How to learn JavaScript 

Interested in learning to code? Stick to the (Java)Script…

Whether you’re looking to start a career in web development, you’re a freelancer looking to expand your skillset, or you just want to fuel your hobby of building the greatest website of all time, JavaScript is for you. 

To help you get started, here’s everything you need to know about JavaScript, along with our top tips on how to learn it: 

 

What is JavaScript? 

JavaScript is a popular scripting language that creates and controls dynamic website content. 

This includes anything that moves or constantly refreshes – from zoomable images and photo slideshows to interactive forms and autocomplete text suggestions.  

Essentially, whilst HTML generally makes up the structure of a website (headers, body text, images) and CSS controls the aesthetics (fonts, background colours, etc.), JavaScript focuses on bringing each individual element to life. 

But JavaScript isn’t only used in front-end web development. It’s also replacing server side technologies via NodeJS, as well as being used to create mobile apps.

 

What is JavaScript used for? 

JavaScript is an essential part of website development, helping to turn a page of static text into a living thing (well, not literally). 

Here are a few examples of JavaScript in action: 

  • Interactive buttons 
  • Drop-down menus
  • Alert boxes and notifications 
  • A timer or countdown on a website 
  • A news or social feed that automatically updates 
  • Autocomplete text suggestions 
  • Web browser based games 
  • Mobile apps 

 

How is JavaScript added to a website? 

JavaScript is added to a website in the same way as HTML and CSS. 

It’s either embedded into the HTML of a website, or uploaded as a separate js. file.

The code is then downloaded to a user’s computer and processed into the dynamic elements you see on screen. 

 

Who uses JavaScript? 

JavaScript proficiency is essential in many careers. It’s most commonly used by: 

  • Front-End Engineers 
  • Full-Stack Web Developers 
  • Information Security Software Developers 
  • PHP Developers 
  • App Developers
  • Games Developers
  • Web Designers 

Even if you don’t use JavaScript in your day-to-day, it’s an extremely useful programming language for anyone (from content marketers to tech support workers) to have under their belt.

 

How long does it take to learn JavaScript?

It takes roughly 6-9 months to learn basic JavaScript. 

However, the exact length of time it takes to learn JavaScript will depend on your learning method, whether you study part-time or full-time, and your previous experience in coding (for example, if you already know HTML and CSS, you might learn JavaScript faster). 

More advanced skills and knowledge of JavaScript, along with additional frameworks and libraries, may take longer to learn. 

 

What are JavaScript libraries?  

JavaScript libraries are on-demand sets of pre-written code that enable you to carry out common JavaScript functions. 

Examples of JavaScript libraries: 

  • jQuery 
  • React JS 
  • Backbone.js

 

What are JavaScript frameworks? 

JavaScript frameworks are essentially coding blueprints. They provide a structure of code for you to base a website or web application on.  

Examples of JavaScript frameworks  

  • Angular
  • Ember.js
  • Vue.js

 

Why learn JavaScript? 

It’s perfect for beginners. JavaScript is often recommended as a great first coding language to learn if you’re brand new to the world of coding. It’ll also arm you with transferable skills in the fundamentals of programming that’ll be extremely helpful when you go on to learn more complex languages. 

It’ll boost your career prospects. JavaScript is a versatile language that’s used on frontend and backend website development, as well as on mobile, web, and desktop apps. This opens up career opportunities in many fields, enabling you to work in full-stack development, machine learning, games development, and much more.  

You’ll be in demand. JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world. By learning one of the most sought after skills in web development, you’ll instantly boost your attractiveness to employers – not to mention increase your earning potential. 

Seven reasons you should learn to code right now

 

How to learn JavaScript 

There are many ways to learn JavaScript, whether it’s learning independently (cue: self-motivation), going to university, or taking an online course

Not sure where to start? Here are our top tips:  

 

  • Explore online resources 

Available resources include everything from videos, blog posts, and quizzes, right through to networking events, reference guides, and code editors. Many of these tools are perfect for beginners, and will help you get your head around the basics of JavaScript, not to mention decide whether further study is right for you. 

 

  • Take a course  

If you’re looking for a more structured and comprehensive look into the world of JavaScript, try a course. You’ll be able to work at your own pace and at a time that works for you – all whilst benefiting from the support and guidance from an industry expert, and the structure of a tried and tested syllabus. 

 

  • Don’t skip the fundamentals 

Even if you’re a fast learner, resisting the temptation to speed through the basics is critical. Instead, focus on getting really good at what you’ve just learnt, before moving onto the next step. This means practice, practice, and more practice. Without a solid grasp of the core concepts, you may struggle to write and understand more involved JavaScript code later down the line. 

 

  • Understand everything you write 

When following instructions, it can be all too easy to carry out a task but actually have no idea how you did it. If you’re brand new to JavaScript, this is particularly precarious, yet very easily done. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to understand every line of code you write, what it does, and how it impacts the webpage you’re working on. 

 

  • Never stop learning

Like all aspects of technology, JavaScript is always changing. This means that keeping your finger on the pulse (e.g. following industry news and using the newest/best frameworks and libraries) will give you the upper hand in mastering your technique. It’ll also ensure you’re using your skills in the most efficient way possible. 

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Ready to start studying? View all JavaScript courses now. 

 

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