Why You Should Give JavaScript a Serious Look

Programming jobs are on the rise, and demand for developers continues to increase. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer demand is expected to grow over 20% over the next ten years. While a large chunk of that demand is driven by traditional languages like Python, Java, and Swift, it might surprise you to know that JavaScript consistently ranks in the top three popular languages to learn.

What Is JavaScript

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language that is primarily used for creating dynamic content behind the curtains of web pages, usually working in concert with HTML and CSS. As a scripting language, JS takes care of the processes that make a website more responsive, animated and do something. JavaScript is so important that every major web browser has support for it built-in. But JavaScript is so much more than just something used to make your picture slideshow move.

What Is JavaScript Used For?

JavaScript is used in a variety of applications. The growing number of libraries and communities that are dedicated to JavaScript development are a testament to this language’s popularity and its presence. But if you want concrete examples of where you can use JavaScript, here are three.

  • Games – JavaScript is everywhere in game development. One of the most popular game engines, Unity3D uses a native language called “UnityScript” which bears a striking resemblance to JS. But with frameworks written to allow you to use JavaScript and access 2D and 3D libraries, you can write, create, and publish games. You can even push them to mobile devices if you like. 
  • Mobile Apps – While every mobile environment has its own native language (Android has Java, iOS uses Objective-C, and Windows uses .NET), JavaScript is able to build frameworks that transcend these native environments. JS frameworks like PhoneGap and React Native (from Facebook) are great ways to build mobile or hybrid apps.
  • Web & Server Apps – Using Node.js, it’s possible to write server-side apps entirely in JavaScript. That’s right, JS is encroaching on PHP territory. It’s now possible to write an entire frontend and backend solution entirely in JavaScript. And of course, JavaScript is extremely powerful for writing native web apps. Look at all of the APIs that are out there. Nearly every API is written in JavaScript for ease of integration into modern websites.

Why Should I Learn JavaScript?

Now that you know what JavaScript is and what it can do, you might be wondering why you should learn JavaScript. Simply put, with the growing demand for Node.js developers and with web development going nowhere but up, learning JavaScript can only help you in your career. It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-stack engineer, a network specialist, or a part-time dabbler. Taking the time to learn JavaScript can only improve your programming knowledge and make you a better developer.

What Are The Benefits Of Learning JavaScript?

So what are the concrete benefits of learning JavaScript? It’s all well and good to say it will make you a better developer, but how can it help you in the real world? Here are three individual ways that becoming a proficient JavaScript developer can help you.

  • You Could Get A Promotion – Every company is looking for someone to take initiative and become more of an asset. While there is no such thing as being irreplaceable in a company, you can do your best to make yourself invaluable. And when you become a more valuable asset, companies recognize that you become vulnerable to being poached. To prevent that, you’ll probably end up getting a nice bump in salary, a new job title, or other perks, just so your resume doesn’t start wandering around. 
  • You Will Learn How To Learn – If you’re only used to OOP languages, JS will stretch your learning muscles. Whether or not JavaScript is an object-oriented language is a hotly debated topic with as many opinions as there are developers being asked. Still, JavaScript does have some features that will make it look familiar and others that will drive you up the wall. But if you stick with it, JavaScript will teach you a new way to think about code, which is never a bad thing for a developer to do. 
  • You Could Make More Money – The average salary for a JS developer (according to indeed.com) is $113,615 in the United States. Compare that to the average salary of a Java developer, which is $69,905 per year. It’s easy to see that a JS developer will earn more, and adding that language to your programming toolkit will allow you to take advantage of more lucrative opportunities.

JavaScript is one of the three core languages for frontend web development and is rapidly making inroads into becoming a viable backend language as well. With all of the frameworks being written that allow JS to stretch and become more useful, it really makes sense for any developer to give JavaScript a second look and start considering picking it up as a powerful tool in their development toolkit.

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