What Does JavaScript Do? 10 things to learn on the way to becoming a JavaScript Master

JavaScript is one of the world’s most popular programming languages, primarily used to add automation, animations and interactivity to Web pages. Web developers use JavaScript for anything from automating simple tasks to creating complex Web pages that behave like desktop software applications. JavaScript is also used beyond the Web in software, servers and embedded hardware controls.

Run JavaScript in Web Pages

Used in Web pages, JavaScript is a “client-side” programming language. This means JavaScript scripts are read, interpreted and executed in the client, which is your Web browser. By comparison, “server-side” programming languages run on a remote computer, such as a server hosting a website. The client-side nature of JavaScript allows developers to add interactive features that change and update a Web page without reloading a new copy of the page from the website.

Implement Basic Automation

In addition to standard programming language features, such as text manipulation and math calculations, JavaScript can access a wealth of information about the browser and the Web page it runs in. JavaScript can use this information to write a custom greeting based on the time of day, add the Web page address in the page footer and optimize the Web page based on the browser you are using.

Update Web Page Content on the Fly

Two important features give JavaScript the power to change a Web page on the fly as you are interacting with it. First, JavaScript is “event-driven,” meaning it can respond to events such as mouse clicks, keyboard input, a Web page loading or a timeout being reached. Second, JavaScript has access to the Document Object Model (DOM), an interface to the structure of a Web page. This gives JavaScript access to read and change images, text, form fields, styles, and other elements and attributes of a Web page.

Events and the DOM interface allow JavaScript developers to perform practical tasks, such as validating form input, as well as add interactive features, such as image sliders and games. These are central to the implementation of Dynamic HTML (DHTML).

Communicate with the Cloud

Using Asynchronous JavaScript + XML (Ajax), JavaScript can exchange data with a server. This provides the potential to leverage server-side resources to build powerful Web applications. With Ajax, JavaScript can access computing power, data and specialized server resources that are impractical or impossible to provide in a purely client-side application. For example, Ajax can be used to create form fields that provide suggestions as you type, display search results without reloading the Web page, and provide interactive maps you can explore with a swipe of your mouse cursor.

Know the Benefits and Drawbacks

JavaScript is one of the tools Web developers use to save time with automation, attract website visitors with compelling features and improve the user experience. Developers use JavaScript to add functionality without the need to maintain and support browser-specific add-ons. JavaScript can be used to implement rich Web applications without requiring special software.

However, there is the potential for security issues. JavaScript engine vulnerabilities, Cross-site Scripting (XSS), Cross-site Request Forgery and other exploits can expose website visitors and Web servers to attacks that may compromise sensitive data or damage computing systems.

Potentially, a JavaScript vulnerability could be used to steal your files and private browser data, or install malicious software on your computer. Keep your operating system and browser up-to-date. Protect your computer with antivirus software. Secure your browser by adjusting settings to use high security levels, turn on warnings and prompts, and disable ActiveX and Java. Use care when following links, entering personal information, downloading files and allowing scripts to run.

10 things to learn on the way to becoming a JavaScript Master

I guess you are a web developer. Hopefully you are doing fine and you have a great job, maybe you are even self-employed or working as a freelancer. The future of the field looks great. Maybe you are just starting out as a web developer, maybe you have been working as a programmer for a longer period already. However comfortable you are with JavaScript, it is always good to get a refresher on some topics to read up about or get them on the radar in the first place. Here are 10 things you definitely have to learn before you can call yourself a master in JavaScript.

1. Control Flow

Probably the most basic topic on the list. One of the most important, maybe the most important one. If you do not know how to proceed with your code, you will have a hard time. Knowing the ins and outs of basic control flow is definitely a must.

  •  — If you don’t know these, how did you write code before?
  •  — is basically  in a more eloquent way, use it as soon as you have multiple of different cases.
  •  — Do not repeat yourself, this is what loops are for. Besides the normal -loop `for of` and  come in very handy. The big advantage of  -loops is that they are blocking, so you can use  in them.
  • Advanced conditionals — Using the ternary and logical operators can make your life a lot easier, especially when you try to do things inline, meaning that you don’t want to save values to use them later. Example:

2. Error handling

This took a while for me. It does not matter if you are working on frontend or backend, the first year or so, you will probably default to  or maybe  for ‘handling’ errors. To write good applications, you definitely have to change that and replace your lazy logs with nicely handled errors. You may want to check out how to build your own Error constructor and how to catch them correctly, as well as showing the user what the actual problem is.

3. Data Models

Similar to moving through your application continuously, you have to decide where to group specific information chunks and where to keep them separate. This does not only apply to building database models, but also function parameters and objects or variables. Example:

4. Asynchronity

This is a very important aspect of JavaScript, Either you are fetching data from the backend or you are processing requests asynchronously in the backend itself. In pretty much all usecases, you will encounter asynchronity and its caveats. If you have no idea what that is, you will probably get a weird error, which you will try to fix for a couple of hours. If you know what it is, but you don’t really know what to do about it, you will end up in callback-hell. The better approach is to use promises and/or  in your apps.

5. DOM Manipulation

This is an interesting topic. Normally it is somewhat left out in the day today life as a developer. Maybe you learned jQuery and never felt the need to pick up some native DOM manipulation skills, maybe you are just using a frontend framework, where there is rarely a need for custom DOM manipulation. However, I think this is a crucial part of understanding JavaScript, at least in the frontend. Knowing how the DOM works and how to access elements gives you a deep understanding of how websites work. In addition, there will be the point where you have to do some custom DOM manipulation, even when you use modern frontend frameworks, and you definitely do not want to put jQuery in your  just to access an element.

6. Node.js / Express

Even as a frontend developer, you should know the basics of node.js. Ideally, you would also know how to spin up a simple express server and add some routes or change existing ones. JavaScript is great for writing scripts to help you automate a lot of tasks. Therefore, knowing how to read files, work with filepaths or buffers gives you a good toolset to build anything.

7. Functional Approach

There is an everlasting debate about functional vs. object-oriented programming. You probably can achieve the same thing with both of the approaches. In JavaScript, it is even easier, you have both of the approaches available. Libraries like lodash give you a really nice collection of tools for building applications with a functional approach. Nowadays, it is not even necessary to use external libraries any more. A lot of the most important functions have been implemented in the official JavaScript specification. You definitely should know how to use  `reduce`  `forEach` and `find`.

8. Object Oriented Approach

Similar to the functional approach, you also have to get familiar with object oriented JavaScript, if you want to master it. I neglected that part for a long time in my career and just worked my way through with a workaround, but sometimes it is definitely better to use objects/classes and instances to implement specific functionality. Classes are widely used in React, MobX or custom constructors.

9. Frontend Framework

The big three are React.js, Angular and Vue.js. If you are looking for a job nowadays, you will almost always have one of those listed as a prerequisite. Even if they change quite quickly, it is important to grasp the general concept of those to understand how applications work. Also, it is just easier to write apps that way. If you haven’t decided which train you want to jump on, my suggestions is React.js. I have been working with it for the last couple of years and did not regret my decision.

10. Bundling / Transpilation

Unfortunately, this is a big part of web development. On the one hand I should not say unfortunate, because it is great to be able to write code with all the newest features. On the other hand, the reason why I’m saying that is that we always have to keep in mind that there’s older browsers around that may not support these features, therefore we have to transpile our code into something else that the old browsers understand. If you work with node.js, you will probably have less exposure to transpiling your code. The de-facto standard for transpilation is babel.js, so get familiar with it. As for bundling your code and tying everything together, you have a couple of options. Webpack was the dominant player for a long time. Some time ago, parcelpopped up out of nowhere and is now my preferred solution, since it is so performant and easy to configure, although not perfect.

How to learn JavaScript quickly?

What is JavaScript?

How to learn JavaScript quickly1.jpg

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 backend development using modern web frameworks like NodeJS. In fact, there is a popular web stack called as MEAN stack which comprises 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 JavaScript fast?

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 Simpliv. 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.

Resources for the Two Study:

Javascript Testing Selenium Automation Nightwatch js Nodejs

The Foundations of HTML, CSS & Javascript

Computer Programming for Beginners

Javascript: Crash Course

Javascript Specialist

Aprende a programar usando JavaScript – Curso en español

The Complete JavaScript series with jQuery and Angular JS

Beginner’s Introduction to Meteor JS

JavaScript course – Learn core concepts of JavaScript

Learn Modern JavaScript: Getting Started

Angular 6 and 7, Apollo, GraphQL and Graphcool – Complete Guide

Ethereum : Master Web3js Library

Aprende a programar desde cero – Lógica de Programación

Learn JavaScript Basics with These 10 Free Resources

This is the first post of a series called ‘Learn JavaScript for Free’ – in these chapters you will find excellent materials and a roadmap for learning JS from scratch. As the JavaScript community is one of the best out there, the series will entirely rely on free JavaScript resources

If you are looking to learn JavaScript, or just want to brush up on the JavaScript basics, then you are in luck. There are currently some amazing resources available online to help you understand and get to grips with JavaScript. And even better, most of the are free.

In this article, I have put together a variety of free resources (in no particular order) that you can easily access to help you learn the JavaScript basics. From courses and videos, to written guides and blogs, there is something here for everyone. Enjoy…

Why Learn JavaScript Now?

JavaScript is almost everywhere: in your browser, web apps, mobile apps, cloud services, even IoT devices. It’s easy to get started with it as all you need is a plain text editor and a browser. It is a beginner friendly language, with an awesome community around it.

You can code both frontend and backend with JavaScript, which makes it extremely useful.

1. Mozilla Developer Network

MDN

The Mozilla Developer Network contains in-depth guides to help people understand and use various web technologies. An overview of JavaScript for total beginners is available, as well as a complete JavaScript Guide to learning and using this language.

The JavaScript Guide is very concise, to the point and importantly easy to understand. It contains a full overview of JavaScript basic principles, with lessons and examples to help readers understand the different concepts. It is also divided into chapters and subchapters, so it can easily be picked up and put down as and when you need it.

However, a word of warning for those who have a short attention span. All of the information shared on the Mozilla Developer Network is in text format only. So if you need a resource that involves more interaction than just reading, this JavaScript Guide may not be for you.

2. Codecademy

Codecademy

Codecademy is a popular resource that helps people learn JavaScript for free. Boasting a community of over 25 million from around the globe, Codeacademy shares stories of how their courses have helped the careers of many individuals.

Codeacademy runs numerous courses, with the majority of beginner courses being free. The free ‘Learn JavaScript‘ course teaches the fundamentals of JavaScript programming. Starting at a complete beginner level, you will learn the correct terminology, and work up to building your own projects with JavaScript.

Codeacademy courses are well known for their fun and interactive take on teaching. Technical language is kept to a real minimum, and difficult concepts are explained in the most basic of terms. Instructions, hints, and help are also provided throughout the course, providing that extra support when you need it.

3. Free Code Camp

CodeCamp

Free Code Camp is an extremely impressive operation. Not only does it train beginners to code like pros, but its students are also involved in building apps and programs for non-profit organizations. So by the time you finish the Free Code Camp courses, you will have produced apps that are actually used by the public.

Free Code Camp doesn’t just provide free courses. Once you sign up, you become part of a thriving community, with access to live chat, constantly updated research, videos, and much more.

4. David Walsh Blog

DWB

The David Walsh Blog is a popular coding blog. David Walsh publishes, amongst other types of articles, practical and helpful step-by-step JavaScript tutorials. Most of these are beginner friendly, or cover the JavaScript basics, so the majority of topics are accessible to the masses.

If you want to keep up to date with JavaScript news then following David Walsh’s blog is a great way to do so. Written in a thoughtful and interesting way, this blog has a friendly community feeling, and David Walsh seems like a genuinely nice guy.

5. edX

edx

edX was founded by Harvard University. Its intention is to offer high-quality education from the world’s best universities to learners across the globe. edX offers an assortment of Computer Science courses, with a number of these focusing on JavaScript. These include ‘JavaScript Introduction’, ‘Introduction to HTML and JavaScript’ and ‘Programming the web with JavaScript’.

The majority of the courses available on edX are free. However, if you want an official certificate that recognizes your completion of a course, then you will need to pay.

6. Simpliv

qwe.PNG

Simpliv provides free online courses and apps on programming and web development. Courses are split into modules. Each module is made up of key teaching points, examples, questions for students to answer, and lots of hands-on experience. Certificates are also awarded to those who complete each course.

Simpliv has a strong and active community. If you are unsure of a line of code, the question and answer page is well used, with members of the community ready to help. Members also share code they have written in the ‘Code Playground’ and vote on their favorite projects.

7. SitePoint

Sitepoint

SitePoint is an exciting resource that is well respected by the JavaScript community. Articles are regularly published by JavaScript experts, with different tutorials catering for all levels of experience. An active community forum discusses and advises on topics, problems and other aspects of JavaScript as they arise.

Podcasts, eBooks and courses are also all available on SitePoint, although some of these are premium products. So whether you learn best from reading, watching videos, listening, or engaging with others, SitePoint provides a range of learning methods for you to choose from.

8. EggHead

EggHead

EggHead is not for total beginners. But if you have theJavaScript basics under your belt and are now looking to really improve your programming skills, then EggHead may be the resource for you.

EggHead provides technical courses, aimed at covering key aspects of JavaScript. Courses are mostly split into a number of short bite-sized videos, so students don’t get bogged down in info. A Pro Membership is also offered, allowing you to join the community, access courses offline, and much more.

9. JavaScript Jabber

Javascript Jabber

If you are looking for a weekly podcast to help you learn JavaScript then you should subscribe to JavaScript Jabber. Hosted by DevChat.tv, these podcasts cover all things JavaScript, helping you understand front-end development, frameworks, and lots more.

DevChat.tv runs a selection of different podcasts, for programmers, techies, and freelancers. It also offers webinars and remote conferences, so worth keeping your eye on.

10. Envato Tuts+

Tuts+

Proving themselves again and again to be the go-to site for courses and tutorials, Envato Tuts+ provides some great resources for those looking to learn JavaScript basics. Tuts+ offers a selection of ‘how-to’ tutorials, eBooks and online courses. However, it is mainly only the tutorials that you can access for free.

11. Khan Academy

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy’s mission is to provide free education for anyone, anywhere. The academy dedicates an extensive section on computer programming, enabling you to start at the most basic level or take courses in the advanced application of JavaScript. Catering for a range of needs and competencies, there is something here for everyone.

12. Code School

Code School

Code School offers a number of different resources to help you learn JavaScript. The main focus for Code School is their premium courses. However, the free resources they offer are so varied and useful they are well worth a mention.

On Code School’s website, learners can access 14 introductory courses and projects, their blog, videos, and more. These all cater for a range of abilities, so whether you are a beginner, or looking to advance your JavaScript knowledge, there is something here for everyone.

Code School run FiveJS, a weekly podcast sharing and discussing the most recent JavaScript news. They also run javascript.com, a website for the JavaScript community. This site particularly contains great information for beginners, including a very basic introductory course and clear explanations of JavaScript’s linguistic terms.

Final Thoughts on Free Resources to Help You Learn JavaScript

As you can see, if you are looking to learn JavaScript there are plenty of free courses, tutorials, eBooks, podcasts, and many more resources available online. I’ve only had room to include 12 JavaScript resources, but if you have used any that I have missed and think are worth a share, please add them in the comments below.

Let’s see if we can create a full and comprehensive list of free resources to help our community learn JavaScript. Please add useful resources in the comments below…

Five Resources to Help You Start Learning JavaScript for Beginners

Resources to Help You Start Learning JavaScript for Beginnerss

JavaScript is defined as an object-oriented language that is used essentially to create interactive applications over the Internet. It is considered a high-level scripting language, in that it has the ability to abstract strongly from details in the computer. JavaScript is not the same as the Java programming language or the Java software platform.

The primary uses of JavaScript are in the dynamic aspects of a website. The interactivity, animations and automations that we see in webpages are all because of JavaScript. Social media sites, or sites that require dynamic updates like ticket reservations or online shopping, all run on JavaScript. All these uses go on to make JavaScript a very popular programming language globally.

So, if you are a beginner and are looking to learning JavaScript, where would you start? Fremont, CA-based Simpliv is a reliable and highly esteemed platform for learning. It has very interactive and interesting courses on JavaScript for beginners. Here are five resources to help you start learning JavaScript for beginners:

  1. Consider this course, JavaScript Testing Selenium Automation Nightwatch JS Nodejs. This course will cover basics such as what is selenium and how it helps automate the browser. It will teach you the basics of Selenium Automation Scripts, by the end of which you will have learnt how to build a Testing Framework from scratch.

 

  1. And then, there is this course, The Foundations of HTML, CSS & JavaScript, taught by the well-known husband-wife pair called Loonycorn. Aimed at learners who are absolutely new to web programming and wish to learn HTML and CSS from scratch and Java, and C#, Python or C++ programmers who are looking to master JavaScript; this course offers learning on the following:

 

  • Understanding HTML – its structure, and the commonly used tags
  • Utilizing CSS, including inheritance, selectors, the box model – the very topics that make CSS hard to use
  • Mastering the fundamentals of JavaScript
  • Using closures, dynamic prototyping, JSON, and the Document-Object-Model with confidence.

 

  1. Simpliv has another course, one on Computer Programming for Beginners as part of its five resources to help you start learning JavaScript for beginners. Ideally for anyone with little to no programming experience; anyone who wants to learn to code, or anyone who wants to learn programming but doesn’t know where to start; this course will help you learn the basic concepts used in Computer Programming, create basic programs using Python and JavaScript and get hands-on, step-by-step experience writing code.

 

  1. Want to carry out a crash course in JavaScript to add to your knowledge base? This course is for you! It will offer you just what you need to get started: Foundational HTML, Text Editor and web browser. It is aimed specifically at those who want to learn JavaScript quickly: newbies who want to learn JavaScript quickly, current programmers who need a crash course in JavaScript, those with limited time who want to learn a lot, teachers and students, and designers and developers who want to learn JavaScript efficiently.

 

  1. Want to know everything about how each of the elements of JavaScript works, and want to earn certifications for this knowledge? Take up this course, at which Mark Lassoff will give you complete knowledge of the ins and outs of JavaScript!

Small part of the learning offered

Resources to Help You Start Learning JavaScript for Beginnersa

These five resources to help you start learning JavaScript for beginners are only a small part of courses from Simpliv that are aimed at just about any area of learning that the human mind is capable of absorbing! Simpliv offers courses in both the IT and non-IT areas. These courses are all highly competitively priced, and they are from the best experts in their respective areas of expertise.

Simpliv is driven by the motivation of making the world a better educated one. Its aim is to remove all the artificial barriers to education, such as age, gender, location or just about any other. It is unbelievable that certified course from highly known experts come at a mere $12. But then, that is Simpliv. It derives far greater satisfaction from empowering people of the world through the powerful liberator of education than lining its pockets with profits.