Getting Started with JavaScript

Getting Started with JavaScript

Sarveshwar Shukla's photo
Sarveshwar Shukla
·Jul 24, 2022·

5 min read

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Table of contents

  • What is JavaScript?
  • History of JavaScript
  • Usage of JavaScript
  • What is ECMAScript
  • Different Ways to Execute JavaScript
  • Summary

Programming is one of the most demanding career option in recent times with the huge amount of money flowing in and out of the IT industry. And we use several programming languages, tools and frameworks to develop the next big app that's going to shape the future. One of such programming languages is JavaScript. It is one of the most popular and high-paying programming languages at the time of writing. In this article, we will dive deep into what JavaScript exactly is and what's all the hype around it.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language, invented by Brendan Eich in 1995 intending to make the internet and its web pages alive. Nowadays, almost every website you would come across is using JavaScript directly or indirectly. HTML(HyperText Markup Language) is known to be the skeleton of web pages, similarly, JavaScript is basically the brain of any webpage. If you call yourself a web developer, you better be good at JavaScript as it is compulsory nowadays to learn JavaScript. It is the first programming language you would need to learn to be a web developer, after mastering HTML and CSS.

JavaScript is one of the most important and highly used programming languages in the world. We all come across Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon and many more websites daily and there is one common thing among them -- All of these websites are made using JavaScript. Technically anything we interact with today on the web is 99% likely will be using JavaScript.

From today we are starting a complete walkthrough of the JavaScript programming language from scratch, in which we will start with very basics of JS like variables, comments, conditional expressions, loops, and functions and then slowly we will proceed to advanced topics like hoisting, closure, object-oriented programming and much more. But before we dive into it, it will be good to get an understanding of how JavaScript came into existence, and how in a very small period of time it became one of the most loved programming languages in the world and is still in continuation.

History of JavaScript

In 1995, Netscape communications were one of the most popular web browsers in the world, and at that time Microsoft was also doing a very hard try on their own browser Internet Explorer, and due to this to make the Netscape communicator the best and preferred choice for developers, the founder of the Netscape Communicator Marc Andreessen wanted to make the web pages more dynamic by improving user interaction on websites, and this is how JavaScript was born.

Brendan Eich - Founder of JavaScript.png

Brendan Eich created JavaScript in May 1995 at Netscape Communications and was initially named LiveScript because it was developed to make the then-existing websites alive, interactive, and better responsive to users. Later in December 1995, it was renamed JavaScript, the reason at that time the language Java was on trend, and naming this language as JavaScript would automatically do good with the promotions.

Usage of JavaScript

JavaScript is an amazing programming language that we can use to make robust and feature-rich web applications. If you want to be a good and efficient web developer JavaScript is a language you should be comfortable with. In this tutorial series, we will be starting with JavaScript from the very basics and will move to some highly advanced topics.

While working with JavaScript, you might have heard of the term ES or ECMAScript, so let's understand that as well.

What is ECMAScript

EcmaScript.png

ECMAScript is a standard of JavaScript, meaning it is a standard on which JavaScript is based. Now the question arises...

Why do we need a standard? The reason is, back in 1995 when JavaScript was first introduced, different organizations and people were trying to add new features to the language, and if that practice continued then it would have created some series of issues. Imagine my browser supports some features of JavaScript which your browser does not support, and similarly, your browser's JavaScript contains certain features that I don't. This meant that JavaScript was lacking a universal standard.

And that is why ECMA(European Computer Manufacturer's Association) was created as a standard, that whatever features will be added, they will be first added to the ECMAScript standard, and from there it will be implemented into the JavaScript language.

Different Ways to Execute JavaScript

  • JavaScript can directly be executed inside a browser. One can press ctrl + shift + J or F12 (on windows) and Command + Option + J (on Mac) to open the developer console and can start writing JavaScript code there.
  • To locally run JavaScript, we can install run-time environments like NodeJs and then can use them to run JavaScript inside our system.
  • We can also use the <script> JavaScript here <script/> tag inside an HTML document to run the JavaScript code.

What is NodeJs

NodeJs is a JavaScript run-time environment. What happened was, that Ryan Dahl who is known for creating the NodeJs run-time environment, put the engine of the browser (chrome v8 engine) into a C++ program so that developers can run JavaScript outside of the browser. In this way, developers can run JavaScript from outside the browser as well. Doesn't that look cool?

Summary

JavaScript is a scripting language, invented to power up the web and to make the web pages alive. It is one of the most important and highly used programming languages in the world. JavaScript was created in May 1995, by Brendan Eich and was initially named LiveScript, and almost 99% of websites today use JavaScript directly or indirectly. JavaScript is an implementation of the ECMAScript standard.

Next Article: JavaScript Variables and Constants


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