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What is the power of JavaScript used for?

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At a high level, JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages such as displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animations, etc. JavaScript is used for all web-related software development. It is the most widely used and popular programming language in the world for website building.

The power of JavaScript is in its popularity, ease of use, and large community. It is one of the three core technologies of the World Wide Web (www), alongside HTML and CSS. Perhaps the most powerful thing about JavaScript is that it includes all of the features of a programming language embedded in your browser. Unlike other programming languages, where you have to download the language in your machine and create an environment, JavaScript does not require that. If you have a web browser like Chrome, then you can write JavaScript.

Originally, JavaScript was only on the client side of programming to create user interfaces and webpages’ interactivity. With the development of Node.js, JavaScript is not used in both client-side and server-side programming. This makes it extremely versatile and valuable.

JavaScript is the standard programming language of the web, and everybody uses the software written in JavaScript. Virtually everyone who has an internet-connected device with a screen can use applications written in JavaScript.

Popular Uses of JavaScript

Adding Interactive behavior to web pages: 

  • Show or hide information on a click event. 
  • Change colors of a button when the mouse hovers over it.
  • Slide through a carousel of images. 
  • Zooming in and out on an image.
  • Display a timer or a countdown on websites. 
  • Play audio. 
  • Embed video. 
  • Display animations and visual effects.
  • Creating pop-ups and modals 
  • Using a dropdown hamburger menu 
  • Client-side form validation.
  • Autocompletion.

Creating web and mobile applications:

  • Developers have access to a plethora of JavaScript frameworks for developing and building web and mobile apps. JavaScript frameworks are collections of JavaScript code libraries that provide developers with pre-written code to use for routine programming tasks. 
  • Popular front-end JavaScript frameworks include React, React Native, Angular, Vue, and Ember.js. 

Building web servers and developing server applications:

  • Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that allows developers to write server-side JavaScript to build servers and connect with databases. Frameworks like Express.js allow developers to build robust servers and develop back-end infrastructure using Node.js

JavaScript is the backbone of modern web applications, but much like the human spine, it is quite flexible and liberal in what it allows. This can sometimes be seen as a disadvantage because it makes finding problems in programs harder. But this flexibility allows developers to use many techniques that are not possible in more rigid programming languages.

A superpower of JavaScript is that it is easy to learn. It is widespread and supported by all browsers. Because it is a high-level language, it takes care of a lot of nitty-gritty programming for you, whereas in other low-level languages, you have to think about memory management, etc. In addition to being easy to learn, it is also easy to use. As long as you have a browser, you can write JavaScript to create rich web content.

Every programming language has some feature that separates it from other languages. In addition to all the amazing features of JavaScript, the one that stands out is how functions work in the language.

“Functions are the very best part of JavaScript. It’s where most of the power and the beauty of this language is.” — Douglas Crockford

Functions in JavaScript can be seen as workhorses. They alone play roles that other languages fulfill with multiple distinct features like procedures, methods, constructors, classes, and modules. All of these can be covered by the versatility of functions in JavaScript.

Finally, the most powerful feature of JavaScript is its community. It has one of the largest communities for any programming language. It is consistently ranked highest in Stackoverflow, Google searches, and GitHub issues. The amount of support for beginners is amazing!

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