Why is JavaScript so Essential in Today’s Development?

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If modern developers were asked what their favorite programming languages are, chances are that many of them would put JavaScript at the top of the list. JavaScript is one of the most popular and most commonly used programming languages of the last 5 years – and its popularity is only continuing to grow.

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However, JavaScript has not always been a favorite amongst the development community. It was originally considered amateurish and more aimed at designers. It has obviously overcome this original belief and gone on to become one of the top programming languages of today. But, how did it rise to this level of popularity? Why is it so essential for experts in the field of website development? Why have JavaScript software development companies become so important?

A Brief History of JavaScript

When the Internet exploded in popularity with public usage in the ’90s, technology companies also fought to put the top web browser out on the market. The top two browsers at the time were Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape’s Netscape Navigator. In its efforts to outdo Microsoft, Netscape realized that it needed a new scripting language for easier, more lightweight programming. This new language also needed to make web development more accessible than the other languages at the time which required more extensive training.

In 1995, Brendan Eich was the Netscape employee tasked with building this lightweight scripting language in only ten days. What he originally built was Mocha, which then evolved into what is today known as JavaScript. After AOL purchased Netscape and then eventually created Mozilla, JavaScript’s popularity started to grow.

Why Is Javascript Still so Important?

Even after two decades in existence, JavaScript is still a favorite in the development community for a variety of reasons.

  • Server-Side Code Writing Capabilities - Web developers are able to write server-side code in JavaScript with the use of a cross-platform runtime engine. Node.js is one of the most popular examples of this. A cross-platform runtime environment helps further execute the JavaScript code through the Google V8 JavaScript engine. Its built-in libraries further allow developers and engineers to run their web applications as smoothly as possible without the need to rely on other external web servers. JavaScript allows web developers to write both client-side and server-side within the language.
  • Many Libraries and Frameworks - JavaScript is known for its many frameworks and libraries available to help web developers build large, JavaScript-based applications for the web. These dynamic frameworks include ReactJS, AngularJS, and EmberJS. With the power of these frameworks, developers can easily, efficiently, and rapidly produce professional and highly interactive web applications. There is a multitude of libraries for developers to use as well.
  • Simplified Development of Complex Web Applications - Although it is an interpreted development language, JavaScript helps simplify the development of complex web applications as it allows devs to break down the composition of the application. JavaScript libraries help create shadow DOM boundaries to make the web application’s structure easier to fathom. Additionally, these shadow DOM boundaries break down the individual components of JavaScript libraries and make web browsers deliver documents with more widely known HTML tags such as select, dib, and input.
  • Responsive Website Design - Responsive web design is a must-have of the modern technology landscape. Every website should be accessible, look good, and work well across as many devices and browsers as possible for the benefit of the end-user. Modern responsive website design allows developers to use the same code to optimize a site for both mobile devices and computers. JavaScript is one of the main tools to accomplish this feat along with HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Client-Side Scripts - JavaScript was originally developed as a solution for client-side scripting. Many websites still use JavaScript for this very purpose as it allows web developers to easily write custom scripts that are then seamlessly integrated into HTML. JavaScript can also respond to users instantly, make website pages more interactive, reduce the server load by requiring less server interaction, and create improved user interfaces.
  • No Tools Required - Developers can easily write JavaScript code without needing to use any specific type of tool or program. They are able to just open a blank page and begin to write the code. Many editors are available to help eliminate errors and debug the code by reformatting it. This helps devs correct problems in a fast, simplified manner.
  • Continually Evolving - JavaScript does lack some of the more advanced features of other modern programming languages, but it has consistently evolved to meet the needs of the newest web application development trends.

There are many reasons why JavaScript has been and will continue to be one of the most used programming languages in the world. It is a robust and easy-to-use language that allows developers to build large-scale website applications quickly and in the most simplified manner. Not only are these web apps highly interactive, but also enhanced in speed, functionality, performance, and usability.