Hello, World! I bet you must have heard about JavaScript programming language but may be wondering whether or not you should learn it. Well, in this post, I will provide you with all the insights you need to make up your mind. But before I proceed, let me give a brief history.

In 1995, a company known as Netscape Communications Corporation, which had developed a web browser, called Netscape Navigator, wanted to incorporate interactivity to the browser.

In web development jargon, interactivity refers to the ability of a website, running in a browser, to provide immediate feedback to its users.

To illustrate, consider a website that has space for its user to enter some predetermined value. The website is said to be interactive if it is able to detect and inform the user, in real-time, about whether or not the value they entered is valid.

As you can see, interactivity is a feature that can make websites engaging. Yet, as at 1995, it did not exist in any web browser. Netscape thus decided to make their web browser the first to incorporate it.

In line with this, they engaged an experienced computer programmer, named Brendan Eich, to develop a scripting language that could enable the Netscape Navigator to incorporate interactivity. They named the language JavaScript. And that was how JavaScript was born.

Over the years, JavaScript spread beyond the Netscape Navigator. Today, it is incorporated in every major web browser.

So, why should you learn JavaScript? Well, it depends on the decision you make. To help you make an informed decision, though, I have collated 3 reasons you may like to consider.

#1 JavaScript is the De Facto Standard for Providing Interactivity in Websites

Like I mentioned earlier, every major modern web browser incorporates JavaScript. What’s more, modern browsers do not only incorporate JavaScript, they support it by default.

As a result, virtually every website that provides interactivity does so with JavaScript. It would be quite unreasonable for a website to attempt to provide interactivity with any other programming language.

The implication of this is that if you want to become web developer, you must learn JavaScript.

In short, JavaScript is the common denominator of modern web development.

#2 JavaScript is Highly Versatile

Even though, JavaScript was originally meant for providing interactivity in websites, it ended up proving useful in other software development fields, including those that have nothing to do with websites.

Today, JavaScript is used in a wide range of applications, from backend web APIs, to desktop applications, to Android applications, computer games, and even devices that operate under the budding IoT technology. The list is endless.

It is quite amazing that JavaScript got to this level of versatility from its “humble beginnings” as a mere scripting language for providing interactivity in websites.

JavaScript’s versatility is made possible by numerous frameworks that have been developed for it over the years. These frameworks have done a really good job in extending its scope. The most popular of them include: NodeJS, VueJS, Angular, React, and Electron. If you decide to learn JavaScript, you may also need to learn some of these frameworks.

#3 JavaScript is One of the Most Widely Used Programming Languages in the World

There is almost no programming language that is more widely used than JavaScript. Part of the reason for this is that JavaScript is used in almost every website in the world. To get a perspective of what this implies, note that there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world!

In addition, JavaScript is increasingly being used in software fields outside websites. In a way, JavaScript is like a victorious emperor who constantly conquers new territories, extending the reach of his empire.

For JavaScript, its extensive reach has made it one of most widely used programming languages in the world. Almost all rankings of programming language popularity agree to this fact.

For instance, Stack Overflow, a large online community of programmers, recently released the results of a survey it conducted in which nearly 90,000 programmers participated. The results showed that, for the past 7 years, JavaScript has been the most widely used programming language.

Furthermore, GitHub, a well known online platform where over 40 million programmers collaborate with their codes, revealed in its recent annual report that JavaScript has been the most popular programming language used in its platform since 2014.

Admittedly, different rankings use different criteria to judge programming language popularity and some rankings fail to place JavaScript at the number one position.

Yet, even these still place JavaScript among the top 10 languages. The PYPL index, for example, places JavaScript at the number three position; while the TIOBE index places it at number seven.

You can see that, in spite of their differences, all these rankings agree on one thing: that JavaScript is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. And it is likely to retain that position for a long time to come.

So, in light of this, should you go ahead and learn JavaScript? Well, like I always say, it depends on the decision you make. But before you make your decision, check out my other posts in the “Why You Should Learn…” Series so that you can make a more informed decision.