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Discussion – Why JavaScript is loved by developers?

A flexible and powerful programming language, JavaScript has been consistently implemented by various mobile sites, games, and web applications. Now, it has become a core component of web technology along with HTML and CSS.

According to numerous sources, including the Stack Overflow’s Annual Survey of 2018, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language.

Stated in this same 2018 developer survey, “For the sixth year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language.” Also, having to mention most commonly used libraries, frameworks, and tools, JavaScript-based technologies like Node.js, AngularJS, React top the list.

popular technology list

Source: Stack Overflow

Another survey revealed that JavaScript is used by 88% of all websites.

With all the success, it was never meant to become the cornerstone of modern web development. In fact during the 90s, the language was just created in less than 2 weeks, with a very different purpose in mind – running on both client and server.

Back then, it wasn’t a complete success though.

It took years to be taken seriously as a backend language, but it had rapidly thrived on the frontend, eventually becoming the standard programming language of the web.

Tl; dr;

While HTML is for structure and CSS is for style, JavaScript provides interactivity to web pages in the browser.

The name of JavaScript was derived in an attempt to ride the wave of Java’s popularity and speed up adoption.

You will not find much similarities between both languages today.

With the creation of JavaScript, it is possible to satisfy different audiences.

The first are the component writers and enterprise-level professionals with Java, while the second one are scripters and designers with JavaScript.

This second group, whom we could also call in modern web development terms, frontend developers.

Why do developers love JavaScript?

javascript features

Source: TutorialAndExample

A scripting language that’s inserted directly in the HTML of a page, JavaScript is the only programming language of its kind that can be understood by web browsers. We will have to wait for WebAssembly to be more mature to be on par with Javascript.

With JavaScript, browsers can read, interpret and then run the program. Thus, creating powerful client-side experiences.

Here are few things you see every time you spend at least 2 minutes on a web browser that are the returned result when searching for the programming language:

  • Autocomplete;
  • Loading new content or data unto the page without reloading the page;
  • Rollover effects and dropdown menus;
  • Animating page elements (i.e. fading, resizing or relocating);
  • Playing audio and video; and
  • Validating input from forms.

Knowing that web servers run on different languages such as Python, PHP, Ruby, Java or .NET, JavaScript is compatible with other languages.

The importance of JavaScript

JavaScript has wide-ranging importance, that’s why it is popular among web developers:

  • JavaScript is supported by multiple web browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera etc.
  • It has lots of frameworks and libraries, making it easy for web developer to build large JavaScript-based web applications.
  • With just opening a notepad, you can write your JavaScript code – easy to write, without using any specific tool.
  • With Google implementing many optimization techniques to increase the loading speed of the mobile web pages, it requires developers to use JavaScript for optimizing websites for mobile devices for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  • An interpreted programming language, JavaScript still simplifies development of complex web applications, allowing developers to simplify the application’s composition.
  • As most developers do responsive web design to make a website accessible and work well across multiple browsers and devices such as smartphones and desktops, it can be used in optimizing web pages for mobile devices.
  • Relatively fast for the end user, visitors don’t need to fill out an entire form and submit it in order to be told they made a typo in the first field or fill the complete form again. JavaScript provides immediate feedback when they made a mistake.
  • JavaScript language is simple for developers to learn, having its syntax similar to English.
  • It has third party add-ons, helping developers write snippets that can be utilized on the necessary web pages.
  • With JavaScript, code is executed on the user’s processor instead of the web server, saving developers bandwidth and reducing extra load of the server.

Summary

JavaScript a mainstream programming language and most loved by various types of developers, helping them build large scale web applications easy and quick.

It also enhances speed, performance, functionality, usability, and features of the application without any hassle, delivering optimal user experience across various devices, browsers, and operating systems.

Additionally, JavaScript has libraries, frameworks, and tools as per the requirements of the projects.

By Tuan Nguyen

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