What is JavaScript?

Explore the dynamic world of JavaScript, a popular programming language used for web development, application development, and even game development. Discover the potential career paths and salaries associated with JavaScript expertise, and learn about the various classes and resources available to help you master this versatile language.

Key Insights

  • JavaScript is a prevalent programming language instrumental for web and application development, as well as browser-based game development, making it a versatile skill for many technology roles.
  • By utilizing JavaScript, Developers are able to enhance static websites with interactive features such as hamburger menus or image carousels, thereby improving user engagement.
  • As an open-source language, JavaScript and its many libraries and frameworks are freely accessible, reducing the barrier to entry for aspiring Developers.
  • Several resources and classes, both live and self-paced, are available for those interested in learning JavaScript, including offerings from Noble Desktop.
  • Proficiency in JavaScript opens up numerous career opportunities, such as Front End Developer, Full Stack Developer, and JavaScript Developer, across various industries.
  • Salaries for these roles can vary, but generally, JavaScript expertise can enhance earning potential in the technology sector.

JavaScript is a popular programming language used in various fields, including web development and application development. In particular,Developers use this language to add dynamic elements to websites and apps. Because JavaScript is the only scripting language that’s supported by every single browser, it is a prerequisite skill for just about anyone who plans to work with websites. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what JavaScript is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine whether to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

What Can You Do with JavaScript?

Imagine visiting a website but being unable to interact with anything. Nothing moves or changes color when you hover over it, and as you scroll through the page, everything is just a static image or text. Sounds pretty boring, doesn't it?

Now, think about a website you’ve recently visited. It’s likely that as you scrolled through the page, graphics popped into view with a flourish. You may have noticed an image carousel that automatically shifted from photo to photo, or a button that changed color when you hovered over it. When you wanted to navigate to another page on the website, you clicked a hamburger menu that exposed clickable links to these pages.

All of this is made possible with JavaScript, which adds interactive elements to websites that would otherwise be entirely static. While HTML and CSS, two languages fundamental to web design, are static by design, JavaScript makes websites more responsive and engaging to viewers. This helps ensure visitors spend as much time interacting with a website’s various components as possible.

In addition to web development, individuals also use JavaScript to build mobile and web applications. In fact, popular social media sites rely upon JavaScript and its associated frameworks, like React, to build the user interfaces of their applications. Likewise, Developers use JavaScript to build browser-based games (Bejeweled, anyone?), making this language both a highly useful and enjoyable one to learn.

How Do You Get JavaScript? How Much Does it Cost?

JavaScript Development Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

One of the many great things about JavaScript is its low barrier to entry. That’s because JavaScript is open-sourced, free, and automatically enabled and accessible in your web browser. In fact, you could view JavaScript code right now by opening up your favorite website, right-clicking an empty area, then selecting “Inspect” from the dropdown menu. Doing so brings up the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code that governs a website’s functionality and appearance.

Generally speaking, you will need a text editor, such as Visual Studio Code, or an integrated development environment (IDE) to write, save, and apply code for a specific purpose. Whether you choose a text editor or IDE depends mainly on your intended use. If you are pursuing a role as an application developer or planning to edit and debug code throughout the lifecycle of product development, an IDE may be the better choice for you. That’s because it includes a source code editor, debugger, and automation tools all in one tool. On the other hand, code editors are more simplistic and thus much faster, making them a good option if you need speed.

Many of JavaScript’s libraries and frameworks, such as React and Express.js, are also free and open-source. This means that once you have learned how to code with JavaScript, you can easily access additional tools to expand your knowledge and application of the programming language.

What Are the Benefits of Learning JavaScript?

Without JavaScript, websites would be static and boring, and visitors would have difficulty staying engaged with their content. As a result, organizations rely upon individuals with JavaScript skills to add dynamic and interactive components to their websites. Learning JavaScript is thus a prerequisite skill for anyone who wants to pursue a career in web development or application development, including roles like Full Stack Web Developer, Front End Web Developer, and Application Developer.

Another benefit of learning JavaScript is that it can expand your coding skills. If you’re already well-versed in coding with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is a great way to gain experience with an actual programming language (as opposed to a style sheet or markup language). After learning JavaScript, you can apply your knowledge to numerous industries that rely upon these front end programming skills. Learning JavaScript is also the first step in using the language’s numerous libraries and frameworks. Knowing how to use these versatile tools can make you more marketable while searching for jobs since they increase the number of ways you can use JavaScript, including using the language server-side (or back end).

Read more about why you should learn JavaScript.

JavaScript Careers

You might be curious about the different career paths available to those who know JavaScript. While you should take care to research all relevant skills for your desired career path, JavaScript is a valuable skill set for many development careers, especially if you plan to work on the front end. Below are some of the roles in which JavaScript is beneficial:

  • Front End Developer: Individuals in this role are responsible for building the front end, or client side, of a website. This is the part of a website you are most familiar with, as it’s what you interact with whenever you visit a site. In addition to knowing JavaScript, Front End Developers must be proficient in coding with HTML and CSS.
  • Full Stack Developer: This role requires skills in both front end languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and back end languages like Python, Python, and Java. That’s because Full Stack Developers work both client and server-side to build the front end of websites and connect them to back end data.
  • JavaScript Developer: Those who want to become experts in JavaScript might consider a career path as a JavaScript Developer. While a Front End Developer also styles a website with CSS or creates its basic framework with HTML, JavaScript Developers code almost entirely with this programming language to help make a site more interactive.

Individuals in roles like Front End Developer can find jobs in almost any industry since most organizations today rely on websites to communicate with their stakeholders. This includes both private organizations, like businesses, and public organizations, like government agencies and nonprofits. These organizations might choose to keep an in-house Web Developer on staff to build and maintain websites on their behalf or contract the work out with a freelance or agency-based Developer.

How to Learn JavaScript

Because JavaScript is such a popular and powerful language, there are numerous ways to learn it. Live JavaScript classes follow a specific schedule and allow students to interact directly with instructors and peers as they learn how to code with the language. These classes can take place in either in-person or live online formats and offer a structured curriculum to teach programming skills. Many live courses also offer career support and mentorship services, making them a good option for those looking to change careers.

On-demand or self-paced JavaScript courses provide more flexibility. Individuals can enroll in an asynchronous course and complete coursework as they have time and energy rather than attending classes on any specific schedule. This makes on-demand courses a good option for individuals trying to pick up JavaScript skills on the side as they work a day job or navigate family obligations. That said, students may be unable to ask instructors questions should they need additional guidance.

Noble Desktop also offers free resources and JavaScript tutorials for those who are just starting their learning journey. Noble’s free JavaScript seminar provides an introduction to JavaScript by discussing what you can do with JavaScript, popular JavaScript libraries, and client-side versus server-side JavaScript, among other topics. You may also consider reviewing Noble’s web design and development playlist on YouTube. Finally, if you decide you’re ready to pursue a l ive online or in-person JavaScript course, Noble Desktop has a “Classes Near Me” tool to help you find the perfect course to meet your needs.

Read the full guide on how to learn JavaScript.

A Brief History of JavaScript

In 1995, Brendan Eich created JavaScript for use with one of the first web browsers, Netscape 2. As JavaScript grew in popularity, the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) took over managing the standards and specifications for this programming language.

JavaScript (initially known as Mocha) was originally intended to be used for making website input validation more efficient. As Developers realized the potential applications for JavaScript, including being able to use the programming language on any web browser, it skyrocketed in popularity (as did the internet itself). JavaScript is currently the most popular programming language in use, as it helps lay the foundation for every single website you visit.

Comparable Programming Languages

Some may be tempted to say that JavaScript shares similarities with HTML and CSS since each of these three languages is foundational to building websites. Beyond their usage in web development, however, these languages don’t share much in common. That’s because HTML and CSS are not programming languages. JavaScript is thus far more similar to other scripting languages, which are a type of programming language that offers instructions to software through run-time environments.

Python is an excellent example of a highly popular scripting language. Like JavaScript, Python is an object-oriented programming language. This means that both JavaScript and Python rely on “objects” containing data and code to manipulate other code. In addition to web development, Python can be used for data science, automation, machine learning, financial analysis, and mobile development, among other things.

That said, there are some critical differences between the two languages. While JavaScript is most frequently used for the front end of websites, Python is often used server-side (or on the back end). Given its numerous uses, some may also say that Python is more versatile than JavaScript. Noble Desktop offers in-person and live online Python courses for those who may be interested in learning Python alongside JavaScript.

Learn JavaScript with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers hands-on JavaScript training opportunities that meet the needs of various learning styles and scheduling considerations. Each of its courses features small class sizes so that you can receive individualized support from Noble’s expert instructors. This is the case whether you attend a class live online or in person at the school’s Manhattan campus. Noble Desktop also provides a free retake option for anyone who wants to complete the course again within one year of completion.

Its JavaScript Programming Bootcamp provides students with a foundation in using JavaScript. In particular, this course teaches about object-oriented programming, variables, functions, and data types, among many other topics. By the end of the class, students will know how to build web applications using JavaScript and be familiar with its libraries and frameworks. Before enrolling in this class, you should be comfortable coding with HTML and CSS.

Noble’s JavaScript Development Certificate takes JavaScript learning a bit further. In this course, students practice building web applications with JavaScript and learn how to use React, Node.js, Express.js, and MongoDB to expand the versatility of this programming language. Additionally, students have the chance to apply their learning to specific projects and build up a portfolio that can be used when applying to jobs in the field.

You may also consider Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate. This course teaches JavaScript in addition to HTML, CSS, and WordPress while providing experiential learning opportunities. Certificates at Noble Desktop also offer students individual career mentoring sessions to help them polish their resumes and portfolios, and give them tips on how to stand out in a competitive job market.

Key Insights

  • Since it was first created in 1997, JavaScript has become a highly popular programming language used for web development, application development, and browser-based game development.
  • This programming language enables Developers to add interactive features to otherwise static websites and applications, like creating hamburger menus and image carousels.
  • JavaScript and many of its libraries and frameworks are open-source, which means they’re completely free to use.
  • There are many resources available for individuals who are excited to learn how to code with JavaScript.

How to Learn JavaScript

Master JavaScript with hands-on training. JavaScript is one of the world's most widely-used coding languages. Learn JavaScript and its libraries to start creating interactive websites and mobile apps.

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