JavaScript – for what and why? Motivation to explore the language.

Power

Level: basic

JavaScript? I’m pretty sure we can find full spectrum of people – from passionate enthusiasts to people that hate this language, and despise JS developers.

Meanwhile, in good conscience we can say that JavaScript is more powerful than many people think!

Let’s try to answer following questions:

  • Is JavaScript so strong and necessary?
  • Isn’t this a language of a worse category?
  • Isn’t the “JavaScript Developer” worse than other developers?

Well …

  • Yes!
  • No!
  • No!

JavaScript has got rid of the complexes long time ago!

Today, JavaScript is a real toolbox of almost all Web Developers. I remember old times, when JavaScript was associated with the low-quality scripts, with different behavior in many browsers, when the “JavaScript Developer” wasn’t a real software developer.

Maybe it was partially true, because of big amounts of scripts written by (sometimes very beginner) coders. Later such creature has been modified by others, and … effects are well known for everyone, who remember old “good” times before JavaScript frameworks 🙂

That small piece of the history I know also from my own experience. And additionally from the point of view of both sides, because I also know and like other programming languages. And I admit, I had small episode when I seen JavaScript as “the language of a worse category”.

Happily now I know how many possibilities we can find around this language.

The old days are gone, Internet has become much more commercial, and JavaScript had the real era of rebirth.

First of all, due to AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Also we said goodbye to annoying differences of handling JavaScript in many web browsers.

So now the programmer can just focus on creating the final effect, instead of wasting valuable time on creating dozens of workarounds.

JavaScript is growing in popularity and will continue to grow

Let’s take a look on tools like the TIOBE Index.

In a nutshell: this index is based on the number of information searches about the language (each Turing complete language) in search engines.

JavaScript, as any other language, experiencing its ups and downs. But generally we can expect a growing trend for this language.

TIOBE index: JavaScript trend, Jul 2013

TIOBE index: JavaScript trend, Jul 2013

Why?

And because JavaScript is standard and most important client-side programming language. It has no equal when it comes to manipulation of the document or the browser window.

Furthermore it appears in isolation from typical web browsers, to be a part of Runtime Environments. The great example is Adobe AIR, which allow us to create desktop applications using JavaScript (and HTML + CSS).

Also the new star – operating system for mobile devices from Mozilla – called Firefox OS, has an environment for applications created in HTML5 (and JavaScript naturally).

And this is a very promising direction. Today mobile application development using JavaScript, HTML5 and additional tools, is a big piece of the market. This is where we will meet with the modern idea: “write once, run everywhere”. Games? No problem!

JavaScript is gaining a stronger position in the software market. There are many excellent libraries and frameworks, such as Prototype JS, script.aculo.us, jQuery, Mootools, and many others. And of course JavaScript professionals can be very well paid.


New opportunities (and fresh look on these old)

The arsenal of possibilities offered by JavaScript is rich. The developer has among other: DOM manipulation, regular expressions handling, XML / JSON, and technologies like AJAX, WebGL, node.js, CoffeeScript, and much more.

We can develop applications for Facebook platform, using friendly JavaScript SDK. Personally I worked longer time with Facebook apps development, and in our team we tried to do as much as possible using JS SDK.

PHP SDK usage was minimal – only where really needed. One FB application (really big) worked even without database in the backend (all data fetched from Facebook in real-time, using Facebook JS SDK, and processed in jQuery). But this is a topic to use in further articles.

It seems, in the future JavaScript with frameworks and HTML5 with CSS, will be key tools used by Developers (and not only Frontend Developers for sure).

Who knows, maybe someday we will be able to program our fridge using JavaScript. And to define products, which should be automatically ordered in online store. Any strange thing we can imagine today, may become a reality someday.

And we as developers, will taste a piece of this interesting cake.

Links

At the end we present a small collection of links to interesting websites about JavaScript / AJAX programming.

Using the comment form below, you can paste links to other sites, that are interesting in your opinion.

JavaScript and AJAX resources :

Have fun.js!

Web and Mobile Software Developer, with years of experience. My biggest passions are programming, new technologies, e-commerce, as well sports, cars, and of course my family.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Skype Xing 

Share: Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Tumblr0Digg thisEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest1
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.