Why Learn JavaScript?

All data used in this article is as of January 6, 2016

Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript allows you to build interactive websites. JavaScript has become an essential web technology along with HTML and CSS, as most browsers implement JavaScript. Thus, You must learn JavaScript if you want to get into web development, and you must learn it well if you're planning on being a front-end developer or on using JavaScript for backend development.

Furthermore, JavaScript usage has now extended to mobile app development, desktop app development, and game development. All in all, it has exploded in popularity and is now a very useful skill to learn.

Interested in learning JavaScript? Check out our Live Classes!

Beginner Friendliness

Easy to Pick Up

JavaScript is somewhat easy to get started with as it is a higher level language, which means JavaScript abstracts away most of the complex details of the machine so you can focus on learning how to program. What's more, you can get started with coding JavaScript straight from your browser without setting up any development environment, which is a reason many beginners seem to like it.

Fun

JavaScript is mainly used for frontend development, and there are various tools that will allow you to quickly get a working prototype with JavaScript. Nonetheless, you should first focus on obtaining a solid understanding of JavaScript before you explore what the community has to offer.

Complex

Although all browsers implement JavaScript, the same code doesn't necessarily behaves the same way in different browser environments, so trying to figure out why your code works in Chrome but not in Firefox may sometimes be frustrating. Additionally, beginners may quickly find it difficult to grasp the concepts of how JavaScript works, and the language has several designs that make it easy for beginners to shoot themselves in the foot. Finding an experienced JavaScript mentor will likely help you stay on the right track and ease your learning process.

Scalability

Not Fast

As a dynamically untyped language, JavaScript is slow because it is too flexible and the machine would need to do a lot of referencing to make sure what the definition of something is, and this slows JavaScript performance down. The speed of front-end JavaScript will depend on the framework.

Nonetheless, the Node.js environment sped JavaScript up, and much of the Node.js community focuses on performance to capitalize on JavaScript's potential for backend programming as well.

Difficult to Maintain

Because JavaScript is a dynamically untyped language, the same thing can easily mean something different depending on the context and it also lacks support for classes, making JavaScript harder to debug than most languages.

As a JavaScript app grows larger and more complex, it may be hard to maintain as errors will become difficult to track down and fix. It will take experience and insight to know how to design your code or write unit tests to ease maintainability, but you can learn how to design code better by working with an experienced JavaScript mentor.

In addition, Microsoft's open-sourced TypeScript (a statically-typed version of JavaScript) is a potential solution to help ease the scalability problems.

Community

Community size is important, because the larger a programming language community is, the more support you'd be likely to get. As you step into the programming world, you'll soon understand how vital support is, as the developer community is all about giving and receiving help. Moreover, the larger a community, the more people will be building useful tools to make development in that particular language easier. As of now, there are over 600 notable programming languages world-wide.

So, with that context in mind, let's get into the details of the JavaScript community size.

Largest StackOverflow Community

StackOverflow is a programming Q&A site you will no doubt become intimate with as a coding beginner. JavaScript has overtaken Java in terms of community size, and it will likely keep growing.

Largest Meetup Community in Terms of Programming Language

At meetups, you can generally network and learn from fellow developers. Meetups often offer mentorship to those who want it as well. There are 3600+ JavaScript Meetup groups, totaling 1.48 million members worldwide.

Needless to say, JavaScript has a huge community, which as a whole has a lot of energy and may help you stay motivated with learning JavaScript.

Most-tagged language at GitHub

One of the things JavaScript developers like about JavaScript the most is the community. JavaScript constantly innovates new, nifty tools, which may be very exciting and fun. There are over 3100 GitHub projects with over 500 stars. However, many tools also have a high churn rate, so keeping up with all the new things may be slightly exhausting.

Career Opportunities

Salary information from gooroo.io

With more and more businesses moving online, demand for JavaScript developers has been rocketing. JavaScript is also the most demanded programming skill at Angel List.

If you want to use JavaScript for backend development, the average salary in the US for Node.js developers is about $98,962.

Future

The web browser is one of the most used applications on both desktop and mobile devices. With more and more services moving to the web, JavaScript will only increase in popularity, and as a whole there is a lot of technical innovation going in on JavaScript. Many developers and businesses have used JavaScript to extend their web products outside of the browser, which means JavaScript can be used build simple desktop and mobile apps.

JavaScript is the #8 most popular language on TIOBE index

A programming language's ability to stay relevant and survive also depends on whether the language is getting new blood.

Interest in learning JavaScript grew by 22.3% in 2015

Considering how many services are going online, clearly JavaScript will continue to grow quickly and stay very relevant in the years to come.

In general, it's difficult to predict where JavaScript's direction would be as the technology is always evolving, but needless to say, JavaScript will only continue to grow in terms of adoption rate

Ready to Learn JavaScript? Click Here For Free Lessons!

What is the best programming language for me?