It’s never too late to get into coding, no matter your choice of scripting or programming language. Some of them are complicated, while some are fairly quick to pick up, especially those designed for developing websites and web-based applications.

You might’ve seen JavaScript among the most popular programming languages, according to many online articles. Maybe you want to give it a shot. But is JavaScript hard to learn? Will you need to spend months pouring over some arcane texts from a dusty book, or is it more of a chill experience where you can start coding the same day you download your first tutorial? Well, it’s more somewhere in between. It’s not exactly the most complex coding language out there, but it will take a lot of time to master.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript has been around pretty much since the dawn of the Internet. The Netscape corporation (of Netscape Navigator fame) developed and published it in 1995 as a way to provide web developers with a tool to create dynamic web pages. 

Coding in JavaScript is similar to coding in Java, hence the name similarity. But, while the syntax may look like something straight out of Java, this scripting language is a different beast.

Now, we’ve mentioned that it’s a scripting language, and you might be wondering why that is so important. Unlike languages such as C# or the aforementioned Java, the code written in JavaScript doesn’t need to be compiled to run. Instead, the code is interpreted on the fly by the client's web browser. That can be any element of a website - a simple button, a form, some pop-up windows, but also whole games and various embedded apps.

Is it Worth Learning JavaScript?

Now that we’ve seen what JavaScript is and how it’s implemented let’s talk about the learning part. This is where it gets really interesting. Despite its complex application in the Internet of Things and back-end, it’s actually one of the easiest coding languages you can learn today, not to mention one of the more lucrative ones around.

You see, web developers are in demand right now. Job postings for this role are a daily occurrence here at Leftronic, and web development is an industry that’s still experiencing constant growth. Pretty much every one of these jobs requires knowledge of not just HTML and CSS, but JavaScript, too. It’s not the matter of “is JavaScript hard to learn” for a developer that’s looking for a job, but more “how quickly can I learn it?”

As we’ve explained earlier, JavaScript is very flexible and, thus, can be used in various environments and for many different elements of web apps and pages. A project within a company may include multiple smaller tasks that require JavaScript or even have the scripts created in it be a major part of the development process. Some are even using it in machine learning applications, not to mention that it’s a requirement for full-stack development.

Since it is an object-oriented language, it’s worth knowing JavaScript basics so you can get a good base for all your future studies. You’ll get to understand basic programming logic when working within this framework and then be able to move up to more complex stuff like C++. Or, if you decide to stay within the JavaScript ecosystem, you’ll be able to advance to various frameworks now used for developing apps - Vue, Angular, and React.

Last but not least - it’s a good entry into game development. While it’s not on par with something like Unity, by making smaller games in JavaScript combined with HTML5, you’ll learn the ropes and become ready to tackle bigger projects.

How to Learn JavaScript

So, you’ve decided that JavaScript is your entryway into the world of object-oriented coding and a scripting language you want to get familiar with. You want to get into developing web apps, maybe combine it with your previous web design knowledge. It’s easy to get overwhelmed right off the bat, so we suggest taking things slow.

While JavaScript isn’t the most difficult language around, the whole process does require some patience and especially time. It also requires some previous technical knowledge you might not have expected, like knowing how to enable the developer mode in your browser. Knowledge of scripting languages such as HTML and CSS is also a huge help.

Beginning with JavaScript

We all learn to code at a different pace, so our first recommendation is to research different ways to learn JS. It’s essential to choose a method that works for you, something that you’re confident that you can follow through at your own pace, but also a method that allows you to go back a lesson or two if needed. Again, patience is the key with JavaScript.

There are many great books on JavaScript that you can grab in PDF form or as a softcover print. If you’d prefer to follow a course, you’ll find many fantastic JavaScript tutorials online - from interactive programming lessons at, through Mozilla Developer’s step-by-step guide, to good old W3Schools. These all vary in style and teaching method, so give them a shot and find the one you’re most comfortable following along.

Many teachers will say that creating a schedule and sticking to it is one of the key methods to learning a skill properly. If you struggle with organizing around all the freeform guides we talked about and prefer something more class-like, there are also paid online courses like Udemy and Codecademy that could prove to be the best way to learn JavaScript for you.

Some coders even combine two or more resources when learning a new language. Mixing up learning methods can help you break up the monotony and keep your wits sharp along the way.

Practice Your Coding

The beauty of coding is that you can test your knowledge right there, on the spot, as long as you have access to a computer. With JavaScript, that’s even easier, as all it usually takes is opening up a web browser, turning on developer mode, and testing your code. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Is JavaScript hard to learn without practical work? Well, any programming language is. That’s why it’s a good idea also to grab some tutorials and exercises through which you can further sharpen your skills. Codecademy, Mimo, Grasshopper, and more are all excellent resources for getting both theoretical and practical knowledge. 

At this point, it’s a good idea to start working on a small project. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated or ambitious, just something that you’ll be able to come back to from time to time, build upon, and optimize as you get more familiar with the basics of JavaScript. That project won’t be just an ongoing exercise but a great motivational booster as it will clearly show how far you’ve progressed with your lessons.

Ask Your Fellow Coders

An unspoken secret of the programming community is that you can always ask for help online. Not sure if a line of code is good? Google it. Does your code crash for some strange reason? Hop onto StackOverflow or Github and join a conversation. You might also get a chance to help other fellow newbies along the way, building your confidence and JavaScript knowledge as you go along.