10 Basic Things You Need to Know to Get Started in JavaScript

JavaScript is a powerful yet simple programming language, which makes it the language of choice for millions of beginning programmers.

JavaScript is a powerful yet simple programming language, which makes it the language of choice for millions of beginning programmers. If you are thinking of immersing yourself in programming with JavaScript, what should you know? Here are 10 things that all beginners should know about JavaScript, plus, you will develop your potential as a web programmer in an easy, fast, and dynamic way.

1. JavaScript is not Java

Despite their similar names, JavaScript and Java are unrelated to each other. Java was developed by Sun Microsystems, while Netscape hired programmer Brendan Eich to develop a version of the Scheme programming language to integrate it into Navigator, their web browser. The resulting language was called JavaScrip, which has caused confusion ever since.

2. JavaScript powers active web content

Before JavaScript was developed, HTML web pages were completely static: they couldn’t be changed on the client side without having to reload the entire page. JavaScript was designed to overcome this by allowing changes to the HTML page structure and CSS styling information in real time, without reloading the page. JavaScript code running in the browser can communicate with the web server using Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) or websockets.

Originally, this functionality allowed for simple interactive web applications; for example, a “like” button on a social networking site that automatically updates the number of “likes” on a post in real time. But now, JavaScript is the key component in almost all interactive web applications, including word processors and spreadsheets like Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365, full-featured mail clients like Gmail and Outlook, and even multiplayer browser games.

3. Not all browsers work well with JavaScript

When JavaScript was first released, it was only available in Netscape Navigator and was a proprietary implementation. Microsoft soon reverse-engineered JavaScript and included its own version, called JScript, in Internet Explorer. But this meant that there were significant differences between the two implementations, to the point where most of the code had to be written twice, once for each browser. 

This continued for many years, even as Netscate and other (non-Microsoft) browsers pushed for standardization. Finally, in the late 2000s, the rise of alternative browsers forced Microsoft to get serious about standardizing JavaScript. Still, new or advanced features may not work the same way across browsers, so extensive testing should be done to make sure a web application works the same way across all platforms.

4. Rich web apps use JavaScript frameworks and libraries

As you can imagine, a full-featured JavaScript web application could take years of development and testing to get right. That’s where JavaScript libraries come in. The most popular is jQuery, used by about 75% of websites. Other popular JavaScript frameworks for front-end web development include React, which was created by Facebook, and Angular, which was created by Google.

5. JavaScript can also power back-end development

While best known for its roots in front-end and client-side programming, JavaScript has evolved beyond the browser. Node.js is a popular JavaScript back-end runtime environment that enables developers to build scalable web applications entirely in JavaScript. It combines Google’s V9 JavaScript engine with an event loop and I/O API. Through its npm package repository, Node.js gives developers access to thousands of pre-built libraries.

6. Desktop apps can be written in JavaScript

In addition to server-side applications, JavaScript can be used to build native desktop and mobile applications using application frameworks such as Electron, Cordova, and React Native. These frameworks allow developers to break out of the browser and build applications that support native desktop features and native user interface while using web technologies like JavaScript and CSS. Although they are not as fast as native apps, these hybrid apps can speed up development time even when multiple platforms are required.

7. JavaScript is weakly written

One of the things about JavaScript that can be confusing to new developers is how it handles variable types in certain situations.

For example, the + (plus) operator is used for binary addition and string concatenation. This means that if you want to add two numbers, both operands must be numbers, not strings. For example, the expression “1” + 1 will output the string “11”, not 2. But “2” – 1 will output the expected 1. This behavior can be confusing if you are not aware of it.

8. JavaScript uses prototypes, not classes

Although JavaScript supports objects and object-oriented programming, it does so using prototypes, rather than classes used in other object-oriented languages. Although a class is static, prototypes in JavaScript are not different from other objects. This means they can be changed on the fly. New objects are created by cloning the prototype, and the prototype can be extended by cloning it into a new object, which can then be used as a prototype for other objects. This gives JavaScript developers greater flexibility, at the expense of some efficiency and readability. Compensations.

9. JavaScript is typed dynamically

The flexibility of JavaScript is further enhanced with dynamic typing. Because all variables are essentially objects, an object of a different type can be assigned to a variable. The program can then determine the type of the object explicitly or JavaScript can use duck typing (if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck!) to determine the type of a variable

10. JSON is JavaScript Arrays

JSON is a popular data interchange format that uses plain text to store data. It stands for JavaScript Object Notation, which accurately describes the file format of JSON. A JSON file can be directly imported into a JavaScript variable using eval(), because it is literally a JavaScript object that represents an array of data. Many other languages now include JSON parsers and generators that can be used to communicate with JavaScript programs.

Starting to program in JavaScript is simple, there are some online courses that you can take to enhance this incredible skill that is gaining more and more strength in the job market, don’t waste more time and start learning today, start will small things and the go for much larger projects, the best thing to do is to start, and you can do it today.