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A Beginner’s Guide to Full Stack JavaScript

Justin McIntyre

A Beginner’s Guide to Full Stack JavaScript's Image

In recent years, JavaScript has become one of the most popular programming languages. According to a 2019 Stack Overflow survey, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language for the seventh year in a row.

Clearly, learning JavaScript has benefits, but where and how do you get started? Here’s our beginner’s guide to full stack JavaScript.


What is Full Stack JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language that adds behavior to web pages. Specifically, JavaScript is a text-based programming language used both on the client-side and server-side that allows developers to make web pages interactive.

Initially, JavaScript was used for front end web development. The idea of "Full Stack JavaScript" is that all software in a web application, both client side and server side, is written using JavaScript only.


A Brief History of JavaScript

JavaScript was initially designed by Brendan Eich in 1995 for Netscape. Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape Communications and part of the ex-Mosaic team, had the vision that the web needed a way to become more dynamic.

The goal was to allow developers to enhance web pages with things like animated drop-down menus and validating form entries.

Initially called Mocha, it was to become a scripting language for the web – simple, dynamic, and accessible to non-developers.

Now, JavaScript is a powerful language used for creating web and mobile apps, building web servers and developing server applications, developing games, and so much more. Read more about what JavaScript is used for here.


JavaScript Glossary of Terms

Some common JavaScript terms include:

  1. Object

    JavaScript is designed on a simple object-based paradigm. In JavaScript, an object is a standalone entity with properties and type. Compare it with a cup, for example. A cup is an object, with properties, such as color, design, weight, material. The same way, JavaScript objects can have properties, which define their characteristics.

  2. Variable

    A variable is a container for storing data values. For example:

    var x = 5;

    var y = 6;

    var z = x + y;

    X stores the value 5, y stores the value 6, and z stores the value 11.

  3. Identifier

    All JavaScript variables must be identified with unique names. These names are called identifiers. They can be short names (like x, y, z) or they can be more descriptive (age, sum, etc).

    In the example outlined in #2, the identifiers would be x, y, and z.

  4. Function

    A JavaScript function is a block of code, or set of statements, designed to perform a particular task. To use a function, you must define it somewhere in the scope from which you wish to call it.


Want more? See our 6 reasons why JavaScript is the best coding language to learn. For more information, visit our website. And to learn more about the coding industry, check out our blog.