How to Learn JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the major backbones that powers the world wide web. The programming language is one of the most sought after and widely used skills for any tech professional. Every web page you visit that has the capability to display more than just static information (think interactive elements, graphics, videos and more), you have JavaScript to thank.
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If you’re an aspiring developer, JavaScript can truthfully be hard to avoid. It’s definitely one of the many skills you’ll want in your toolbox to advance in your career. In this article, we’re taking a look at the types of career paths available to JavaScript experts and the best methods and places around the web to learn the coding language. 

Why Learn JavaScript?

Beyond its many use cases across web-based platforms, here are a few more reasons to consider mastering JavaScript

  • It’s Easy to Learn – With a syntax that closely mirrors English, one can quickly comprehend the rules and best practices for JS and start writing their own code. JavaScript also runs directly in a browser, making setup a breeze
  • It’s Universal – The language can be used for mobile applications, desktop programs and across all major browsers, like Chrome and Firefox
  • It’s (extremely) popular – In fact, JavaScript is considered the world’s most popular programming language. In a survey conducted by Stack Overflow, 69.7 percent of 90,000 developers polled cited it as their most-used language. Plus, with more than 25 years of existence under its belt, there’s now a wide community of experienced developers available to new users for support and numerous online resources. 
  • It’s Fast – Following a 2008 update, JavaScript is now the fastest dynamic programming language
  • It’s Versatile – Play audio and video, use drop down menus, create visual animations and web pages. These are just a few of JavaScript’s essentially limitless use cases. Whether you find yourself working as  a back-end or front-end developer, or in a field like UX Design or Data Analytics, you’ll likely find a reason to incorporate JavaScript into your life. 

Is JavaScript a Programming Language?

Yes, JavaScript is a programming language, just like Python, R or Java. To get specific, JavaScript is a scripting language. Scripts are small pieces of a program that automate tasks. JS is interpreted, which means the code is not compiled and that JS files (called .js) can be embedded in HTML code using <script> tag

JavaScript Salaries

As you can see, JavaScript is widely used across the tech industry and professionals with the ability to utilize the language are in high demand. A recent report by HackerRank found that 53.6 percent of employers are looking for individuals with JavaScript skills, but only 42 percent of student developers consider themselves proficient in the language. According to Indeed, the average salary for a JavaScript Developer in the U.S. is $113,671, well above average for the industry! Gaining just a few years of experience or working in major population centers and tech corridors can cause this amount to rise even more. Overall, JavaScript is a great skill to learn for those looking for a well-paying, high-growth career. 


The Top Ways to Learn JavaScript

A great aspect to learning JavaScript and the greater coding community is that everyone’s educational journey is different. More than ever before, the internet has equitized the means of mastering a new skill and you’ll find that a traditional four-year degree is far from the only path to becoming a JavaScript expert. As you begin to set your own course, consider factors like your optimal learning style, time commitment and the scope of what you want to know to help you decide which learning method is right for you. 


Online Courses

Probably the most popular option, online coding courses offer an excellent mix of flexibility, variety and financial commitment. Courses can range in price from totally free to several thousands of dollars, depending on how long they last and the degree to which their instructor-led versus self taught. A great place to start is by checking out the offerings on major and well-trusted course repository websites like Udemy and EdX. These course marketplaces typically work with accredited academic institutions and verify the course content. 

If you’re looking to level up quickly, this can be a great option as many courses can get you started with at least the basics in a matter of days, weeks or months. Many paid offerings also include lifetime access to materials, so you can go back and reference videos and tutorials when you need them. Given the endless options available online, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite free programs to start with below! 


Coding Bootcamps

For a total amateur looking for a holistic tech education, a Coding Bootcamp could be your best option. These intensive programs are designed to equip students with all the coding and technical skills they need for a job in coding or web development. Ranging from 10 to 36 weeks, and with the ability to take them in a part or full-time capacity, bootcamps require a major time and financial commitment. However, unlike courses, you’ll receive a comprehensive instructor-led education and professional perks like networking opportunities and resume review and interview prep.

On average, Coding bootcamps can cost $15,000 or more, and can be taken in-person or online. JavaScript might be one of the many skills taught in these intensive courses, which could also include additional languages like HTML/CSS and Python, frameworks and libraries and databases. Ultimately, determining whether a coding bootcamp is worth it is a personal decision and students should think carefully about their goals and circumstances to answer this question. However, if you want to break into the tech field and do not have experience or education in coding or JavaScript, coding bootcamps are an excellent path to achieving this goal.



Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is best. Don’t overlook the thousands of print titles that can offer practical advice and insights into the world of JavaScript. Books are great for reaching specific groups of learners such as kids, total beginners looking for a complete understanding and even advanced coders wanting to brush up on expert techniques. A few of our favorites include:

  • You Don’t Know JS: Up & Going by Kyle Simpson – The “You Don’t Know JS” book series, specializes in helping readers gain a more complete understanding of JavaScript, including trickier parts of the language that many experienced JavaScript programmers simply avoid.
  • Learn JavaScript VISUALLY by Ivelin Demirov – A book aimed at visual learners who need to start slow. Full color illustrations help readers remember important concepts, with interactive exercises that work on PC, Mac and tablets. 
  • Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke – Author Marijn Haverbeke immerses readers in example code from the start, with exercises and full-chapter projects that give hands-on experience with writing programs. A truly comprehensive guide, plus, source code is available online in an interactive sandbox, where you can edit the code, run it, and see its output instantly.


Self-Guided Study

For the tech-minded or those with some background experience, the best course of action might be to cobble together your own curriculum using the learning methods  above. You can find hours upon hours of tutorials on Youtube, alongside free courses and classes and even in-person and online meetups and networking events to supplement your learning.

Above all, coding is a “learn by doing” skill, so assembling your own portfolio of projects through trial and error is one of the best ways to truly master JavaScript. Luckily, we’ve got you covered on that front: here are the 20 Best Javascript Projects for Beginners, all totally free and broken out by framework. These projects instruct in fundamental JS skills and offer finished coding examples to study. Not only will playing around with these interactive projects reinforce key JS skills you need to know, but it can also be more rewarding and fun than watching a video or reading a tutorial! Plus, the finished products can serve the purpose of filling out your personal portfolio. As you level up your abilities and progress to more challenging tasks, recruiters and other interested parties can see how you’ve incorporated advanced techniques over time.


Best Free JavaScript Courses and Online Resources

Taking on learning a new coding language and devoting yourself to a tech career can be a monumental task. It’s best to break it up into smaller chunks and explore the topic first before diving in. For this reason, you might want to start with a free JavaScript tutorial or course before devoting your time and money to a bootcamp or more comprehensive paid program. Even if you don’t see a tech career in your future, learning JavaScript can be an excellent hobby or useful side-skill to building your own website or app! 

Start here with these reputable and helpful free courses and providers! 


This is one of the largest online learning platforms, offering free courses from more than 200 partner institutions, including top-tier schools like the University of Michigan and Yale, and major corporations like Google and IBM. Their vast catalog offers all types of courses for web and fullstack developers, including tutorials and courses specific to JavaScript! 


This provider partners with world-class institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Georgia Tech to offer courses that run anywhere from six weeks to six months. Most classes can be taken for free, with an optional paid “verified” track that offers unlimited access to course materials, graded assignments and a shareable certificate upon completion. 


If sitting through a lecture or youtube video sounds too boring for you, check out this provider, which is powered entirely by its own users. Community members create coding challenges called “kata” (a martial arts term) and students earn ranks and honors as they correctly solve these increasingly complex coding problems. Beyond JavaScript (of course), the library of languages offered is one of the most comprehensive, including 25 lesser-used languages in beta. 


This non-profit offers ten core developer certifications, each requiring students to build five web app projects, with the option to complete hundreds of additional coding challenges as needed. Each course takes approximately 300 hours to complete and more than 40,000 students have earned certifications, with alumni landing at corporations like Apple, Google and Microsoft. 

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial 

This is a well-structured tutorial in the form of a series of articles. It starts from scratch, with setting up code editors and manuals and moves into JS fundamentals, debugging, object-oriented concepts and more. Three modules combine seven different units of instruction, each containing multiple examples and hands-on practice problems. 

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