If you’re thinking about getting into software development or want to add coding to your resume, the choices are endless. Even a quick search on the best coding languages to learn will turn up multiple answers, making it difficult to know where to begin. We know the feeling. Everyone starts as a beginner, and it can be hard to make heads or tails of all the technical blogs out there.

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably wondering whether or not you should learn JavaScript. Before we answer your question, we want to commend you for doing the research. It’s fun to learn new skills, and many people will jump right into a course. But, the most important step before you commit your time and energy to learning a new skill is making sure that it’ll support your goals.

Below, we’ll explain how learning JavaScript will help you reach your current goals. We’ll cover what type of work you can do with it, how long it takes to learn, where to get started, and more.

Why should I learn JavaScript?

JavaScript is one of the most popular coding languages, and together with HTML and CSS, it forms the base of modern web development. HTML codes the structure of a website, CSS dictates its style, and JavaScript enables its interactivity.

First and foremost, if you want to get into web development — both front-end and back-end engineering — JavaScript is a must. The language’s versatility means it can also be used for application design, animation, and game development. Plus, it’s easy to learn, so it’s a great choice as a first language. In another article, we take a closer look at what JavaScript is used for.

Another reason to learn JavaScript is that it opens you up to a giant community of developers that use the same language. If you have questions about a problem or need help debugging something, you’ll be able to collaborate with one of the largest groups of developers.

According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, JavaScript was the most popular coding language for the eighth year in a row.

Is JavaScript the same as Java?

In short, no. JavaScript is the hugely popular web development language that is already installed on all common web browsers. It’s part of the reason why it’s so easy to get started with. You don’t need to configure or get familiar with an environment to code, unlike with Java. Java needs to be used within an environment that translates the code for the operating system (such as macOS, Windows, or Linux).

Java is a much more traditional coding language. It’s a class-based programming language and requires strict syntax to declare variables. Compared to JavaScript, it requires much more code to complete the same task. If you want to work in any of the following areas, Java will be a valuable addition to your repertoire:

As you can see, there’s some overlap between the applications of the two languages. For more information about how they’re distinct, learn about the differences between Java and JavaScript here.

How much does a JavaScript developer make?

As we explained earlier, JavaScript is commonly used for web development. Let’s take a look at the average salaries for web developers.

Front-End Developers

Front-End Developers create user interfaces and visual elements for web applications using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. On average, Front-End Developers in the U.S. earn between $65k and $132k, depending on their experience.

Back-End Developers

Back-End Developers use JavaScript frameworks like Node.js and programming languages like SQL to manage an application’s servers and databases. Junior Back-End Developers in the U.S. average $78k, while more experienced Senior Back-End Developers earn around $120k.

Full-Stack Developers

Full-Stack Developers are proficient with both front-end and back-end development, and they can use any mix of the tools listed above. In the U.S., Full-Stack Developers can make anywhere between $79k and $130k.

How long does it take to learn JavaScript?

Most developers agree that it takes six to nine months to learn how to use JavaScript. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and everyone starts from a different level.

Learners who can commit themselves full-time to learning JavaScript may acquire proficiency faster than those with other responsibilities. Similarly, if you already have a solid coding background, you’ll pick up on the language quicker than someone new to programming.

Still, it’s not a race. Learning to code should be something you look forward to. You want to be able to approach your course with a positive outlook and a calm demeanor. Nothing makes it harder to debug a project and learn from your mistakes than being rushed or frustrated.

The six to nine-month timeframe relates to learning the basics of JavaScript. Other libraries use JavaScript as a base to create applications and webpages, including TypeScript, React, and Redux. Depending on the job you’re studying for or the new project you want to tackle, you may need to spend more time studying to be proficient with these libraries after you learn JavaScript.

Where can I learn JavaScript?

Once you’ve determined that JavaScript is the code you need to know, check out our Learn JavaScript course. We’ll teach you the language’s syntax and the basics of object-oriented programming.If you’re certain that you’d like to start training for a new career as a Front-End Developer, consider our Front-End Engineer Career Path. In addition to JavaScript, you’ll also learn programming languages like CSS and HTML and use them to build complete web applications.

JavaScript Courses & Tutorials | Codecademy
JavaScript is a fun and flexible programming language. It’s one of the core technologies of web development and can be used on both the front-end and the back-end.

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