century, having an dynamic way to interact with static pages changed from a want to a must.

How We Got Here

Around 2005/2006 was the introduction of AJAX, made popular by Google’s new email service, Gmail, and the introduction of Prototype.js.

I got hired for a job simply because I was able to refresh portions of the page content without reloading the page, using a Microsoft invention called XMLHttpRequest (colloquially AJAX). I also recall the day someone posted about Prototype.js, and my whole world changed. Commands that worked in one browser, but were slightly buggy in another, were now wrapped up behind dollar signs. I dug into the source and read all of it (this is definitely something you should do, we’ll talk about it later). I read it multiple times because I didn’t understand what it was doing, but I knew it worked. Overnight the little obscure language that didn't quite make much sense changed into something that real applications could be built with.

With the availability of inexpensive computers, the growth of consumer broadband, and the advancements made in the JavaScript language and its tooling, the web was solidified as a viable development platform. Businesses realized that they MUST have a web presence, it wasn't optional. From this point forward, one could not be a web developer without having the ability to easily employ JavaScript to get their daily tasks done.

In 2009, Node.js came on the scene. Node.js wasn’t the first server-side implementation of JavaScript but it was easily the most popular because it was built on Google's JavaScript engine, and didn't require the complications of the Java virtual machine. All of the web developers who were programming PHP, Ruby, Python, or Java on the server and JavaScript on the front-end saw a future where they could write-once, run-everywhere. JavaScript gave that to them.

In 2013, Facebook released a library called [React](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/React_(JavaScript_library), which moved everything needed to render a webpage into a JavaScript function. React is fast, efficient, and most importantly, allows developers to build and deliver quickly. React also allows web developers to use the tools and techniques that they are most familiar with to enter into native app development on both iOS and Android.

The JavaScript language is evolving daily, as are its tools and capabilities. Today JavaScript can do more than ever and developers and companies big and small see it as a means to get real work done.

The Community is HUGE

Today JavaScript is the 8th most popular language on the TIOBE index, 1st in StackOverflow’s developer survey since 2013, and is GitHub's most popular language since 2012. Actually, describing the JavaScript community as huge is an understatement: it is probably the biggest of any programming language on the planet and there are no signs of that trend changing.

JavaScript is not only easy to get into, ultimately understand and become very proficient with, but has proven to be a powerful tool used to solve real-world problems.

The Future is Bright

Pick a popular language and I'm certain that it has a transpiler that outputs JavaScript. Companies like Microsoft, who have historically attempted to obstruct the web's growth, have fully embraced standard JavaScript and have made it a first-class citizen in its operating systems. Google, the largest player on the internet, use JavaScript to make their products and services available to anyone on the planet. Google is often first to adopt the latest technological advances in the JavaScript langue and push them out first to their world-class Chrome browser. Apple, typically seen as 'the walled garden' company, has a substantial investment in the WebKit project, which has been used as the foundation for countless projects helping move the web and JavaScript forward.

With the continued growth of, and dependence on, the internet, the world will demand more and more developers who know and understand JavaScript. Since the advent of smartphone, user engagement shifted to native applications, as the technology for web rich web experiences wasn't there. Now that it is, with the help of JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3, the most accessible piece of software has new life again. There' no better time than now to earn how to build with JavaScript.

Where To Start


Have you joined yet? What are you waiting for?! Go to www.datcode.io to join our vibrant community of black and brown coders. (You don't have to be brown, but you gotta love us, though :)