If you have had any experience with coding and software engineering, you cannot escape the emphasis and importance that is assigned to JavaScript. From being the engine of the web to powering both server-side applications and the latest frontend frameworks, JavaScript’s ability to mould the shape and experience of internet users is unparalleled and truly extraordinary. According to the Stack Overflow 2020 Developer Survey, JavaScript currently stands as the most popular programming language in the world, with a total market share of around 69.7% as opposed to other languages. For any coder, it is essential, however, to learn the benefits and utilities of a language before going on to learn it so as to maximise their learning output and improve their overall performance. Let us take a look at some of the reasons why JavaScript is essential to all programmers.

  1. Adding interactivity web pages

JavaScript enables developers to add interactivity to their static web pages by enabling them to manipulate HTML elements and CSS properties based on conditions and required logic in order to create desired onscreen behaviour. We can use vanilla JavaScript for this purpose or use JS libraries like jquery in order to add interactive behaviour to our web pages. Some of these effects include changing the visibility of information with the click of a button, changing the colour of an element when the mouse is hovered over it, sliding through a carousel of images, displaying animations and so forth. 

2. Creating Frontend Web Applications

JavaScript is an extremely powerful language and forms the bedrock and backbone of all web applications. By practically being the only client-side programming language, JavaScript retains a monopoly over client-side development for all web applications. In addition to this, the language also has multiple UI development frameworks and libraries like Vue, React, Angular and Svelte, which provide a powerful system for developers to create and deploy frontend applications, especially Single-Page Web Application (SPA). 

3. Creating BackEnd Web Applications

Backend development of web applications is also possible in JavaScript in Node.js, which extends the capabilities of the language by executing within its own runtime on the server. The Node.js runtime is designed to be lightweight and efficient, with non-blocking I/O and a package manager to make building applications in the Node.js ecosystem is even easier. Many backend development frameworks are available in JavaScript from Express.js to Nest.js, Electron.js and Deno.js. Some of the advantages of using Node.js for backend development is its usefulness as a lightweight,fast application development with real-time communication, easy use for serverless and microservice architecture, audio and video processing and application in the field of Internet of Things.

4. Creating Mobile Applications

Not only can you use JavaScript for web development, you can also use it for the purposes of cross-platform mobile application development. With several cross-platform mobile app development frameworks, JavaScript aims to provide greater flexibility to developers in the development of applications that cater to all users irrespective of the market. Some such frameworks are Jquery Mobile, React Native, Meteor.js, Titanium, Ionic and NativeScript.

5. Use in the field of Data Science

JavaScript is an upcoming language in the field of data science. With the ultimate goal of showcasing and utilising the results of data science in web applications, JavaScript provides support for all major libraries that implement machine learning algorithms such as TensorFlow.js, Brain.js, ConvNet.js, WebDNN and Deeplearn.js. In addition to this, JavaScript also has some of the most beautiful data visualisation tools available to render data-visualisations on the client-side which increases its usefulness as a web development tool. Some such libraries are D3.js, P5.js, Chart.js, Anime.js etc. 

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the ocean of possibilities that exist in JavaScript and so many application areas haven’t been touched in this article. However, one thing is clear, JavaScript will retain its place as the most popular language for quite some time to come with vast application domains that it covers and continues to go on covering due to a very vibrant and supportive community and developer ecosystem.

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