What are the Basics of JavaScript?

Gone are the days when websites used to be a collection of static web pages showing you the required content. Today, you can interact with websites – you can input something, watch personalized advertisements, play videos, upload a file, and achieve the desired output. And all of this not only on the web but on mobile applications as well. Thanks to JavaScript that makes all these tasks possible to do! The front-end development which was dominated by HTML and CSS long ago now encompasses JavaScript as an essential component.

Technically, JavaScript is a scripting or programming language, officially maintained by Mozilla, that makes your website interactive and allows you to implement complex features on web pages. Using this language, developers can show interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, timely content updates, scrolling videos, and so on. When people start with front-end development, they use HTML to give structure to the web content, and then take up CSS to control how the page looks, basically applying styling to the HTML content. After both these tasks, developers use JavaScript as the third element to make the website dynamic.

This article explores the JavaScript basics and why you should learn it for a successful career in web development.

What can JavaScript Do?

There are hundreds of programming languages available in the market and a new language must have a very powerful feature or something very unique that can add value to a developer’s work. Only then can it be adopted and used widely. The same holds true for JavaScript – the language gives the ability to create dynamic web pages and introduce interactive elements without having to refresh the browser. HTML and CSS didn’t have this ability, and thus JavaScript has become a default choice for front-end web development.

Here are some of the fascinating tasks you can accomplish using JavaScript:

  • It is used to execute complex actions and enables the interaction of visitors with the website.
  • It is a powerful tool for creating mobile applications on any operating system. The code needs to be written only once and can run on different platforms.
  • JavaScript has various libraries and frameworks that support game development. You can create 2D as well as 3D images to make the visuals more appealing.
  • Apart from the front-end development, JavaScript can also be explored to build simple web servers. Using Node.js, a popular back-end JavaScript framework, you can develop the server-side infrastructure.
  • It can be used to run codes in response to certain events occurring on a web page. For example, some text can be displayed when the mouse hovers over a particular tab.
  • It can send requests to remote servers for uploading or downloading files, modify cookies, show messages, and allows data to be stored in local storage.
  • It also supports auto-validated form entries, interactive drop-down menus, and can be fully integrated with HTML/CSS.

Additionally, JavaScript has many other attractive features that compel developers to use it for front-end development.

Adding JavaScript to a Web Page

JavaScript code can be written on an HTML page just like CSS. To apply external stylesheets and internal stylesheets to HTML, we use <link> and <style> elements. Similarly, for adding JavaScript, one only needs to use the element <script>. Here is a simple ‘Hello World’ program in JavaScript.

The script tag can be put either inside the head tag or body tag. As with HTML and CSS, you can also write comments on your JavaScript code. Though it will be ignored by the browser, comments are useful for others to understand the code better and when you refer to the code after quite some time. It is a best practice followed for larger applications as well.

Learning More About JavaScript

If you want to learn the basics of JavaScript, you must cover the topics like arrays, loops, objects, functions, closure, promises, and async await. After beginning with the theory, it is also important to use it practically and understand how the code works. Basic computer literacy and fundamentals of HTML and CSS are prerequisites to start learning JavaScript. You don’t need to focus on the syntax much but learn how to apply the language to solve real-world problems.

You may be thinking about how to obtain the necessary skills and gain expertise in this powerful language. Well, there are comprehensive courses on JavaScript that you can take online and enhance your knowledge. More often, such courses are designed by industry experts who are aware of the various learning needs of candidates and strive to make you job-ready. Additionally, you will get access to virtual labs where you can write the JavaScript code and check what output is shown. Even the text tutorials available on the internet today include this feature to help learners practice on the go. Simplilearn, edX, Coursera, and Udacity are some of the reliable platforms that offer JavaScript courses.

If you are a web or mobile developer wannabe, then JavaScript training will help broaden your skills and improve your career prospects. Skilled developers who have in-depth knowledge of JavaScript are in high demand. So, don’t miss the opportunity and learn JavaScript today.

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