JavaScript is a programming language with which you can program almost anything from simple picture galleries to complex 3D games. To get started with the language, you should read on now – because we have compiled all the important information for you.

Table of Content

  • Why should you learn JavaScript?
  • What can you program with JavaScript?
  • What can’t you do with JavaScript?
  • What do you need to program JavaScript?
  • Differences between Java and JavaScript?
  • Where can I learn JavaScript?

Why should you learn JavaScript?

Extremely widespread

Practically every modern website uses JavaScript in one form or another. The development of the front end is therefore hardly conceivable without this language. Since a good 70% of all developers can now also work with JavaScript , you won’t have any problems finding like-minded people if you have difficulties – the community is huge.

Promising

The internet is the future and JavaScript is the language that is groundbreaking for the internet. It’s not a universal solution like C ++ , but a language that is targeted towards websites . Elements of applications can then also be converted into JavaScript there. Unlike PHP, for example, which only masters websites, you can also use JavaScript to penetrate areas such as eBooks or PDFs. This versatility and the relatively simple programming ensure bright future prospects.

Incredibly versatile

The actual purpose of JavaScript was to make websites more dynamic without negatively affecting performance. Today, for example, you experience JavaScript behind most dynamic menus and in numerous other areas (more on that later). As the performance of computers, and especially mobile devices, increased, so did the use cases. Today, developers can also implement games in 3D in the browser – for example with Babylon.js.

At the same time, JavaScript facilitates the creation of apps of the future: Programming for iOS and Android and the respective app stores is possible, but complex, as the code does not have a completely common basis. With JavaScript, for example, you can create progressive web apps that only need the browser as a substructure, but at the same time behave like a native app.

In other words: JavaScript has long since left the times of the pure web language behind.

Extensive libraries and huge community

A good programming language requires equally good documentation: The already mentioned, very large community helps you with problems and constantly supplies new libraries that you can use in your applications. If you know a little about web development, you have probably heard of Bootstrap – but jQuery , Apache Cordova , Node.js , Phaser as a game engine or Electron are JavaScript products too .

You can find out more in suitable forums and you will find active support. Since getting started – as with any programming language – is always the most difficult, you shouldn’t be shy and take action if you have problems.

Good salary and job prospects

As a skilled JavaScript developer in Germany, you can expect a salary of around 46,000 euros, with a peak of up to 56,000 euros ( source ). Practically every big city is populated by modern companies – and they need web developers with JavaScript experience. In rural areas it can of course be more difficult.

It should be noted that you are usually not only requested for your JavaScript skills, but for the entire package. In other words: You should also be proficient in HTML and CSS in order to get a good chance of a decently paid job.

What can you program with JavaScript?

At its core, JavaScript is about manipulating content on a website. JavaScript elements react dynamically to your input and are thus able to present new content or change the appearance of the website.

A well-known example is password forms: You enter your username and password. In the event of an incorrect entry, an error message appears that was not previously visible. At that moment you have dynamically changed the website and can see the result in front of your eyes. This would not be possible with pure HTML.

Progressive Web-Apps

Another large area of ​​application of JavaScript are apps – for mobile platforms as well as PC and notebook. The apps start in a browser-like environment. Perhaps the best-known example in the world is Gmail from Google: As soon as you go to the website of this email service, you will find it difficult to distinguish it from a classic, native app – because the operation is no longer reminiscent of classic websites.

These types of apps have numerous advantages:

You only need a single code base to deliver the app for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux and other operating systems – which saves time and money.
You can also interact with these apps offline, which is not possible or only possible to a limited extent with classic websites.

You don’t need to install any software on your device. All you have to do is go to the website and get started right away. This saves space on tightly dimensioned smartphones.

The numerous interaction options with apps of this type blur the line between website and native app.

Games…

Games are popular on mobile devices too. All you have to do is go to a specific website to pass the time with a game on the bus or train. The earlier limitations – such as the limitation to 2D games – no longer exist today. Elaborate 3D optics competed with full-fledged games on the PC and JavaScript already have virtual reality applications in its program. Since the large community mentioned above provides numerous ready-made libraries for game development, a large part of the basic framework is already available for you.

… And other programs

Numerous free libraries and frameworks from the Internet ensure that you can now create full-fledged programs that are similar in functionality to typical desktop programs. This has a number of advantages: Full-fledged applications can access the device’s hard drive, which is not possible under normal circumstances – a limitation of the language used for security in the browser.

In addition, JavaScript has also made it easy for server programming. Apps need servers to receive data, control access rights, manage users and much more. JavaScript now brings with it server programming capabilities (and in fact, most companies you might join as a JavaScript programmer will require you to have that knowledge too).

What can't you do with JavaScript?

JavaScript is perfect for some applications, but for others the language is out of the question. Unfortunately, JavaScript cannot help you, especially when accessing certain system functions. For example, with the exception of cookies, you cannot transfer any files to the client’s hard drive. It is also not possible to permanently back up data on the server.

This means that, for example, guest books, comment functions, forums or similar, interactive elements are not suitable for JavaScript: You simply cannot save the user’s entries permanently. This also applies to HTML files themselves, which you cannot change permanently. As already mentioned, dynamic change is conceivable. A calculator is a popular example of a simple JavaScript application.

Extensive websites or applications are also not worthwhile with JavaScript: the language cannot query external databases. An online shop based on JavaScript, for example, cannot be implemented.

What do you need to program JavaScript?

In theory, all you need is a text editor like Windows Notepad and a browser. Just like HTML, JavaScript can read in plain text and interpreters for JavaScript are available in every modern browser. As you gain experience, however, you will likely look for other development tools – because:

  • Your HTML knowledge should be more or less bombproof. The important DOM (Document Object Model) and thus the hierarchical representation of objects within a web document will present you with completely wrong results if the references to each other are set incorrectly.
  • Successful programming in JavaScript also requires extensive knowledge of CSS. This is also where you should start if you only have a rudimentary understanding of CSS.
  • In the beginning you can do without it, but as the demands of your applications increase, you will not be able to avoid server-side programming to implement additional functions that require client-server interaction.

In other words: everything you need is already on your computer.

Differences between Java and JavaScript

Despite the similarity of names, the programming in the two languages ​​differs considerably. Java itself is designed to be more “classic”, so you have to compile the code before you can use it. There is no need for a compiler for this with JavaScript. The differences go even further:

  • The browser is required to interpret JavaScript code. There is no application without a browser. Java, on the other hand, can also function independently.
  • The JavaScript code is always available in clear text, while Java applications “hide” their code in compiled files. If it is not an open source project, you will not gain any insight into the code under Java.
  • There is no need for the JDK (Java Development Kit) and you do doesn’t need any graphic developer tools or IDEs. If you have a word processor program, you can get started with JavaScript.
  • Working with JavaScript is much easier for beginners than with Java!

You see: the differences are huge. The fact that it makes getting started with JavaScript very easy is one of the main reasons why many people learn to program in this language.

Where can I learn JavaScript?

There are countless points of contact online if you want to learn JavaScript. The choice can be a bit overwhelming, however Personally, I think a lot of the online courses and have taught myself JavaScript with two such courses at udemy.com and valuetrainings.online.

Contact us to learn more about our javascript development services and how we can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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