Web Development

What Is JavaScript Used For And Why You Should Learn It

What Is JavaScript Used For And Why You Should Learn It

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. However, I am still often asked the question ‘What is JavaScript used for?’.

Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript forms the basis of front-end web development, allowing the creating of interactive elements. This is something of a simplistic view, and in this tutorial, I’m going to help you figure out exactly what is JavaScript used for.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of low-quality information out there that claims to be from ‘authority sources’. This is especially true when it comes to things like online JavaScript courses which can to help you discover what is JavaScript used for.

With this in mind, let’s jump straight into it. What is JavaScript used for, and why should you learn it? 

What Is JavaScript?

To put things simply, JavaScript is an object orient programming language designed to make web development easier and more attractive. In most cases, JavaScript is used to create responsive, interactive elements for web pages, enhancing the user experience. Things like menus, animations, video players, interactive maps, and even simple in-browser games can be created quickly and easily with JavaScript.

Three different languages work together to enable the creation of modern web pages. These are:

  • HTML, or hypertext markup language, which is used to put content onto a page. It allows the inclusion of things like text, images, links, and even videos. For example, HTML would allow you to put a login button in a certain position on your webpage.
  • CSS, which is used to style the content that has been inserted using HTML. Following on from the example above, CSS would allow you to change the shape, size, color, and style of the login button you added with HTML.
  • JavaScriptwhich is the focus of this tutorial. JavaScript allows you to take ordinary web elements and make them interactive. It can be used alongside your HTML and CSS and is an extremely important tool for any web developer. To complete the example above, JavaScript code would be used to make your login button perform the required actions (logging a user in when it is clicked).

If you want to be a front-end web developer, you need to build a strong knowledge of all three of these languages. Although this article is going to focus on JavaScript for the rest of it, it would be best if you do some more research about HTML and CSS if you’re not already familiar with them.

learn HTML and CSS with Space Doggos
Solidify your HTML and CSS knowledge with Space Doggos before you learn JavaScript

What Is JavaScript Used For?

Although JavaScript is usually talked about as a language that is primarily designed for front-end web development – and indeed, that’s what this article was focused on so far – the answer to the question ‘What is JavaScript used for?’ isn’t that simple. Along with interactive web elements, a strong knowledge of JavaScript will allow you to create the following things:

Games

If you’re interested in internet gaming and game development, you might consider using your knowledge of JavaScript to create your browser-based games. Although limitations are surrounding the complexity of browser-based games, JavaScript is as good as any other language when it comes to creating them.

Building your simple games is also a great way to practice your JavaScript knowledge. Figuring out the answers to questions like “What is JavaScript used for?” isn’t always easy, but I think that the best way to find out exactly how versatile JavaScript can be is to try things for yourself. Download a code editor (I’ll touch on this again later), come up with an idea for a simple game, and put some time into building it.

Mobile Apps

Although most mobile app development is done with operating system specific languages like Swift (iOS) or Java (Android), there is no reason why you can’t build apps with JavaScript. The implementation of frameworks like Phonegap and React Native have made it possible to create mobile apps for multiple operating systems using the same code. JavaScript appears to be a great choice for mobile app development in the future.

What is JavaScript used for - Adobe PhoneGap platform

Web & Server Apps

Again, the most common answer to the question “What is JavaScript used for?” is something like ‘creating interactive web elements’. But this isn’t all. The creation of new libraries and frameworks is allowing web developers to build a lot of back-end programs with JavaScript. These include things like web apps and server apps. JavaScript is becoming just as essential for back-end web developers as it is for front-end developers.

Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. JavaScript is a powerful language, and most things will only be limited by your imagination. 

Why Should I Learn JavaScript?

Now that I’ve introduced you to what is JavaScript used for – and yes, you can do a lot more than simply creating interactive web elements – it’s time to look at a few of the reasons why you should consider learning JavaScript. Sure, it would be cool to be able to create your website elements and mobile apps, but how does this benefit you?

Well, the good news is that simply thinking about things like what does JavaScript does and what can you do with JavaScript shows that you have at least some interest in programming. If you’re clever about things, it’s pretty easy to take this interest and turn it into a career.

What Are The Benefits Of Learning JavaScript?

I’ve answered questions like “What is JavaScript used for?” and “What does JavaScript do?”, but now it’s time to move onto some of the benefits of learning JavaScript. Learning to code with JavaScript has a whole range of benefits, including:

1. You Could Get A Promotion

If you currently work for some sort of tech company in a non-technical role, you might find that a working knowledge of JavaScript can help you get a promotion. Even if you don’t have to actively work as a ‘developer’, the technical knowledge can come in useful from time to time.

2. You Will Learn How To Learn

Although most programmers won’t admit it, the vast majority of programming languages are quite similar. The hardest language to learn is always your first one. Once you’ve spent some time learning JavaScript, you will find it a lot easier to pick up new languages, broadening your skills and potentially giving you a lot more career opportunities.

3. You Could Make More Money

Skills like JavaScript are in high demand. Although they don’t take very long to learn when compared to most highly-skilled jobs, programming skills have the potential to allow you to become one of the highest-paid people you know. Freelance JavaScript programmers can command more than $100 per hour (more on this in a minute). 

What Can You Do With JavaScript?

The answer to the question ‘What can you do with JavaScript?’ is by no means a simple one. However, learning how to program with a language like JavaScript can open up a world of opportunities for you. A few of the things you could do with your new knowledge include:

Become A Freelance Developer

Are you sick of working to make someone else money? Do you want to get out there and start building your career? If so, then learning how to code could be the best thing you ever do. Working knowledge of JavaScript – along with an understanding of things like frameworks and libraries – will allow you to find freelance work. As you become more experienced, you will find that you can easily make upwards of $100 per hour. Let’s face it, what sort of person in their right mind would say no to this!

Work On Your Website

Perhaps your sole reason for learning JavaScript is because you’re sick of paying freelance developers ridiculously high hourly rates to modify your website. Working knowledge of JavaScript will allow you to create your interactive elements and to make small changes to your site. This can save time, money, and can help you get exactly what you want.

Find A New Career

Experienced JavaScript developers are in high demand throughout the world. This means that there are a lot of career opportunities for developers – even if you don’t have a lot of experience. Even entry-level JavaScript developers can command wages of $70-80’000 per year, which makes this an appealing career change for people throughout the world.

How Can I Learn JavaScript?

By now you’re probably beginning to wonder how you can learn to write your JavaScript programs. Better jobs, higher pay, and the potential to work as a freelancer all sound pretty good, right? If you think so, then keep reading. You already know such things like what is JavaScript used for and what does JavaScript does, and now look at the best way to learn how to program – taking online courses.

Online Courses

Although they can sometimes get a bad name due to the huge amount of poor quality content out there, well-made online courses are definitely among the best ways to learn JavaScript.

If you’ve got a bit of time to commit to building a solid JavaScript foundation, then try the Interactive JavaScript Tutorial. Complete with a built-in code editor that allows you to practice as you’re learning, this course will teach you the basics of JavaScript with a special focus on creating dynamic content for websites.

learn Javascript BitDegree Interactive Course
Learn JavaScript with BitDegree’s interactive course

Alternatively, learn the basics with the wonderful video lectures offered by the Learn JavaScript in the 1 Hour course. In just over an hour of high-quality video, you will learn everything from simple syntax to functions and how to think like a programmer.

Reference Guides

Language reference guides are one of the most important developer tools in the world. They contain pretty much all the information anyone could ever need about a programming language, and they are great for looking up difficult concepts and syntax. For example, the BitDegree JavaScript reference, is perfect for looking up information about concepts or general programming practices.

bitdegree learn javascript reference guide

Conclusion

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Although it was designed to help front-end web developers create interactive elements, the use cases of JavaScript have rapidly expanded to include things like back-end web development, game creation, and even mobile app development. If any of these things interest you, you should consider learning JavaScript.

Discovering what is JavaScript used for will open your eyes to the benefits of learning how to code. Learning JavaScript will make you more employable, will give you the chance to become an entrepreneur or a freelancer, and will give you a whole lot more job security.

If you want to start learning how to code with JavaScript, start with a decent online course. Get familiar with a few reference guides, and download your code editor so you can practice writing your programs.

Most importantly, make sure that you have fun while you’re learning how to code with JavaScript!

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment