Zip Code Wilmington has added JavaScript to its fall teaching schedule as part of the back end programming track. Get ready to arm yourself with a useful, new coding language.

Don’t be fooled. Even though JavaScript (JS) has Java in its name, the languages are different. JavaScript is a web-based language used to build interactive websites, while Java is a programming language that most refer to as “the basics.”

JavaScript was developed by Brendan Eich of Netscape Communications in 1995. Although it started out as a slow and clumsy language, JavaScript has grown into a reliable and solid source found in every web browser today.

Learning the JavaScript language is imperative in the growing tech industry as the web browser is one of the most used applications on both desktop and mobile devices. Currently, JavaScript ranks eight out of the top ten most popular programming languages on TIOBE index. The language has maintained a top ten most popular spot since 2002 –– growing 22.3% in 2015 alone.

JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of World Wide Web content production, in addition to HTML and CSS. In simple terms, HTML commands page content, CSS commands the visuals of the page, and JavaScript commands the behavior of a page. JavaScript can operate both the CSS styles and HTML attributes of a page, changing the way a user interacts with content.

It is a high-level, dynamic, object-based, and interpreted programming language.

Why learn JavaScript?

JavaScript is everywhere – it’s that simple. If you are able to read this article or scroll through your Facebook news feed, it is mostly due to this single technology.

It runs on every major browser and every major platform with usage in mobile app development, desktop app development, and game development. More recently, JavaScript has become a vital language not just for web development but platform-as-a-service with the growth of Node.js.

Others have used JavaScript to power smart TVs, create music, virtual reality applications, and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

The front-end (client-side) development of world’s most popular sites was created with JavaScript: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, and much more.

In fact, Yahoo, Bing, Linkedin, and WordPress also incorporate JavaScript in the back-end development of their site.

Pros and Cons of JavaScript

One of the benefits of JavaScript is its accessibility. Many novice programmers enjoy learning the language because they do not need any additional software. The language can run directly from a browser without setting up a development environment.

The pros of JavaScript include its speed, simplicity, versatility, and ease of learning.

  • Since JavaScript is client-side, it is very fast. It runs code functions immediately instead of connecting to the server before reacting.
  • The language is relatively simple to learn and implement.
  • JavaScript works well with other languages and can be used in many applications. It is one of the most ubiquitous programming languages yet.

The cons of JavaScript include its security and the rendering varies from browser to browser.

  • Once JavaScript is added to a web page it is open to exploit the user’s system. While a certain restriction is set by modern web standards on browsers, malicious code can still be executed complying with the restrictions set.
  • Different browsers may render JavaScript differently resulting in inconsistency in terms of functionality and interface.

Career Opportunities

JavaScript is booming as developers find new back-end and front-end uses for the popular language. It’s no surprise that today JavaScript skills are in demand more than ever.

In a popular StackOverflow developer survey, JavaScript ranked second highest for the most wanted language.


If you speak to a room full of JavaScript developers, you’ll find a somewhat love/hate relationship with the language. The language is constantly changing, updating and being adapted to new applications. Joining the ranks of JavaScript developers allows you access to be a part of a ever-morphing language, who many believe is the “language of the future.”

Check out a few other references that explain the basics of JavaScript:

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