What is JavaScript, and why should I learn it?

JavaScript is among the world’s most used programming languages. Without it, we’d be looking at pages that do nothing other than display images and text. While CSS may be what offers style to a website, JavaScript (JS) is what gives it life.

Needless to say, without this amazing language, businesses would be at a loss. In today’s world, companies depend on languages like this to interact with their customers.

JavaScript is what allows you to interact with the vast majority of webpages that you visit. Whether it’s filling out forms, scrolling through maps, or registering to an event, it’s most likely that JavaScript is what’s allowing you to do it. 

Using the human form metaphor we used when talking about both HTML and CSS, JavaScript is to do with our movements and how we interact with others – like when we reciprocate a handshake, wink, laugh or ask a question.

It is a scripting language, and its powers allow us to control multimedia. It lets us add some animation to our images, and it can update content automatically on a page.

Becoming a JavaScript Developer

It’s vitally important for all industries, especially that we are now in an age where data is power. While it’s not the JavaScript that holds all of this data, it is what allows it to be manipulated in the browser. It’s the language that creates the functions needed to interact with a company through its website.

JavaScript enables users to fill out forms, click buttons and more. Without it, businesses would be at a significant loss. Don’t believe me? Check any job listing website for the term “JavaScript”. For example, a search on Indeed in the UK shows 13,852 vacant roles at the time of writing. In the Dutch version of Indeed, the number is 5,665.

JavaScript Jobs

So, where’s the opportunity? Well, here’s the thing, most companies with an online presence (which is pretty much every company) needs Javascript. The problem for businesses is that the number of companies that require these skills far outweighs the number of people who actually have these skills.

As a result, the demand for Javascript developers is incredibly high. In fact, in general, the need for software developers is so high that governments around the world have digital upskilling strategies in place to ensure that the workforce is ready for future business needs. This is what we call “the digital skills gap”. This is what is creating JavaScript opportunities.

The digital skills gap

Even before Covid-19 arrived, the demand for developers was huge. In Europe, the prediction was that there would be a need for more than 700,000 extra digitally skilled workers by the year 2020. Well, we’re well beyond 2020 now. A recent report from the World Economic Forum – which was created in October 2020 – suggests that by 2025, 85 million current roles will be displaced because of automation and technology. However, herein lies the extra opportunity for career changers. The WEF predicts that these roles will be replaced by 97 million more-technology focused roles. 

JavaScript Salaries

Javascript is both a front end and a back end language. However, it is the most popular front-end language globally. With data being more valuable than gold, companies use it to allow their end-users to interact with them. Because of the lack of javascript developers, salaries for these skills are proving high. This is even the case for brand new developers.

For example, in the UK, Morgan McKinley’s salary calculator estimates that JavaScript developers with between 0-3 years experience can earn anywhere from £35,000 per annum to £70,000. In Ireland, Morgan McKinley reckons the same expertise can attract a salary of between €40,000 and €50,000. Not a bad figure for somebody who is starting anew in a career. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Honeypot reckons a new Javascript developer can earn between €38,000 and €42,000.

In Europe and the UK in general, it is clear that developers earn a high salary, even from entry-level. But, of course, these high salaries are not just unique to Javascript programmers. For example, suppose you’ve learned Python in the UK, and you are looking for a job. In that case, Morgan McKinley reckons a Python developer with between 0-3 years experience can earn between £40,000 and £70,000. Similarly, in Ireland, they estimate new Pythonistas as earning between €40,000 and £50,000.

Learn JavaScript!

If you’ve been contemplating a change of career, software development is one of the most in-demand roles in the world. No matter what industry you’re looking at, there is a need for developers to build the technologies, websites, and more.

Having a skill like JavaScript under your belt is massively advantageous if you want to change career. Front-end developers are needed everywhere. Of course, what’s even better is having the skills to handle a full-stack. That means having skills in both front end and back end software development. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript make up much of the front end, while other languages and technologies, like Python, Flask, MongoDB, Django, and many others, assist in making up the backend.

5 Day Coding Challenge – learn JavaScript basics

Code Institute’s free 5 Day Coding Challenge can offer you some insights into HTML, CSS & JavaScript. The best thing about the challenge, other than learning the basics, is that it’ll let you know if you have an aptitude for software development. Register for this weekly challenge through the form below.

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