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JavaScript

Why should I learn JavaScript?

Learning to program in JavaScript has been one of the most interesting decisions of my life.

Almost every day I find something that can be improved with a few lines of code, and the more I learn how to code, the more I realize how many things I have been doing inefficiently. 

If you are considering a career in digital media, web development, online marketing or are just interested in learning something — learning to program will change your life. Not only will you uncover how to leverage the power of computing to become more efficient, accurate and useful at work, but along your coding journey you’ll also unlock new ways of thinking that will help you solve problems, learn faster, meet new people and contribute to world-changing open-source projects.

Sounds great, right? Well, it is pretty great! Except…

Programming is not something you can pick-up in a few days with a crash course (trust me, I have tried plenty of crash courses). It takes commitment — and the learning curve can be unforgiving.

So, to ensure the best use of your time you’ll want to start with a programming language that is:

  • Well documented: meaning lots has been written about how to use it to solve problems.
  • Widely used: meaning many websites use the programming language and it’s likely to be around for a long time.
  • Easy to apply: meaning you don’t need any fancy or expensive software to get started.

JavaScript is well documented

One of the challenges of learning something new is figuring out the stuff that your guide or tutorial didn’t tell you.

Classes and textbooks are wonderful, but none are complete on their own, so having access to extensive collections of writing, tutorials, and guides that cover everything from practical application to theoretical concepts is extremely helpful.

The JavaScript category on Stack Overflow — the most widely used user-generated programming reference in existence — has over a million questions and answers.

If you are ever struggling to solve a JavaScript programming problem you can bet someone has probably already documented and solved the exact same issue. It’s so likely that I now make it a habit to search Stack Overflow for the problem before I try anything else. Ninety percent of the time I’m able to find a solution in under 15 minutes.

Well documented? Check.

JavaScript is Widely Used

According to w3techs.com approximately 95% of all websites use JavaScript.

If we estimate that there are more than 1 billion websites (there are probably more) that gives us around 950,000,000 websites using JavaScript. 

950,000,000 is a lot, so — widely used? Check.

JavaScrip is easy to apply

JavaScript doesn’t need any fancy programs or expensive software to run — you can run it in your browser, any browser. You don’t need to spend money on development environments to get started.

Here, let me show you how easy it is to get started.

Please select your internet browser below and follow the instructions.

Step 1: Activate your browser’s console

Chrome

  • To open the developer console window on Chrome, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + I (on Windows) or Ctrl + Option + J (on Mac).

Safari

  • Follow these steps and then use the shortcut below.
  • Cmd + Opt + C

Edge

  • To open the console on Edge, hit F12 to access the F12 Developer Tools. Once in the F12 Developer Tools, navigate to the Console tab.

Firefox

  • To open the console on Firefox, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + K (on Windows) or Ctrl + Option + K (on Mac). The toolbox will appear at the bottom of the browser window, with the Web Console activated.

Step 2: Type the following in your browser console

alert("Hello World")

After you’ve typed the above in your console press enter. You should get a little message box that pops up and says "Hello World".

Pretty neat huh?

I think so!

At this point, if I have done a good job of writing this post then you’ll be thinking to yourself: yeah Dan! I wanna learn JavaScript!

Alright then, I’m here to help.

Every week I’ll provide an overview of some core concepts in JavaScript and progressively I’ll show you how can use it to not only do some cool stuff but also how to build tools that can help you leverage the power of your computer to automate, enhance and improve many aspects of your personal and professional life.

I hope you are as excited about this learning opportunity as I am, and I hope you’ll join me as I develop this guide to programming in JavaScript for non-technical types — like you.

Oh, by the way, my name is Daniel Puiatti, you can call me Dan.

I have over a decade of experience in digital media. From responsive website design to search engine optimization, social media marketing to accessibility. My experience has allowed me to build, grow and optimize many digital campaigns and products. And like you, I don’t have a technical background.

Now let’s get learning. The next guide to read is my introduction to how a web browser builds a website.

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