Business ResourcesWhat is the Best Way to Become a JavaScript Developer?

Anastasia Stefanuk

Anastasia Stefanuk
writes on January 28, 2020

We are living in a world where technology information and resources are easily available, all thanks to the Internet. Today you can learn anything about web development, data science, UX design, and much more without spending a fortune. And yet, the tech industry still continues to face a perpetual shortage of skills. Companies looking to hire JavaScript developers or other tech professionals are constantly on the lookout for developers—and JavaScript remains in high demand.

Naturally, it’s a great industry to get into. But as a newbie looking to join this industry, what is the best way to become a JavaScript developer?

In this article, we are going to look at the challenges newbie JavaScript developers face and the best way to overcome them. 

Definition – What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting programming language that was originally designed to add interactive features on a web page. Fast forward to today, and JavaScript’s uses have expanded to include back-end website and application development. As a result, the number of people trying to learn JavaScript has increased, leading to a proliferation of different JavaScript functions, tutorials, and online courses.

And since today’s software development is complex, often requiring multiple tools and a variety of languages, the very first step toward becoming a Junior JavaScript Developer (the typical entry-level role) is to learn the basics. And for this, you need to start learning about the Frameworks and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) within the JavaScript ecosystem.

Let’s briefly look at JavaScript frameworks.

Software frameworks are conceptual platforms through which common code with generic functionality can be changed or overridden by users or developers.

There are multiple JavaScript frameworks, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to look at Angular and React frameworks.

Angular vs. React JavaScript Frameworks

As a newbie learning up to full-stack web development, you will come across the terms Angular and React. And since the JavaScript web development scene is rapidly changing, you may be left wondering: between Angular and React, which is the best framework for custom software?

Angular is one of the best front-end JavaScript frameworks, and it is used to build dynamic web apps. It allows developers to use HTML as the template language, and at the same time, help extend HTML’s syntax to clearly and succinctly express the application’s components. 

The framework’s data-binding and dependency injection significantly reduce the amount of code a developer would otherwise have to write. And since all this happens within the browser, Angular is one of the best frameworks for server technology projects.

React, on the other hand, is an open-source JavaScript library used by developers to build UI for single-page applications, by handling the view layer for mobile and web applications. As a newbie developer,  you can also use React to create reusable UI components as well as merge it with other libraries or frameworks within the JavaScript development stack, such as Angular in MVC.

IDE for JavaScript Development & the Importance of Choosing the Right Version

Modern JavaScript developer jobs demand familiarity with multiple JavaScript testing tools and languages. This complexity can be frustrating to even the most experienced developers. And that’s where Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) come in.

IDEs combine different tools and functions such as editors, debuggers, and compilers, all of which assist in the creation of software and apps. Additionally, most of them have cross-platform compatibility, allowing developers to work using multiple operating systems and languages via same tool.

As a JavaScript newbie, you will come across thousands of IDEs. And although most people will tell you to use the best IDE, very few will explain why choosing the right one is important. Yes they may save you time but not all there isn’t an IDE capable of fully covering all the JavaScript features and developer needs.

Five things to consider when choosing your project’s IDE:

Centralization

The biggest benefit of choosing the right IDE is the “integrated” part. It gives you a centralized platform to design the layout, code, debug, and build without having to switch between different tools. This centralization also creates compatibility between the parts, allowing them to work well together.

Time Saved

Every IDE has a learning curve and choosing a complex one may also require you to spend time learning how to use it and integrate it into your development software. However, by choosing the right IDE, you get rid of this overhead, hence saving you development time.

Efficiency & Workflow

The entire purpose of using an IDE is to streamline the workflow and build projects faster and more efficiently. By having a single development environment, you are able to integrate all your tools and resources, as well as prevent mistakes.

Standardization of Processes

While starting out, most developers tend to collaborate as they grow together. By working in a centralized development environment, programmers are able to adhere to JavaScript code standards or any other standards. Moreover, IDE predefined templates and shared code libraries allow for further standard enforcement between team members working on the same project.

Project Management

A number of IDEs come with documentation tools that facilitate the automation of developer’s comments in different areas. Others have visual presentation resources, allowing developers to know how an application is laid out instead of traversing through the entire file system looking for arcane files. This seamless operation is particularly important in pinpointing the exact development stage and timely project delivery. 

The Best JavaScript IDE for a Newbie Developer

Well, there isn’t a straight answer as to which JavaScript IDE is good for someone. This is because all IDEs are not created equal. For this reason, the type of IDE a developer uses can only be dictated by their personal needs, level of knowledge, and the magnitude of the project.

However, free systems like Visual Studio or NetBeans could be a smart choice for beginners, and Komodo for those working as a team. For developers juggling between different programming languages every day, a universal IDE like Visual Studio would work well. Or perhaps you are strictly using JavaScript and want to save time? Webstorm is a powerful code-completion tool that will come to your rescue.

Tips for Learning New JavaScript Programming Concepts 

All the projects with JavaScript as their core have immensely evolved, making the present web rich and dynamic. So, as a beginner JavaScript developer, it is important to learn all these new concepts before starting.

Below, we have compiled a few tips to help you learn new JavaScript concepts without wasting your precious time and energy.

Begin with the Basics

When learning JavaScript – or any other coding language – it’s important to pace yourself before going in full-swing. And although the initial concepts may look quite simple and straightforward, immersing yourself into learning the basics will give you a full understanding of the language.

You can start by enrolling for an online web or JavaScript app development course like the Full Stack Techdegree and take comprehensive notes on everything you learn, instead of simply focusing on the exercises. Noting down what you have learned not only helps you retain information, but also helps you avert troubles as you move your way up to the more advanced JavaScript functionalities.

Use an Online Code Editor or Download One

Programming is just as much of a practical project as it is theoretical. When learning JavaScript, your course may not demand that you use a desktop code editor. However, it’s a good idea to download it and use it to learn. Alternatively, you can choose a course that allows you to directly write code in your internet browser window. 

A good example of a JavaScript code editor is Atom. It is free, easy to use, and comes with a range of features that will help you write high-quality JavaScript code. 

Practice 

The fluency of a JavaScript programmer is directly related to their JavaScript programmer salary. As such, if you are to become fluent in your skills and command a higher salary, you need to fully commit yourself to learning. 

The key to learning programming is practice. If you spend most of your time absorbing theory and not practicing how to write code, your chances of improving are almost zero.  In fact, one can argue that it’s a waste of your time and resources enrolling for an online course and failing to practice your code writing skills outside what you learn. 

As indicated above, using the online code editor version or downloading it on your PC is one of the easiest ways to practice code writing and editing skills. You can also try visiting GitHub and as there are multiple open-source codes to play around with. Simply look for an interesting piece of code, download it, feed it into your code editor, and try out your skills. 

Another excellent way for a newbie to practice JavaScript code writing and editing skills is by starting your own project. Modern JavaScript frameworks like React and Angular make it easy and convenient to write a simple page web application. This could be a good place to start and scale up with time. 

Lastly, participating in coding challenges could also greatly help improve your code writing and editing skills. There are multiple online challenges engineered for people looking to learn JavaScript examples. Depending on your skill level, you can choose a challenge that is simple and try improving it. And if need be, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Connect With A Mentor

Sometimes coding can be tedious, boring, and downright frustrating. As a beginner, such challenges can demotivate you, or even tempt you to just give up. Once your motivation starts to plateau, connecting with a coding mentor will help you stay on course towards becoming a career programmer. 

Generally, a good mentor should help you write great programs, improve your coding skills, and understand complex JavaScript topics. And if you’re lucky enough, you may be able to find a mentor willing to guide you for free, although you may have to pay someone.

If you are wondering where you can get free mentors, online chat rooms and coding forums are some of the best places to start your search. Additionally, connecting with like-minded people through organized boot camps and local meetup groups could also land you a mentor. If you’re a Techdegree student, you’ll have the support of Treehouse staff and fellow learners via Slack.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, becoming a fluent JavaScript developer isn’t rocket science. However, you need to learn a lot and follow the best practices. Most importantly, you need to practice writing JavaScript code, or risk developing bad habits. After all, practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect practice does. 

And with plenty of courses, e-books, podcasts, tutorials, and many other resources available online, you shouldn’t have a problem in becoming a career JavaScript developer.

 


About the Author: Anastasia Stefanuk

Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and Information Technology enthusiast. She works as a Content Manager at Mobilunity, a provider of dedicated development teams around the globe. Anastasia keeps abreast of the latest news in all areas of technology, Agile project management, and software product growth hacking, at the same time sharing her experience online to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date. Anastasia can be reached online at pr@mobilunity.com and at https://www.linkedin.com/in/anastasiia-stefanuk-mobilunity.

3 Responses to “What is the Best Way to Become a JavaScript Developer?”

  1. Ernie Escajeda on February 26, 2020 at 3:41 pm said:

    Practice, Practice, Consistency, Consistency. I constantly struggle to remain consistent in my learnings when it comes to any self taught language. Each time I return to it however I feel like I progress a bit further… A mentor would definitely be something new to try.

  2. Great post thanks for sharing these tips with us all. In this era of digitization JavaScript is a must skill to show yourself out there. and the opportunities for the developers are also very vast. Many of coding enthusiasts try to get themselves into this field but due to lack of guidance they invest their time and money in a wrong place in totally wrong way.. Your tips will definitely guide them on the right path and help them in a great way. Nice work keep it up.

  3. Thanks for posting the amazing read, i myself practicing to be a javascript developer but the course i have took is quite annoying because the instructor is teaching obsolete things, do you have some advance course put together to learn javascript in minimum time?

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