The Importance of JavaScript in 2020

For many years, JavaScript has been one of the most sought-after and fastest-growing programming languages in the modern technology world. It is a favorite among developers for its many use cases and continues to be one of the best choices for the development of interactive web interfaces as all modern internet browsers support it.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language used to create and control dynamic website content. This means anything that moves, refreshes, or changes on the computer screen without requiring a manual reload of the page. Items like slideshows, interactive forms, and animated graphics are all built with JavaScript.

JavaScript developers may remind users that the language is also used for those items that an everyday internet user may take for granted, such as suggested search terms or automatic updates.

Brendan Eich developed this programming language in 1995 while he worked at Netscape Solutions. JavaScript was originally positioned as the companion language to Java as to ride on the coattails of the “it technology” of the time. The initial goal of the new language was to use it to create full application platforms that would run on both client and server, but it was not immediately successful and took many years to ever receive consideration as a serious backend programming language.

Since its origins, JavaScript has become one of the most used and helpful languages for developers on the market today. It can be easily inserted directly into HTML and is the only language of this kind that is understandable by web browsers. The majority of the development community works with JavaScript because it is open, standardized, and incredibly dynamic while also compatible with other languages.

JavaScript in 2020

Although JavaScript has been around for 25 years, it is still a favorite in the world of programming. In fact, it feels like it will continue to maintain its popularity in 2020 and beyond – for a number of reasons, including:

– The Power of App Creation – A few years ago, JavaScript only had the power to create applications for the front-end and later for the back-end. Nowadays, the language supports the ability to create desktop applications with Electron, a framework for creating native applications with other languages. This gives developers the power to create apps for back-end, front-end, desktop, and mobile. The creation of React Native, an open-source mobile application framework from Facebook, also empowered JavaScript to build cross-platform applications. With JavaScript and React Native, developers must only create an app for iOS, Android, and web once. Examples of JavaScript in practical use in apps such as these include WhatsApp, Discord, Skype, and Slack.

– Faster User Experience – JavaScript lives and runs directly in the browser and elsewhere. Developers who build with it are not just building modern web apps, but also applications for any platform or device. The client-side execution of the logic within this language ensures that loading times are minimal, making for enhanced user experience. Even including the presence of a server, JavaScript’s asynchronous nature means that it does not have to interrupt the user’s interactions in the front-end while communicating with the server in the background.

– Improved Web Design and UX/UI – JavaScript has always brought user interface activity to web applications since its beginning, but it now does the same for applications of all types. This helps create incredibly engaging user experiences for end-users, especially when paired with modern frameworks to bring animations or transitions to life. Responsive web design is of the utmost importance and popularity in 2020 as mobile traffic has increased by a whopping 222% over the last 5 years. By combining the power of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, developers are able to adapt their designs across multiple devices and browsers with only one codebase.

– Progressive Web Apps and Static Sites – PWAs have been growing more capable as the years have progressed, which means that many people will forgo downloading a native app and instead just visit the website. The web components associated with the PWAs are only going to continue to grow in popularity as well. These apps use JavaScript quite frequently to help improve their usability and performance. Static websites, such as Gatsby, Next.js, and Nuxt, are also becoming incredibly popular as a “back to basics” approach to website design – all of which utilize JavaScript.

The Importance of JavaScript

If a developer were to disable JavaScript for just one moment in a browser, everything would become a massive disaster. Major websites that rely heavily on the power of this programming language would not load or be functional at all really. This includes Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.

JavaScript is only going to continue to grow in popularity and use cases as the technology expands and evolves. In 2020 and beyond, JavaScript developers can expect to see fewer new tools to emerge while existing popular technologies mature. As newer and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, continue to evolve, JavaScript will undoubtedly find use cases within them as well.

It’s safe to say that JavaScript is a language that has proven its worth within the development community and will continue to be incredibly useful in 2020 and beyond.