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2012: Year of The Javascript

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Whether your trying to figure out which programming language to learn first, or deciding what language to add to your toolbox, now is a great time to learn Javascript.

Whether you’re trying to figure out which programming language to learn first, or deciding what language to add to your toolbox, now is a great time to learn Javascript.

If you’re new to web programming, you can think of HTML as the content and structure of a website, CSS as it’s appearance and Javascript as the brain tying everything together making it interactive.

Javascript is the language that drives your web browser, and is therefore probably the most widely used language in the world. It also happens, until recently to be one of the worlds most misunderstood programming languages

Over the last several years, trends in web technology (primarily client side) have been placing increasing demands on Javascript. These trends include:

  • Single page web apps
  • AJAX
  • Realtime communication
  • Collaborative environments
  • Interactivity
  • Data visualization

Basically, webpages are becoming indistinguishable from desktop applications, along with their added complexity.

Thanks to awesome Javascript libraries like JQuery, a lot of complexity and browser inconsistencies have been hidden from front-end developers. Many uninformed complaints about Javascript are actually due to the browser DOM. In the intro to Douglas Crockford’s “Javascript: The Good Parts” he sums it up nicely.

“The API of the browser, the Document Object Model (DOM) is quite awful, and JavaScript is unfairly blamed. The DOM would be painful to work with in any language. The DOM is poorly specified and inconsistently implemented”.

Until recently Javascript was confined to client side development (i.e the browser)
Node.js released in 2009 unleashed Javascript from the confines of the browser into the world of server and backend development.

It turned out that the event-driven (asynchronous) programming style common to front-end development (used for things like, handling clicking buttons, dragging/dropping and animating) was also a useful strategy for backend server programming.

Furthermore thanks to efforts by the Google Chrome team, the Javascript engine in chrome called V8 has become blazingly fast, rivaling popular server side languages like Ruby and Python.

Javascript on both the frontend and backend means that web developers no longer need to do a mental context switch between languages, which at best is an annoyance and at worst a real challenge. Imagine being required to regularly switch between Turkish and French while knowing neither fluently. Also compelling is that full-stack Javascript simplifies the process of learning web development, as additional languages won’t be creating unnecessary complexity.

Javascript has in many ways become the English of the web. It may not be as musical as other languages, or as logically consistent (it has exceptions), but because of it’s wide adoption, it has become the lingua franca of web programming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingua_franca).

Javascript has come a long way in the last 17 years, it’s a fast, flexible, highly expressive language that happens to be a lot of fun to work with!

The following are some exciting Javascript projects that I’m looking forward to playing with in 2012!

Javascript Programming Course

To learn more and take your Javascript knowledge to the next level check out our private Javascript training available both online, and on location.

Contact us here: Contact Us

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