JavaScript holds the distinction of being the only language native to all browsers. If you’re going to learn coding, JavaScript should almost certainly be high on your priority list.

How you plan to use JavaScript will most likely influence your choice of training. A JavaScript Developer will specialize in a way that a Software Engineer or Front End Developer may not. Consider some of the following positions that JavaScript pros may hold:

  • Web Developer
  • JavaScript Developer
  • Front End Developer
  • Back End Developer
  • Full Stack Developer
  • .NET Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Software Engineer

Java vs. JavaScript

One of the first things you should learn is that Java is not an abbreviation for JavaScript. Both are essential languages, but Java is typically used only for back end development, not front end. Another difference is that JavaScript is often recommended for beginners, as opposed to the more complex Java.

The important thing to remember when starting out is to not confuse JavaScript with the Java programming language.

Employment Outlook for JavaScript Pros

If you work extensively with JavaScript, you can make a comfortable living. However, where you live, and your company or sector, will greatly impact your salary. Web Developers and Digital Designers, many of whom use JavaScript, average around $77,000 per year. However, some Software Developers earn considerably more.

Where and How to Begin Learning JavaScript

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Because JavaScript is relatively easy to learn, you’ll find many videos and articles written by non-experts as well as experts. Even a casual Google search for JavaScript brings up conflicting information in top results. Consequently, you should take care not to rely too heavily on these free resources.

Rather than take a wrong turn among the multitude of YouTube tutorials and free articles, consider the following approaches to learning JavaScript.

  • Internships - You might not think of taking a position as a part-timer or intern as a primary way to learn a language like JavaScript. However, many organizations offer design, development, and even software engineering internships and positions where you can learn on the job. These may be remote, full-time, part-time, paid or unpaid. If you’re a novice, this approach might work for you, it’s worth considering.
  • College - A college or university degree is one of the most obvious ways to learn. However, for a beginner-friendly language like JavaScript, your goals and budget will drive the decision. Many Web Developers and Data Scientists graduate from universities, but JavaScript will be a small part of their overall training.
  • Classes - Want to learn JavaScript in a short class? This can be an ideal way to see if this type of computer language is for you. Not many beginners learn JavaScript in a single day, but you may be able to find one that gives you a solid background in a matter of months or weeks, not years.

The Power of the Certificate

Immersive bootcamps and certificate programs often include JavaScript as part of a wider curriculum. You’re not going to major in JavaScript in college, but an in-depth program can give you not only JavaScript training but also a complete roadmap to a development career.

Consider the following certificate programs from Noble Desktop:

  • Front End Web Development Certificate - Want to build the visual front end of websites? You’ll need JavaScript expertise, along with HTML, CSS, and the most common CMS (content management system), WordPress. The program can be completed in four weeks full-time, or four months part-time.
  • Full Stack Web Development Certificate - If you know you want to learn the entire development process, then full stack web development is for you. An immersive 288-hour certificate, the course covers JavaScript and HTML/CSS, as well as tools like Grid, Flexbox, and Bootstrap, among others.

Top Tools for JavaScript Developers

If you’re going to work in any JavaScript development position, you’ll quickly learn that this popular scripting language doesn’t exist in a vacuum. An Integrated Development Environment, or IDE, can be handy as a text editor or debugger, and there are many available options. Consider the following highly rated IDEs.

  1. Visual Studio - Microsoft’s Visual Studio is a popular alternative for developers, especially those in a PC environment. It supports multiple languages and has numerous built-in features.
  2. Atom - Atom is a self-described “hackable text editor,” and one of the best IDEs for JavaScript users. It’s a free, open-source tool. Atom supports Mac and Linux in addition to Windows.
  3. WebStorm - IDE development company JetBrains created WebStorm, which also supports HTML and CSS in addition to JavaScript. WebStorm also offers a multitude of features for development pros.

Additional JavaScript tools include CodePen, a “social development environment” for developers and designers; Sublime Text, a text editor for markup and code; and Amazon’s AWS Cloud9, for debugging as well as writing and running code.

Other Skills for JavaScript Pros

Your best way to learn JavaScript may be a certificate or bootcamp. However, learning other tricks and tools of the trade will depend on your organization, your role within it, and a host of other factors. If you choose a development path, however, you’ll want to be aware of several aspects of working with JavaScript. Here are a few:

  • Frameworks - Different frameworks work for different tasks, but there are several almost universally known among JavaScript pros of all types. These include React.js, Node.js, and Vue.js. Other top JavaScript frameworks such as Angular and Mithril.js are also popular.
  • Testing and Debugging - CodePen, AWS Cloud9, and other tools can help with these tasks, as can certain frameworks. Depending on your browser, you might also want to check out Chrome or Firefox Developer Tools, the Safari Develop Menu, or Microsoft Edge Developer.
  • Data Visualization - Data visualization libraries for JavaScript are yet another important set of tools for development professionals. Popular libraries include D3.js, FusionCharts Suite, Chart.js, React-vis, and TradingVue.js, but there are many others.

As a JavaScript beginner, all these names of Integrated Development Environments, frameworks, and libraries may look overwhelming, but take heart—JavaScript remains one of the easiest codes to learn, and its massive popularity means there are always new and better resources of available support. You may need extensive experience to find the highest paying JavaScript positions, but the essentials you learn in a bootcamp or certificate program can help you succeed in this exciting field.