With all the computer programming languages that exist, few have managed to reach the heights that JavaScript has. It wouldn’t even be an exaggeration to say that JavaScript is a programmer’s best friend. In fact, a 2021 study by Stack Overflow showed that JavaScript is the most widely used programming language in the world.

According to the study, developers were asked: “Which programming, scripting, and markup languages have you done extensive development work in over the past year, and which do you want to work in over the next year?” Out of more than 83,000 coders, approximately 65% said their language of choice was JavaScript. Stack Overflow conducts this study every year, and JavaScript language has maintained the top position for the past nine years.

If you want to enter into the world of programming, especially web development, you will need to be versed in JavaScript. However, trying to learn the language can be a bit challenging at first. Keep on reading to find out how to learn JavaScript for beginners.

What is JavaScript?

Before we get into how to learn JavaScript, let’s briefly talk about what it is. JavaScript is a scripting language that coders use to make interactive websites. You have probably seen it in action the last time you visited a website and clicked around. 

One example of how JavaScript is used is with login buttons. When a website asks you for your login information, that is JavaScript at work. Another example is when you go to an online retailer and type the item you’re looking for in the search box. The results that are shown are due to JavaScript. JavaScript is also responsible for refreshing your social media feeds and without it, web pages would be static and boring.

Over the years, JavaScript has evolved beyond making websites interactive. These days it’s used in other applications, including web apps, mobile apps, video games, and desktop applications. 

What are the Benefits of Learning JavaScript?

There is a good reason why JavaScript is popular: because it is extremely useful. Besides using it to make websites exciting, here are few reasons why developers may use JavaScript:

  • JavaScript is one of the easiest programming languages to learn.
  • You can combine JavaScript with other programming languages in the same website or app to create amazing user experiences.
  • JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, meaning it runs directly in the browser (the client in this case). Because it runs on the client instead of a server, it is fast. With today’s dwindling attention spans, the need for fast websites and applications cannot be overstated.
  • JavaScript is a marketable skill. In fact, when it comes to programming languages, 72% of companies are looking for JavaScript developers, according to a 2020 study by DevSkiller. The same report highlighted that regardless of what language developers were skilled at, most of them were given a JavaScript assessment by their potential employers.

*Above bullet points sourced from GeeksforGeeks.com

What Beginners Need to Know 

Before you start writing JavaScript code, there are a few things you need to do. The first is to learn HTML and CSS. Luckily, both of these things aren’t hard to pick up.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it is the language that defines the structure of a webpage. It uses tags, such as <p> for paragraphs, <h1> for heading one and <img> for images, to define elements within a document. While HTML takes care of the content’s structure, CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, handles the presentation. CSS’s presentation properties include font type, font size, text color, background color, paragraph margin, and animation.

The next thing you need is a text editor to write JavaScript code. While you can use Notepad for Windows and TextEdit for macOS, they don’t have certain features that make writing code quick and easy. For example, Notepad and TextEdit don’t highlight JavaScript Syntax and code completion. They also don’t have automatic line indentation, built-in functionality or plugins that allow you to debug your code.

You might want to use the default text editors because they come preinstalled with your computer and are free. However, most high-quality text editors are also entirely free. Free text editors you can try out include Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Atom, Brackets, Komodo Edit, and Notepad++.

Don’t want to go through the hassle of installing an editor? You can simply use an online code editor. These types of editors run directly in your browser, and the popular ones include JSFiddle, Codepen, and Rippleit. The beauty about these online code editors is that they make it easy to share your projects with others for collaboration.

Learn Javascript

7 Ways to Learn to Code JavaScript

By now, you know what JavaScript is, its advantages, and what it’s used for. Now, it’s time to look at how to learn JavaScript

Here are five things you can do to begin your JavaScript journey. 

1. Read About JavaScript

Of course, when it comes to reading about basic JavaScript coding, the go-to option is to grab a book. Many books can teach you the language in an easy-to-understand way.

Here is a list of books on JavaScript that will serve you well on your journey:

  • JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming
  • Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming
  • You Don’t Know JS Yet: Get Started
  • Wikibooks’ JavaScript book

2. Watch JavaScript Tutorials Online

YouTube has become a source of knowledge for many people who want to learn various skills, including programming with JavaScript. If you are more of a visual learner, you can head online and watch a JavaScript tutorial for beginners. Many aspiring Javascript developers learn the language by watching these YouTube channels: TravesyMedia, Dev Ed, Programming with Mosh, LearnCode.academy, and TheNewBoston.

A special mention goes out to Ania Kubów, who is a software developer and programming instructor. On her channel, you’ll find a variety of JavaScript projects for beginners. And the fun part is that they are usually games like Candy Crush, Minesweeper, Connect Four, Super Mario Bros., and even The Legend of Zelda. You can find her complete list of JavaScript game tutorials here

3. Join an Online Coding Class

The self-directed route with books, online tutorials, and on-demand video is effective. However, not everyone has the self-discipline to pull it off. That is where coding classes come into the mix. With a coding class at BYJU’s FutureSchool you are guided every step of the way by a live instructor.

4 Use a JavaScript Reference

Most beginners make the mistake of trying to memorize code, which is nearly impossible for a language as extensive as JavaScript. However, you don’t have to worry about forgetting code, as there are several online resources that you can use for free. If you want a complete JavaScript reference, the Mozilla Developer Network JavaScript Guide is a great one.

5. Build Your Own Projects

There are plenty of beginner projects that you can learn to build on your own. These projects will help you put your JavaScript proficiency to the test and reinforce what you have been learning. With this list of beginner JavaScript projects, you’ll build several fun applications, from a simple counter to a playable game.

6. Find a Coding Buddy

You might think you’re fine learning to code by yourself, but that is because you’ve never had a buddy to do it with. Your coding friend will be there to motivate you and keep you accountable. Your partner will challenge you and drive you to find the best way of solving coding problems. Furthermore, you can have them review your code and vice versa to ensure that you’re both learning and growing in code.

If you want to continue to learn about coding you can sign up for a FREE trial class at BYJU’S FutureSchool— a platform that teaches coding to kids, allowing them to build their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Kids learn to code in a fun and interactive environment full of exciting challenges and individualized attention through our platform. You can also discover more coding resources on the BYJU’S FutureSchool blog.

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