Have you ever heard of the three pillars of the web? They are the three technologies that make up 94.9% of all websites online today: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (a.k.a. JS). We talked a bit about HTML and CSS in a past article, and those are great first steps. But if you want to get a career in web development, some JavaScript knowledge is a must.

First Things First, What Is JavaScript

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JavaScript is programming language that is used to make interactive web pages. Invented in the late 90s and originally named LiveScript, it was created with similar syntax to the programming language Java, but they are indeed two separate languages. Like Python, JavaScript is a high-level programming language, meaning it automates some back-end processes (check our Python article for more details). It is the most widely used programming language on the web, and all major browsers support it.  

What Does JavaScript Do? 

It allows you, the user, to interact with web pages. This makes it a client-side script because JavaScript runs in the client’s (user’s) browser, and doesn’t need to interact with the serverBefore JavaScript was invented, there was very little user interaction with a web page. You could click links to other pages and load new pages, but nothing else. JavaScript allowed a whole new set of actions you could code into a web page such as animations, form validation and adaptive content. 
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What are some specific examples JavaScript in action? 

  • Autocompleting forms or search engine requests 
  • Loading new content on a page without reloading 
  • Interactive maps 
  • Drop down menus 
  • Playing audio or video 
  • Animations like jumping notifications 

JavaScript has been around for a while, so it has an extensive collection of libraries. Libraries, like in most programming languages, are sets of pre-written code (usually related to accomplishing a specific function or task).  The use of libraries to accomplish tasks and functionality saves time when coding as you can utilise the already written code rather than writing it from scratch. For example, JQuery is a JavaScript library that focuses on animations and interactive functions. If you were creating a website that required some animations, you could utilise the functionality of the JQuery library to save yourself time. Simply put you can utilise the JQuery library and call the pre-made function to animate the object, instead of needing to write the entire function from scratch.  

With so many libraries for JavaScript available, you might think you don’t really need to learn to code in this language from scratch. Though libraries may be useful, if you are going to work in web development in some capacity you will definitely need to code something of your own someday. Learning JavaScript is a must for anything web-based. 

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As we’ve mentioned in past articles, learning a programming language online on a computer just makes sense, but especially when you’re learning the language that powers the web. There are free courses you can take that will teach you some basics and let you see if this is something you might want to pursue further. You can also find everything from good quality budget courses to pricier certification courses that teach additional skills as well as JavaScript.  

What jobs are available if you know JavaScript? 

  • Front end web development (building user-facing parts of a website) 
  • Web application development (creating web-based software applications like interactive forms) 
  • Website administration (maintaining, backing up, updating existing websites) 
  • Full stack development (working with both the front-end and back-end of websites) 
  • Quality assurance automation (oversee automated software testing) 
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Of course, what you really want to know is if these jobs actually make any money. A web developer with 0 – 3 years of experience could expect Rs. 2.25 – 4.74 lakh. If you were a full stack developer with 3 – 4 years of experience you would be looking at a salary of Rs. 4 – 5 lakh per annum. If you stick with this career, 10 – 20 years in you could even find a job as a full stack developer making Rs. 15 – 20 lakh per annum!

Web development is still at the forefront of cutting edge technology, and JavaScript is an integral part of almost every website out there. Though there are new languages coming out all the time, JavaScript isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Reskill or upskill with JavaScript and find your next dream job.