JavaScript is a popular programming language that was born in 1995, and is now core to the modern web. It’s a critical coding skill to learn if you want to get into web development. It’s also a versatile language that can unlock a variety of well-paid job opportunities that are experiencing rapid wage growth. 

According to US News & World Report, software development ranked as the #1 job in 2023. These factors are based on growth potential, salary, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance. The number of software developers is expected to grow to 28.7 million by 2024 globally, a 12.5% increase from 2020. There are many job opportunities for JavaScript developers. One study found the median yearly salary in 2023 was $74,034 USD—up roughly 13% from $65,680 in 2022. 

Salaries can also increase significantly as you gain more experience and advance into more senior developer positions. JavaScript is widely used, so learning it can unlock new opportunities that are remote or freelance.

What is JavaScript used for?

JavaScript enables developers and front-end web developers to create interactive and dynamic web pages. In fact, it powers more than 98% of websites. Interactive content like sliders, forms, pop-up windows, and drop-down menus, is the power of JS in action. 

JavaScript is compatible with major browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Edge. It’s a safe choice to ensure your web app will work across different platforms. It also integrates seamlessly with two core languages of web development, HTML and CSS, and enables more responsive, performant websites. 

It’s a favorite of front-end web developers due to its versatility. JavaScript can also be used for things like mobile and desktop app development and server-side programming. 

Why JavaScript Will Continue to Be Important

JavaScript is a highly sought after skill by employers. It will continue to be relevant for many years to come. According to a survey from Stack Overflow, JavaScript has been the most popular programming language among developers for 11 years in a row. Because companies have already built their tech stacks on JavaScript, they will continue to hire developers who know the language long into the future.

Its sizable ecosystem is another reason JavaScript will continue to dominate as a coding language. A vast set of frameworks and libraries are available to streamline JavaScript development, enabling developers to be more efficient. What exactly does that mean? While frameworks act like instruction manuals that guide you through the development process, libraries offer pre-built pieces of code that you can use to add extra features or functionality. Examples of frameworks include React, Angular and Vue.js, and examples of libraries include jQuery and Bootstrap. Together, they make it much easier to create something that’s relatively complex with JavaScript without starting from scratch. 

JavaScript’s applications also extend to emerging technologies, from the internet of things (IoT) to virtual reality and AI platforms, meaning it’s a future-proof skill to have on your resume. For example, JavaScript is already used to develop the interfaces that people use to control IoT devices, and it can be used on the devices themselves to collect sensor data. Additionally, libraries like TensorFlow.js enable developers to build and train machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) models with JavaScript. Use cases might range from web-based image recognition tools to chatbots. 

The Best Way to Learn JavaScript

Learning JavaScript is hard, but most who go for it have no regrets. For developers who already have experience using Java or C++ to create programs, learning JavaScript to build web apps will be a bit easier. However, anyone willing to put in the time and effort can learn this popular language. It might take you several months, but that time investment will be well worth it once you land a job as a developer

Thanks to JavaScript’s large and active developer community, it’s easy to find resources to help you get started and continue learning as you advance. There are numerous tutorials, forums and other learning materials available for free online. Since technology is always evolving, these resources will enable developers to easily ensure their skills and up-to-date. 

Start by learning the basics via online tutorials, such as variables, data types, functions, loops and conditional statements. Once you start to pick up a basic understanding, you might ultimately want to enroll in an immersive boot camp where you can learn more advanced JavaScript concepts like working with objects and asynchronous programming. 

The best way to learn JavaScript is by doing, so make sure to vet course options to ensure they include hands-on learning and projects that will help you build your portfolio. A portfolio will be key to standing out in your job search. Seek out as many opportunities as you can find to flex your new skills, participate in coding challenges and build projects. Graduates of General Assembly’s Software Engineering bootcamp program, for example, graduate with portfolio projects that show how they applied newfound coding skills to real-world problems.

Ready to get started learning JavaScript? Register for a free upcoming workshop to learn more.