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How to learn JavaScript quickly?

Learn JavaScript

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What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an Object Oriented Programming language that is primarily used to create interactive web-based interfaces. Does that sound too technical? Well, let us understand a few examples:

  • When you hover your mouse over a button, the button lightens up indicating that it is clickable.
  • While browsing Facebook, when you click on the name of your friend, a chat window pops up.
  • When you search for a tutorial in Hackr.io website, you instantly get the search results.

In all of the above examples, you do some action (hovering, clicking, typing) and in return, something happens. This interactivity is exactly where JavaScript comes into the picture. JavaScript captures these actions/events and based on that it takes some action/trigger. It is JavaScript that provides you the interactivity in the frontend.

HTML provides the content, CSS provides the look and feel of this content, JavaScript provides interactivity over this content. Without JavaScript, the web experience would be quite boring.

Another place where JavaScript is widely used is in the backend development using modern web frameworks like NodeJS. In fact, there is a popular web stack called as MEAN stack which stands for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS.

Every web application has 2 parts – the backend part, which is the server side logic and the frontend part, which is what the clients will see in the browser. Common backend programming languages are PHP, Java (don’t confuse Java with JavaScript), Python, etc. The issue in using these programming languages is that the organization has to hire backend developers who are skilled in one of these programming languages and frontend developers who are skilled in JavaScript.

NodeJS is an end-to-end JavaScript-based web framework which has recently gained popularity owing to the fact that now organizations can hire JavaScript developers who can work on both front-end as well as on the backend. This makes hiring a lot easier and also since the same developer knows both frontend and backend, it becomes easier to manage the code base.

Side note: JavaScript has nothing to do with Java. Though the names are similar, both languages are completely unrelated. “Java” is as similar to “JavaScript” as “car” is to “carpet”.

Why learn JavaScript?

JavaScript in the recent past has become highly popular among the developer community. Many large and small organizations are using JavaScript as their primary programming language for both backend and frontend. There has been a significant increase in the number of job postings in JavaScript. Take a look at the chart below that talks about the number of job postings in JavaScript as compared to other programming languages.

Numner-of-Job-postings-comparison

Clearly, JavaScript has developed its position among the top programming languages and in fact, it is growing rapidly.

JavaScript developer salaries have also been rising sharply, particularly in areas where the startups are developing. Many startups these days are moving to the MEAN stack and so, the demand is only going to increase further.

All of these factors make JavaScript an excellent choice for those who want to develop a career as a Software Engineer.

How to learn JS quickly?

One of the best ways to learn JavaScript quickly is to actually do a JavaScript-based project. Here are some of the interesting project ideas on JavaScript:

  • A simple Calculator with operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.
  • e-Commerce billing calculator.
  • A bill splitting system that helps in dividing the bills between friends.
  • A basic quiz game.
  • A simple search box powered by JavaScript.
  • Form validator that makes sure that no incorrect input is provided in the form.
  • JavaScript powered comment box on a blog.
  • EchoBot – a bot that echoes back what you just typed to it.
  • A simple todo list application that helps you manage your tasks.
  • Tic-tac-toe game using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • Photo gallery.
  • Your own interactive home page.
  • A simple document statistics generator using JavaScript – you could show statistics like word count, alphabet count, word frequency, paragraph count, etc.
  • JavaScript-based alarm clock/timer.
  • JavaScript-based die – which can generate numbers from 1 to 6.

Steps to complete a JavaScript-based project will be as follows:

  • Pick up a project idea from the ones mentioned above.
  • Design an easy-to-use User Interface on a sheet of paper.
  • Plan a logic of the project (for instance, how will e-Commerce billing formula work?) and write it down on a sheet of paper.
  • Write pseudocode so as to develop a basic framework. In this pseudo code, you should take a note of the functions that you will be writing and their parameters and the output value. This will essentially bring you a step closer to the final code.
  • Finally, start coding in JavaScript. For anything that you struggle, just search on Google how that works. For instance, for the billing calculator, you may have to iterate over the list of items in the bill which may require a for loop. Just search on Google a simple example of how a for loop works in JavaScript and you will quickly be able to get a working code ready.

You can repeat this above-suggested approach for multiple projects and eventually you will be quite familiar with JavaScript syntax and its usage. You can then move on to advanced JavaScript projects.

Another approach to learning JavaScript quickly is to follow a well-known JavaScript based tutorial. You can find an awesome list of JavaScript tutorials on Hackr.io. In most of these tutorials, you will be working on an actual JavaScript project and so, it will help you understand it better. This second approach is more useful for those who are relatively new to programming. Following a step-by-step tutorial is quite advantageous if you are new to programming and want to understand not only the programming language but also the basics concepts of programming.

The key to learning JavaScript quickly is to write a lot of JavaScript-based code in the form of short working projects. This will help you not only get familiar with the syntax of the programming language but also understand where it can be used effectively and where it should not be used.

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2 Comments, RSS

  1. Avatar

    Vikram February 6, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

    Hi,
    I am a QA Engineer with around 3 years of experience(Manual). I want to switch to development side, initially Web Development. I want to learn javascript. Please let me know some good and easily understandable websites and how will be the career opportunities for my profile (QA) with Javascript.

    Looking forward for your reply

    Thanks,
    Vikram

    • Hackr Team

      Hackr Team February 8, 2019 @ 4:40 pm

      You can learn JS from the best JS courses and tutorials recommended by the programming community: https://hackr.io/tutorials/learn-javascript
      Career opportunities with JS knowledge are immense. Just be a good developer.