There are many programming languages that come to mind when you hear about data science, but generally, JavaScript is not one of them. Going into its ninth year as the top-ranked programming language on the 2021 Stack Developer Survey, JavaScript is known as a language for UX Designers and Web Developers that is commonly used in the creation and management of websites and mobile applications.

However, that doesn’t mean that JavaScript isn’t a useful language for data science professionals to learn. JavaScript is also known for the creation of unique and engaging visual experiences, making it a useful programming language for data scientists that are invested in creating complex data visualizations and project portfolios.

JavaScript’s centrality within the web and software development industries has made knowledge of the language useful when working on a product development team or within a technology company. Software libraries like TensorFlow have even made it possible for JavaScript to be used when working with machine learning algorithms and statistical modeling. Any data scientist interested in expanding their skills should think about investing time into learning more about JavaScript.

What is JavaScript?

Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript is an object-oriented programming language that is essential to the development of graphics and visualizations online. Whether you are viewing a website or engaging with an application, even if you don’t know it, it is highly likely that you’re having some type of interaction with JavaScript code. This is because JavaScript is primarily used to create websites and applications, and it is commonly paired with other web development and design-focused languages, such as HTML and CSS, to craft a user experience that is both dynamic and engaging.

Whether you are interested in front end or back end development, JavaScript has many uses when learning how to code. For data scientists, in particular, JavaScript is a tool that can help you learn how to be more versatile and communicative in your abilities. Pairing JavaScript with other programming languages makes for a more well-rounded portfolio and gives you the ability to communicate and work efficiently, with more collaborators and stakeholders in your industry of choice.

Uses of JavaScript in Data Science

While data scientists can use JavaScript in the same ways that developers use the language, there are also several uses of this language that are specific to working with information and data, as well as developing data science projects. JavaScript is used in data science for the development and design of websites, databases, and applications, the creation of data visualizations and diagrams, as well as more recent methods of creating machine learning models.

Data Visualizations and Interactive Models

JavaScript is primarily known for its uses when creating the aesthetics of a website or application. One of the primary reasons that data scientists should consider this programming language is creating data visualizations. JavaScript can be used to create interactive models which can be shared with an audience in a way that is more visually interesting and engaging. For example, instead of a static or 2D chart or graph, programming with JavaScript offers the possibility to create moving images and 3D models of your data findings using your own skills, instead of reconstituted graphics from an application or software. There are several libraries that can be employed to create data visualizations and models with the JavaScript programming language which include a breadth of interesting and innovative models.

Website and Application Development

One of the most straightforward and traditional ways that data scientists can use JavaScript is the process of web design and development. Within the data science industry, there are multiple tools that have been created to turn data analysis, visualizations, and reports into applications that can be shared with anyone. Especially for data scientists working in industries that focus on combining data and technology, such as FinTech or social media, having some knowledge of the process of platform development is useful when collaborating with a team or developing your own products. In addition, data scientists can use JavaScript to update their professional portfolio with the visualizations and models that they are creating with the language. This ensures that your JavaScript skills will be on full display to employers through multiple aspects of your online presence.

Automation and Machine Learning Models

As the JavaScript programming language has developed, it is not only used for working on graphics and other forms of visualization, but also automation and machine learning. As one of many software libraries that are frequented by developers, TensorFlow is an open-source library that allows anyone that is working with the JavaScript programming language to execute their own machine learning models. TensorFlow.js allows you to create machine learning models within a web browser, especially when working with algorithms like artificial neural networks and training different models. While this library is especially useful for the testing process of platforms and products, for data scientists, this library is also useful when developing your own applications or automating tasks.

Interested in learning more about JavaScript?

Despite the fact that JavaScript is not the most common programming language amongst data scientists, its importance within the realm of development and design makes it especially useful for data scientists that are interested in taking on more complex projects and data visualizations. Noble Desktop offers several JavaScript classes and bootcamps for beginners and more advanced students.

For students that are interested in database design and data collection, courses like NoSQL Databases with MongoDB also offer opportunities to demonstrate one’s skills in the language. In addition, data professionals with more advanced knowledge in the language can expand their skills in web development with the JavaScript Programming Fundamentals course. There are many uses for the language within the overlap of data science, development, and design.