is JavaScript a hard programming language to learn?

Is JavaScript a Hard Programming Language to Learn?

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Are you thinking about learning JavaScript in 2018? You probably should be. The State of the Developer Nation report, which analysed more than 21,700 developers in 169 countries, found that JavaScript is the most popular programming language, used by 9.7 million developers. So is JavaScript a hard programming language to learn? Read on to find out.


Why is JavaScript so Popular?

What is JavaScript and why is it such a popular language? JS is a scripting language, which means it supports scripts – such languages are often interpreted (rather than compiled). In essence, this means you can make changes to your code and run it again straight away to see the effect of your changes – you don’t need to recompile the code. JS is primarily used to build and control dynamic website content like animated graphics, interactive forms and scrolling videos.


Here are some reasons why JS is such a popular language:

  1. It’s on every platform imaginable, including browsers, mobile and desktop applications, IoT devices, etc.
  2. It’s a great foundational language for newbies. Script languages are generally easier to learn than compiled languages like C++, states Business News Daily.
  3. Many of the world’s top websites and apps – including Paypal, Netflix, LinkedIn and Uber – all run on JavaScript, or more precisely Node.js, the JavaScript environment that executes the code.
  4. JavaScript frameworks— or collections of JS code libraries – are frequently used. This allows developers to perform routine tasks without rewriting code every time.
  5. According to The Hard Refresh, Indeed lists more than 28,000 JavaScript developer jobs, while Glassdoor lists the average JavaScript developer salaries at $72,500 per year. Not too bad!

These are all great reasons, but is JavaScript a hard programming language to learn? And how long will it take you to pick it up?


Learning JavaScript in 2018

Although JavaScript is a step up from HTML and CSS, which you can learn in under a month, you should still be able to master JS in a matter of months, not years, especially if JS is not the first programming language you’re learning. Ideally, you want to first learn HTML and CSS before moving onto JS.  Remember: JS is programming and not a markup language. In JS, each command defines an individual action. While JS is more complicated than HTML, a markup language, you can actually start writing useful JS quicker than with HTML. The reason for this is that to use a markup language properly you need to know all of it, otherwise you can’t mark up pages correctly. However, with a programming language you can still write programs with the part you do know, but you do need to know that part properly.

Arielle Kimbarovsky, Digital Marketer at UX design and mobile application development agency Codal, says on the Hard Refresh: ‘One critical thing to keep in mind when learning JavaScript (regardless of your own learning needs or style) is to resist the temptation to go too fast and speed through the fundamentals… JavaScript is a language that builds on itself. This makes more involved JavaScript code a lot harder to write and understand if you don’t have a solid handle on the basics.’

The good news with coding is that you can teach yourself. ‘Almost 90% of all developers say they have taught themselves a new language, framework or tool outside of their formal education,’  says 2018’s Stack Overflow Developer Report. Alternatively, you can learn online via a mentor-led bootcamp, where you receive expert advice when you get stuck. HyperionDev’s bootcamps are an example of this kind of mentor-led learning. The Full Stack Web Developer bootcamp would cover JavaScript among other languages.

You’ll need to consider the following when deciding if you want to go it alone or sign up for a class:

  • Do you have prior coding experience?
  • Are you able to set up your own curriculum?
  • Can you cope psychologically with feeling stuck or in despair, because you don’t understand something? If don’t like those feelings, you may well want to consider a mentor-led course.
  • What are your time commitments? It’s likely that studying alone will take longer than a structured course.
  • Is a network of fellow programmers important to you?
  • How easy will you be able to look for work without the support of an institution?

Whatever you decide, know that there are resources out there for learning JS including:


In conclusion, in answer to the question, is JavaScript a hard programming language to learn? the response is ‘no’. In fact, ThoughtCo. states: ‘In many ways, JavaScript is one of the easiest programming languages to learn as your first language.’ Because it’s an interpreted language within the web browser,  you can write small pieces of code at a time while testing it in the web browser as you go. If you’re keen to learn JavaScript, consider signing up for HyperionDev’s online, part-time Full Stack Web Developer bootcamp.