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Learn JavaScript If It's the Only Thing You Do

Shawn Drost

Development bootcamps like San Francisco's Hack Reactor are teaching students that learning JavaScript is more important than ever. But don't take our word for it. In John Resig and Bear Bibeault's Secrets of the JavaScript Ninjathey - two widely regarded JavaScript authorities - explain their surprise about the current lack of JavaScript focused curriculum.

"More and more development energy is being put into new technologies, such as the ones coming out of HTML5 or the new versions of ECMAScript," they write. "But there isn't any point to diving into new technologies, or using the hottest libraries, if you don't have a proper understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the JavaScript language. While the future for browser development is bright, the reality is that most development needs to make sure that code continues to work for the majority of browsers and for the majority of potential users."

Why Learn JavaScript?

Fundamentally, JavaScript is the reason web users are able to input information and interact with most websites they visit each day. At Hack Reactor our expertly designed, project-based curriculum focuses on core engineering skills, best practices, and the principles of next-gen web development in JavaScript

(In this video, Yahoo!'s JavaScript creator Douglas Crockford elaborates on the amazing functions of JavaScript. "Functions are the very best part of JavaScript," Crockford says. "It's where the power is, it's where the beauty is.")

 In a recent response to a  programming question on Quora, Hack Reactor co-founder Shawn Drost shared the technical side of how JavaScript works in conjunction with different web applications.

"Gmail and Google Maps were the first 'rich client apps' - applications where the HTML was generated in the browser, by Javascript (the only language that runs in the browser), using data gathered in the background from servers," Drost explains. "This architectural style offers interactivity features that aren't possible in the old model, and as such, most of the applications you interact with daily are now built in this manner (or transitioning to it). We're in a very exciting era, and we have an opportunity to educate the first native speakers of this new paradigm."

When you think about how integral that JavaScript/browser relationship is to our web user experience, you start to understand how incredibly valuable  learning the language can be for a future computer programmer. In a nutshell, you should learn JavaScript ASAP at a coding school like ours, and then you should expand your knowledge of different languages.

Also, keep in mind that understanding how each different computer programming language is used in the real-world will help you prioritize your learning experience.

For example, Drost informs that, "(Ruby on) Rails is increasingly being relegated to the API layer, and it offers very little support and structure for those hoping to build rich client apps." This is not to say that Ruby on Rails isn't an awesome language, only that it serves a different, unique purpose that is not as widely used.

Read further about JavaScript and why it's the most important computer programming language to learn in a letter written by Hack Reactor to a potential student. 

For more info about JavaScript, read from its creator, Brendan Eich, at his personal blog.