Javascript is changing very fast. You will see new libraries, new frameworks, new features, new ways of doing certain things in Javascript everyday. Javascript, in the last decade, has become more popular thanks to the invention of Nodejs which allows javascript to run on server side. The adoption of JS has only been growing, showing no signs of slowing down. If you see the latest survey by Stack Overflow (2019 Survey), you will find that Javascript is most commonly used programming language (by professional developers as well). It is also the 2nd most wanted language by developers to learn.

It is now the most important language for web developers. You can do frontend as well as backend in Javascript. It is used by an incredible number of high-profile applications showing that the knowledge of this technology is the demand of the day. Learning Javascript can open doors to a lot of job opportunities for you. JavaScript is perhaps the hottest skill developers need to up-skill in for the foreseeable future.
Let’s now look at how Javascript fits into different areas of development, popular frameworks, trends, new features and tooling.

Javascript at Frontend
Javascript is the most used language for frontend development. HTML and CSS defines the look and feel of your website, but Javascript is the one which adds interactions, animations and makes your website dynamic. From the past 20 years or so, Javascript is being used on the frontend.
Recently there have been a lot of disruptions on the frontend Javascript framework ecosystem with the introduction of React, Vue and Angular 2+. The component based programming style has taken the frontend development by storm. React, Angular and Vue are the most popular frontend frameworks for Javascript, followed by Emberjs and Backbonejs.

Javascript at Backend
A decade ago, Javascript was only a frontend language. For backend, developers used to learn PHP, Java, C#, Python etc. But with the introduction of Nodejs (thanks to Google Chrome’s v8 engine), Javascript is being heavily used on the backend by developers. The reasons are, first, you don’t have to learn a completely new language and second, npm, the package manager for nodejs. is now the largest software registry on the web.

“Nodejs is JavaScript run time built on Chrome's V8 JS engine. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient.”

Node.js not only revolutionized the backend development but also contributed a lot to the frontend by bringing serious engineering and performance improvements to the client-side. It's also played a part in the expansion of the overall JavaScript ecosystem and the improvement of modern JS.
If you are starting with Nodejs, you should consider checking out some popular frameworks like Expressjs, Sailsjs, Featherjs, Koajs, Hapijs etc.

Must know tools for Javascript
Working with Javascript can be cumbersome sometimes. So, you must consider using some tools that makes working with Javascript a little easy.

  • Package Manager: NPM is the most popular manager for JS. You can use the npm cli to install packages, manage dependencies etc. You can also use yarn, which is another package manager for JS.
  • Editor: VS Code has became the most popular code editor for Javascript related projects due its great ecosystem of plugins and great support of Javascript and Typescript. Other options are Atom, Sublime Text etc.
  • Typescript: Typescript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. It provides optional static typing, classes and interfaces. Typescript is modern javascript + types. It's about catching bugs early and making you a more efficient developer.
  • Build Tool: With the advent of new JS frameworks, build tools have became a necessity. Some build tools to consider are Webpack, Parceljs, Gulp etc.
  • Linter:  Linters help you debug your code. They scan your code for common issues and errors and help you fix it. They also check for subjective and stylistic preferences making you a better coder overtime. Most editors have good support for linters, and if they don’t you can install a plugin which will do the job for you.

New Features in Javascript
Some of the new features in Javascript worth learning are:

  • Promises: Promises allow you to write asynchronous code and saves you from callback hell. It is a must know feature for you to work with JS on frontend or backend.
  • ES6: ES6 or ECMAScript 6 is one of the most popular Javascript version which has been proven safe and effective. It offers new features that makes coding in Javascript fun and easy.

Going beyond web development
Javascript can be used beyond web development. Today, with the wide adoption of Javascript, developers have built tools to use Javascript pretty much everywhere.

  • For native mobile app development, you can use React Native, a Javascript framework developed by facebook based on the concepts of Reactjs.
  • For databases, you can use Javascript as the query tool for MongoDB. MongoDB is a NoSQL database which use JSON-like documents for storing data.
  • For desktop applications, you can use Electron to build applications for Windows, Linux or macOS. Some of the most popular apps like Skype, Slack, Atom, Figma, VSCode are built using Electron.
  • You can use Nodejs to build cli tools to be used on any command prompt or terminal.
  • Javascript is also being used for building AR/VR apps and games, thanks to the introduction of WebVR API.

In the present world, you can do almost anything with Javascript. It is one of the most demanded skills. It is being used in such diverse fields that you can learn core javascript concepts and pickup any field and build something. That is why we at Board Infinity have designed Full Stack Learning Path focused towards Javascript. You get to learn the most important javascript tools and frameworks like React, Angular, Nodejs, ExpressJS, MongoDB as well as other tools like Git and Github to make you a better developer and prepare you for the industry.