Why Javascript Should Be Your First Programming Language

Mar 16, 2018

Every time you see a dynamic interaction happening on a website you visit – ticking seconds and minutes or an animation while clicking or hovering over a button — that is all powered by Javascript. If you didn’t know, Javascript is often abbreviated as JS.

But what is Javascript really? And why do so many people recommend it as the best starting programming language that a beginner, like you, should pick up?

What is Javascript?

You can easily find all types of Javascript definitions on the internet.

But let’s make it easy for you. Imagine a website as a person, and Javascript is the movement of that person. For example, the gesture of hand to hold a cup, dancing, or waving.

Javascript allows you to do animations like this on your website.

A website is usually built with HTML, but you can put in interesting and attractive interactions by implementing Javascript. Because of this, Javascript is commonly used in website construction as a front-end language (client-side).

However, in recent years, because of its popularity, it is also used to create backend framework (Nodejs). In short, once you master Javascript, you can use it to create a website, both front-end, and back-end. The web developer who knows how to do front-end and back-end coding is commonly referred to as ‘full stack developers’.

If you’re keen to be a full stack developer, read on. I’ll quickly explain why Javascript would be the perfect programming language to learn, assuming you’re new to coding.

Why Learn Javascript As The First Coding Language?

1. It Is Easy To Get Started

Javascript is a web programming language that runs on the front-end and back-end, which basically covers everything you need to build great websites for your business or startup. It supports Object-Oriented Programming, event-driven and functional programming styles. This doesn’t mean that Javascript is more shallow or simple compared to other programming languages.

But the reason that it’s easy to learn is that Javascript works in every modern browser. There’s no need to go through tedious software installations to get started. Website apps such as codepen and jsfiddle are perfect for beginners to practice Javascript without having to set up anything.

2. Extremely Powerful For Web Applications

Back in the early years, Javascript was built for the front-end environment, where it allowed developers to create animations and interactive elements on the front-end of most websites.

However, in the past few years, Javascript went through a ton of development and now it could do a lot of things, from front-end to back-end, server-side code. Think of it as a language that can build really beautiful websites and at the same time, code very efficient servers.

The development of JSON has made it possible to transfer data between a website and server. The existence of Node.js next was what made it possible to build servers using the very same Javascript language. And more and more exciting development is underway, as the programming language becomes even more mature and in-demand.

You probably guessed it as well, with mobile being the main device for user consumption these days, Javascript can be used to create beautiful and functional mobile web applications and websites.

3. It’s A Highly Needed Skill

Javascript ranks top #3, for the most in-demand programming language

Being a powerful programming language, makes Javascript a highly sought-after skill by corporations.

With strong Javascript skills, you never have to be afraid being out of a job. Most programming jobs posted in any job sites will require the job seeker to have Javascript skills. Even if you don’t see Javascript listed as a needed skill, you’ll most likely see a requirement in skills like Angular, React, Jquery, AJAX — which are all Javascript frameworks. Not to mention, that developers with Javascript skills can often negotiate for a higher salary!

Javascript used to be a skill that belongs to the front-end developer, however, with NodeJS, lately, more job openings are requiring Javascript as a backend language.

In short, learning Javascript and mastering the language will pay off for you as an aspiring web developer.

4. Strong & Supportive Javascript Community

You’ll find huge communities discussing Javascript on places like Stackoverflow

One of the very important factors to choose a coding language to start with is the communities which are supporting it. In the case of Javascript, it has the largest Stackoverflow community, discussing it every day and it also happens to be the most tagged language in Github.

As a beginner, this means that it’s easy to get questions answered. Throughout your coding journey, all you really have to do is to look for answers to coding problems you have in the large community. And if you were to ask questions within the community, you can expect your questions to be answered really quickly.

Then when you become a master at Javascript, do your part by contributing back to the community that once helped you.

5. Existing Frameworks For Faster Coding

So what’s next after you’ve mastered the basics of Javascript?

The one thing that I truly love about Javascript is the existence of numerous frameworks that are free & available to explore, once you mastered the basics of Javascript. For example, some of the more famous frameworks like Nodejs, AJAX, AngularJS, ExpressJS allow you to explore backend architecture, routing and much more.

Frameworks generally help you program faster and at the same time, create tons of amazing web applications, right off the bat. Javascript has truly evolved beyond simple animations on websites, but once you master it, combine what you’ve learned with frameworks and you’ll be able to build anything you can imagine for the internet.

Where Do You Go From Here?

We believe that the best way to learn Javascript is to actually practice on real-working files. If you like to get started, make sure you stay subscribed to our newsletters at LEAD, and watch out for free webinars and courses that we throw out from time to time.

Other than that, let me know about yourself! Why do you want to learn Javascript? What are you planning to do with it? Let us know in the comment section below as we’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Programming

    Thanks for this interesting post, I have
    shared it on Twitter.

    • Reuben Chng

      Thank you very much for sharing it on Twitter. Follow us on facebook and join our activities if you are in Malaysia!


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