Feb 17th 2020 • 2 mins

5 reasons why you should learn JavaScript first

If you are starting to learn to code, you can almost pigeonhole yourself depending on what coding language you pickup first. Many have their own opinions on what to start with first that range from ease-of-use, to size of the community and breadth of available documentation. This is my two pence on the matter:

"I believe JavaScript is the gateway drug to all the other coding languages."

Let's break this down for you.

1. Psst! You use it all the time

If you go to any of the websites you frequent the most; let's say Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube; all of them are made with JavaScript! That's how close to home you are with JavaScript, we are all familiar with it. 99% (if not, 98% then 🙄) of websites we browse on the internet use JavaScript. When you view an Instagram story on the web, JavaScript.

Instagram stories

When you want to create a Twitter thread, JavaScript.

Twitter thread

When you react (pun intended) to a Facebook post, JavaScript.

Facebook post reaction

When you play a video on YouTube and scroll down to see the comments and the video sticks, JavaScript.

YouTube

2. Starting salaries are high

I bet you all those companies above pay their JavaScript developers top dollar to maintain their websites. Just take a look at the stats in UK alone. The thing about salaries for developers, is that you advance in skill so quickly that you can expect to be at the upper end percentile for salary expectation within 2yrs. Starting salaries are quite high too.

A bit of sarcasm here for how ridiculously high developers get paid 😅

That brings me onto my next point.

3. JavaScript is the most in-demand coding language

Don't just take my word for it, see for yourself Not only is earning a high income common for developers, everybody wants them. A true sign of how in demand we are is to look at the many new services that are advertised to you on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. 9/10 they have a website and, if you're [un]lucky, a fancy app they want you to download. Think about it, if you need, at least, JavaScript to make a functional website, who are these companies going to look to hire to build their team? That's ground proof!

4. It has the biggest community support

The proof is in the pudding. Stack Overflow, the soon to become your number one most visited site and biggest coding community, surveyed their users to find out JavaScript was the most popular language amongst developers.  What about frameworks? Top 3 frameworks are JavaScript based. Its a no brainer, really.

5. JavaScript is a breeze to learn

Once you wrap your head around all the base terminologies (const, let, var, functions and if statements), you'll be well on your way to writing code autonomously. Luckily, there is a growing culture of writing code that is "clean" and that means, for beginners at least, picking up code is become extremely easier because developers are making a conscious effort to write code that is easy to understand. Entry levels for JavaScript are being torn down at a tremendous rate, which only makes it more exciting for new beginners. The building blocks of JavaScript allow you to learn, at least, the basics of most languages out there. I just feel it's best to learn what's in demand first (i.e. line your pockets up first) then venture out onto the other languages to diversify your skills. Learn more about how I learnt to code here.