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Is JavaScript worth its hype?

Is JavaScript worth its hype?

Should I learn JavaScript? Is JavaScript worth its hype? Will it actually help in my career? These are some of the questions that newbies to web development, or even mid experienced programmers have in their mind. Throughout this article, I lay down several pointers that should help you make a decision.

From the last 2-3 years, JavaScript has been the number 1 programming language among developers and its popularity growing every day. As of today JavaScript powers all the websites and web applications out there on the World Wide Web. Any interface that you interact in your favorite web browser, is, in fact, running JavaScript.

But before I start, you might have a question in your mind – who am I to say you all this? Well, I have been working with JavaScript from the days it was considered as a play tool for web developers (by more matured Java and C developers) till today where it is a more powerful language. So I will try to answer it from my personal experience. Let’s get rolling then.

Let me start this by listing out where all JavaScript is being used today,

Where is JavaScript used today?

  • It runs in your browser. JavaScript is the language of the browser. It runs inside your computer browser, mobile browser, tablet browser. Basically all browsers out there – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc run JavaScript.
  • All Web Apps that you use in your daily to daily life – Facebook, Gmail, Quora, Twitter, etc, all of them use JavaScript, in fact, a lot of JavaScript to run their applications.
  • JavaScript runs in the server – With NodeJS coming out on May 2009, you can write the server-side script with mere JavaScript. Your entire tech stack can run on JavaScript. Client-side, server-side…
  • Even MongoDB which is a NoSQL database is based on JSON structure and JSON pattern of storing data. JSON – JavaScript Object Notation.
  • You can build native mobile apps too with JavaScript. For eg. using React Native you can use React and JavaScript to build native Android and iOS mobile apps.
  • From browsers to mobile phones, from tablets to tabletops, from industrial automation to the tiniest microcontrollers – JavaScript is everywhere.

Let’s go back a little in the past

Brendan Eich created JavaScript while he was working for Netscape back in May 1995. He created the first version of JavaScript in only 10 days and named it Mocha. It was renamed to LiveScript in September 1995. And then by December 1995, it was renamed again to JavaScript.

Was renamed because of the popularity of Java and the hot language at that time. Netscape wanted to taste the same success as Java.

Here’s an infographic showing how JavaScript evolved over time. It’s taken from the slides that I presented here in Dubai at one of the FrontEnd sessions.

Is JavaScript worth its hype?
Evolution of JavaScript over time.

Where is JavaScript now?

I have some infographics along with some data.

It is the number 1 language

javascript and its worth

For quite some time, JavaScript has been the number one and the most popular language among the developer community. It has been topping the charts for some time now.

According to Github, JavaScript has been the most popular language among its community. GitHub is the largest code host in the world, with 20 million users and more than 57 million repositories as of April 2017. It’s the place where the open-source development community offers access to most of its projects. By analyzing how languages are used in GitHub it is possible to understand the popularity of programming languages among developers and also to discover the unique characteristics of each language.

The line chart above is taken from Githut 2.0 application which is a language percentage distribution showing the top 10 languages since 2012/Q2. Githut 2.0 is hosted by Github using its open-source API.

Here’s a screenshot of a table taken from Githut 2.0 below, that proves it further.

should I learn javascript

Read more – Give me a shoutout in the comments section if the link is broken.

JavaScript has reached space

It may sound crazy, but yes, JavaScript is being used to program satellites that are sent to space.

javascript is used to build satellites

In a first of its kind, a Nanosatellite that uses the NodeJS platform was launched into space on Nov 29, 2018, from India.

Developed by Reaktor Space Lab, a Reaktor-portfolio company, the nanosatellite is the company’s spearhead project in the field of future space services.

All this functionality in the Reaktor Space Program will be built in the cloud, which means that the Mission Control Center can be located anywhere in the world. You can check the status of your satellite with the browser in your smartphone – and you don’t even need an app for that.

Read more about the Reactor Hello World Satellite and its future plans here.

You can fly drones with JavaScript

fly a drone with javascript

Programming a drone is easy! That’s what they say. Now you can actually fly a drone with JavaScript and NodeJS modules.

All you need is NodeJS installed on your computer, then downloading the ar-drone node module. And of course, you need the Parrot AR Drone.

In fact, I have covered this in one of my previous blog post. You can read more from that post. I have also covered a code sample to get you started.

JavaScript of things (JOT) is the next big thing

Are you ready to make things move? If you can build a web app, you can create robots, weather stations, and other funky gadgets! JavaScript is now being used to create motorized rovers, Bluetooth doorbells, and more. With JavaScript, some easy-to-get hardware, and a bit of creativity, you’ll be beeping, spinning, and glowing in no time. There’s actually a very good book that covers all these. In fact, the image below is the cover of that book.

javascript of things is the next big thing

Here is the Amazon link to the book.

Smartwatch powered by JavaScript

JavaScript is now also powering an Open Source SmartWatch. How cool is that? Its called Bangle.js

javascript worth all its hype
Smartwatch powered by JavaScript

Bangle.js is an open, hackable smartwatch. You can easily install new apps from the web or develop your own using JavaScript or a graphical programming language (Blockly). All you need is a Web Browser (Chrome, Edge or Opera) and you can upload apps or write code to run on your watch wirelessly! Bangle.js is waterproof and AI-enabled and comes with Bluetooth low energy, GPS, a heart rate monitor, accelerometer and more.

A JavaScript-based Operating System – OS.js

Read my article on this topic – OS.js is a Javascript Based Open Source Operating System

OS.js JavaScript Operating System
OS.js is an open-source JavaScript-based Operating System

So is JavaScript worth its hype?

What do you say? Well, I believe I have provided enough pointers and hints that JavaScript is totally worth all the hype.

Apart from regular web development, server development, databases, etc. JavaScript is used in several other areas that we would not have imagined around 5 years back. And things are only to change for a better.

I hope I have been able to answer your question to some extent 🙂 Cheers!

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