Learn to Code with JavaScript: The Most Popular Programming Language on Earth

Share this article

Learn to Code with JavaScript: The Most Popular Programming Language on Earth

In this guide, we will show you how you can learn to code with JavaScript. The JavaScript programming language is a versatile one: with it, you can create web-based apps and games that run in any web browser and see the results right away.

As the language of the web, it’s also extremely popular and there’s high demand for web developers with this proficiency. This makes it a great language for learning how to code — it’s a skill that’s guaranteed to hold its value for a long time.

You’ll be amazed at what you can create! Let’s get started.

JavaScript was created in 1995 by Brendan Eich while working for Netscape. It has since become the most popular programming language on Earth, with millions of developers using it to create everything from web apps to serverless applications.

JavaScript is a versatile scripting language that runs on both the client-side and server-side of web development. This means that you can use JavaScript to create interactive web pages, games, and more.

JavaScript is also the language of the popular Node.js runtime environment, which lets you run JavaScript code on your computer outside of a web browser. This makes it possible to use JavaScript for building desktop apps, mobile apps, and even IoT devices!

As you can see, JavaScript is a powerful and popular language that you can use to create just about anything.

Why Is JavaScript a Great Language for Beginners?

JavaScript is a great first language for several reasons.

As we mentioned before, it’s the most popular language in the world. This means that millions of resources are available to help you learn how to code with JavaScript.

Second, JavaScript is a versatile language. It can be used for web development, mobile development, desktop development, and more. You can use JavaScript to create a wide variety of applications.

And it’s a language that you’ll need to know and use at some point if you’re getting into web development.

Finally, JavaScript is an easy language to get started with. It has a syntax that is similar to English and it is relatively easy to read and understand. This makes learning JavaScript a great choice for beginners who are just starting to learn to code.

Learn JavaScript Basics for Free

Now that you know a little bit about JavaScript, let’s learn how to code with it.

What You’ll Need

JavaScript is a scripting language, which means that it runs on top of another application. In order to use JavaScript, you will need to have a text editor and a web browser.

A text editor is a program that you can use to write and edit code. There are many different text editors available, but we recommend using Visual Studio Code. It’s a free and well-loved editor that’s specifically designed for writing code.

Once you have a text editor, you can start writing JavaScript code!

Learning JavaScript Fundamentals

Learn to Code with JavaScript is the perfect place to start on your coding journey.

This is one of our most popular full-length courses and we’ve just made it free with every SitePoint account. No subscription required.

You’ll learn the fundamentals and core concepts of programming, and pick up JavaScript in the process.

Learn to Code with JavaScript in the SitePoint reader

The techniques that you’ll master will provide you with a foundation to go on and use in other languages, too. And each subsequent language you learn will be much faster to pick up. This effect is even more pronounced when you start with a great foundation in programming itself.

We’ll cover topics like variables, data types, loops, operators, functions, and objects. These are all key programming concepts you’ll find in other languages.

You’ll also learn how to work with the Document Object Model, which is basically a technical term for working with the elements on each page in a web browser.

By the end of Learn to Code with JavaScript, you will have a solid understanding of the JavaScript language and you’ll be able to write your own code!

Learn Intermediate to Advanced JavaScript Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to advanced JavaScript skills.

Understanding JavaScript In-depth

JavaScript: Novice to Ninja

Although it’s not free, JavaScript: Novice to Ninja is a comprehensive tour through modern JavaScript that assumes no knowledge and will leave you with a deep understanding of the language.

JavaScript: Novice to Ninja is a far more in-depth title than Learn to Code with JavaScript. At 600+ pages, it gets into the details of how JavaScript itself works. Learn to Code is focused on the core knowledge of programming, and is concerned with getting you up to speed on the best foundation possible.

You will learn the basics of functions, methods, loops, and logic. You will also learn how to use events to track user interactions. Additionally, you will learn how to work with the DOM and Ajax to dynamically update your pages. And you will learn how to add functionality to your apps by using HTML5’s powerful APIs alongside your JavaScript.

By the end of this course, you will have created a complete, working JavaScript quiz app from scratch.

Learn JavaScript Frameworks

In these courses, we’ll take you beyond the basics and teach you intermediate and advanced techniques. You’ll get to know some tools that you’ll use in modern, real-world web development.

Your First Week With React

Your First Week with React

Are you looking to get started with React? Then look no further than Your First Week with React!

This title is a collection of tutorials that will guide you through your first days with the amazingly flexible library. You’ll learn all the basics you need to get up and running with React, including how to create components, work with state and props, use event handlers, and more. Plus, we’ve included challenges at the end of each chapter to help cement your understanding.

Get started today and see what React can do for you!

Jump Start Vue.js

Jump Start Vue

Ready to jump-start your Vue.js development? This book will give you a complete overview of the basics, tools, components, routing and more – everything you need to start using this powerful JavaScript framework.

Updated for Vue 3 and Nuxt.js, this new edition includes detailed coverage of the latest features so you can build sophisticated apps in no time!

Svelte: A Beginner’s Guide

Svelte: A Beginner's Guide

Svelte is a powerful JavaScript framework that makes it easy to build fast, reactive user interfaces. With Svelte, you can easily create stunning applications that are small in size, fast in performance, and easy to use.

This book will show you how to take advantage of all that Svelte has to offer and build amazing applications quickly and easily. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, this book will help you get started with Svelte and take your development skills to the next level.

JavaScript References

Sometimes you’ll need to look something up quickly and get the syntax or parameters for a part of JavaScript without trawling through prose.

The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is a fantastic reference for all things web, including JavaScript reference material. It’s always up-to-date with the latest changes to the language, so you can be sure you’re getting accurate information.

Another great reference is Wrox’s Professional JavaScript for Web Developers. This book covers everything you need to know about JavaScript, including the newest features (ES6 and beyond).

If you just need a reference on those more recent changes, JavaScript: The New Toys is for you.

Where to Go from Here

Start coding with JavaScript and learn how to create anything you can imagine. JavaScript is the most popular programming language on Earth for a reason. It’s versatile, easy to learn, and there are millions of resources available to help you. So what are you waiting for?

If you want to learn more about programming in general, check out our Learn to Code with JavaScript course. It’s a great way to learn the basics of coding in a variety of languages.

If you want to dive into JavaScript and get really good at it, JavaScript: Novice to Ninja is the pick.

And of course, you can learn new techniques and stay abreast of changes in the JavaScript ecosystem right here with our JavaScript articles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Learning JavaScript

What are the prerequisites for learning JavaScript?

JavaScript is a beginner-friendly language, and you don’t necessarily need any prior programming experience to start learning it. However, having a basic understanding of HTML and CSS can be beneficial as JavaScript is often used in conjunction with these two languages for web development. Familiarity with general programming concepts like variables, loops, and functions can also be helpful but not mandatory as you’ll learn these while studying JavaScript.

How long does it take to learn JavaScript?

The time it takes to learn JavaScript can vary greatly depending on your previous programming experience, the amount of time you can dedicate to learning, and the depth of knowledge you wish to achieve. For a complete beginner studying part-time, it could take anywhere from six months to a year to gain a solid understanding of the language and its applications.

Can I learn JavaScript online for free?

Yes, there are numerous resources available online where you can learn JavaScript for free. Websites like Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, and W3Schools offer interactive tutorials and exercises that can help you understand the basics of JavaScript and practice your coding skills. Additionally, there are many YouTube channels and blogs that provide free JavaScript tutorials and tips.

What can I do with JavaScript?

JavaScript is primarily used for enhancing the interactivity and functionality of websites. It allows you to create dynamic content such as sliders, form validations, interactive maps, and animations. Besides web development, JavaScript is also used in game development, mobile app development, and server-side development with Node.js.

Is JavaScript a good language for beginners?

Absolutely. JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted language, which means it’s relatively easy to understand and start writing code in. It also has a syntax that is somewhat similar to English, making it more accessible for beginners. Moreover, JavaScript is a very forgiving language that allows you to make mistakes and learn from them, which is crucial when you’re just starting out.

How is JavaScript different from Java?

Despite the similarity in their names, JavaScript and Java are two distinct programming languages. JavaScript is primarily used for client-side web development, while Java is a general-purpose programming language used for building platform-independent applications. Their syntax, programming paradigms, and use cases are quite different.

Can I get a job with JavaScript?

Yes, JavaScript is one of the most in-demand programming languages, and there are numerous job opportunities for JavaScript developers. These include roles like front-end developer, full-stack developer, and Node.js developer. Moreover, knowledge of JavaScript can also be a valuable addition to roles in web design, UX/UI design, and software testing.

What are some common uses of JavaScript in web development?

In web development, JavaScript is used to add interactivity to websites. This includes things like form validation, content sliders, drop-down menus, and pop-up windows. JavaScript can also be used to manipulate the Document Object Model (DOM) to dynamically change the content and layout of a webpage.

What are some challenges I might face while learning JavaScript?

Some beginners find JavaScript’s syntax and concepts a bit challenging at first, especially if they have no prior programming experience. Concepts like closures, prototypes, and asynchronous programming can be particularly tricky. However, with consistent practice and patience, these challenges can be overcome.

What are some resources to help me learn JavaScript more effectively?

There are numerous resources available to help you learn JavaScript more effectively. Interactive learning platforms like Codecademy and FreeCodeCamp offer hands-on exercises and projects. Websites like MDN Web Docs and W3Schools provide comprehensive documentation and tutorials. Additionally, there are many books, online courses, and coding bootcamps that offer structured learning paths for JavaScript.

Joel FalconerJoel Falconer
View Author

Joel Falconer is a technical content strategist. He has been managing editor at SitePoint, AppStorm, DesignCrowd, and Envato, and features editor at The Next Web.

javascriptjavascript frameworkslearn javascriptlearn to codelearning
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week