If you’re interested in becoming a front or back-end web developer, it’s vital you understand the industry-standard use of this format. The good news is that it can be learned in a matter of hours, and works in tandem with your existing knowledge of programming languages. Continue reading to learn more about how JSON is used in context, and why and how you need to know it.
Since its creation in 2001 by Douglas Crockford, JSON has been adapted by ECMA international as the standard means for storing and transferring information. As an open standard file format, JSON uses human-readable text to transmit data objects between clients, like a web application or browser and servers.
JSON is not the only data serialization format a developer might run into. Also commonly used is YAML, a subset of JSON, which differs by supporting comments, while its parent format does not. Extensible Markup Language (XML) can also be used to describe structured data and serialize objects. Some key features XML offers that JSON does not is the ability to separate “data” from “metadata” via elements and attributes and support of comments. However, attributes in XML can only have a single value and appear once on each element and XML values act as strings of characters with no built-in type safety.
JSON supports the following data types: string, number, object (name-value pair), array, boolean or null. Below is a sample JSON object with proper syntax from CodeAcademy:
Below, we’ve broken down the top reasons you should consider adding JSON to your developer toolbox.
As stated above, developers can brush up on the JSON format through any number of free online resources. If you’re looking for a holistic programming education, you might consider a coding bootcamp. These courses provide streamlined instruction in job-critical skills and can prepare you for a new career in just a few weeks or months at a low cost. Many of these programs incorporate JSON into their curriculum so take a moment to browse our bootcamps and see if any could be right for your needs!