How important is JavaScript for Modern Web Developers?

Mindfire Solutions
Jun 26, 2017 · 4 min read

The importance of JavaScript as a web technology can be determined from the fact that it is currently used by 94.5% of all websites. As a client-side programming language, JavaScript helps web developers to make web pages dynamic and interactive by implementing custom client-side scripts. At the same time, the developers can also use cross-platform runtime engines like Node.js to write server-side code in JavaScript. They can even combine JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 to create web pages that look good across browsers, platforms, and devices. There are also a number of reasons why each modern web developer must know how to leverage all benefits of JavaScript.

Why No Web Developer can Create Modern Web Applications without JavaScript?

Implement Client-Side Scripts

JavaScript was originally designed as a client-side scripting language. A large percentage of websites still use JavaScript as a client-side programming language. The web developers can easily write custom client-side scripts in JavaScript, and integrate the scripts seamlessly into HTML. They can further use JavaScript to make the web pages interactive, respond to users instaneously, and create richer user interfaces, without less server interaction and reduces server load.

Write Server-Side Code

The web developers can also write server-side code in JavaScript by using a cross-platform runtime engine like Node.js. Node.js is designed as a cross-platform and server-side runtime environment. It further executes the JavaScript code efficiently through Google V8 JavaScript engine. The built-in libraries provided by Node.js further allow programmers to run their web applications smoothly without relying on external web servers. Hence, the web developers can use Node.js to write both client-side and server-side code in JavaScript.

Simplify Complex Web Application Development

Despite being an interpreted programming language, JavaScript simplifies development of complex web applications by allowing developers to simplify the application’s composition. The programmers can use JavaScript libraries to create shadow DOM boundaries. In addition to simplifying the web application’s structure, the shadow DOM further decouples components of individual JavaScript libraries. The shadow DOM further make web browsers deliver documents with widely used HTML tags like div, select and input.

MEAN Stack

The developers can further simplify development of modern web applications by taking advantage of four components of MEAN stack — MangoDB, Express.js, Angular.js and Node.js. MangoDB is a modern and schemaless NoSQL database, whereas Angular.js is a popular JavaScript framework supported by Google. At the same time, Node.js is a cross-platform and server-side runtime environment, whereas Express.js is designed with features to simplify development of single-page and multiple-pages websites. The four components of MEAN stack enable developers to write both front-end and back-end of a website in JavaScript. However, components of MEAN stack are still interoperable.

Responsive Web Design

Most developers nowadays adopt responsive web design to make a website accessible and look good across multiple browsers, devices and browsers. Responsive web design enables developers to optimize a website for both computers and mobile devices with a single code base. But the developers have to combine CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript to make the web pages responsive. Hence, the developers must use JavaScript to optimize web pages for mobile devices.

Google AMP Project

Google has initiated the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to create websites that deliver richer user experience across varying mobile devices. Google has combined several optimization techniques to increase the loading speed of mobile web pages directly. But it requires developers to integrate AMP technology into the web pages through HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Hence, the programmers have to use JavaScript while optimizing websites for mobile devices with AMP.

Many Transpilers

JavaScript is a lightweight programming language. It lacks some of the robust features provided by modern programming languages like Java and C#. But the web developers can easily extend JavaScript by using a transpilers like CoffeeScript, TypeScript, DukeScript and Vaadin. Each transpiler enables developers to meet the requirements of large enterprise application by making the workflow complex.

Varying Libraries and Frameworks

The web developers can easily extend the functionality of JavaScript by using a number of libraries and frameworks. The fully-features JavaScript libraries like AngularJS and Ember enable JavaScript web developers to add functionality to complex web applications without writing additional code. At the same time, lightweight JavaScript libraries like React.js make it easier for programmers to accomplish specific tasks. The developers can further use open source tools like NPM to install and manage all JavaScript libraries used by a web application efficiently.

Keeps Evolving

As mentioned earlier, JavaScript lacks some of the advanced features provided by modern programming languages like multithreading capability and file read/write option. But the programming language has been evolving consistently to meet the emerging trends in web application development. For instance, ECMAScript 6, the latest version of JavaScript simplifies modern web application development by providing several new classes, modules, module loaders, generators and symbols, along with Unicode support and reflect API.

The modern web developers must use JavaScript to make their web applications deliver optimal user experience across various devices, operating systems, and browsers. However, they must be familiar with various JavaScript libraries, frameworks, and tools. They can even combine multiple libraries and frameworks to enhance and extend JavaScript according to requirements of large projects.

Mindfire Solutions

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Mindfire is a software service provider, with unrelenting focus on small-team offshore software development using Agile methods.

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