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Why Is JavaScript So Popular?

JavaScript has gained enormous popularity worldwide in its more than a quarter-century of existence. So, what makes this programming language so popular?
Daniel Zacharias

Daniel Zacharias

June 30, 2022
JavaScript most popular programming language programmers

In 2021, JavaScript was named the most commonly used programming language in Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey for the ninth year. 

Released in 1995, JavaScript has gained enormous popularity worldwide in its more than a quarter-century of existence. Many of the most significant and noteworthy companies — Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, PayPal, LinkedIn, Spotify, and Uber, for example — use the language. You’d be hard-pressed to find a company that deals with the development of any kind that doesn’t have JavaScript in its stacks. 

So, what makes JavaScript so popular?

First things first: What does JavaScript do?

JavaScript is primarily used to make websites and applications interactive. Alongside HTML and CSS, which are structure and style languages, respectively, it is fundamental to building a user-friendly and visually appealing product. But JavaScript takes this a step further, making it lively and functional. It applies to various elements we so often take for granted, from drop-down menus to short animation clips to forms.

Today, JavaScript is a client-side and server-side programming language. It is also applied to projects aside from websites, such as games and mobile apps. 

Six reasons why developers love JavaScript

It’s user-friendly.

JS is flexible and easy to use. A web browser is the only thing you need to access its impressive features — no downloading necessary. It’s already installed so that you can get to programming immediately.

Moreover, practically anyone can pick it up quickly. It’s accessible to beginners, intermediate users, and advanced developers alike. It won’t take long for even newbie programmers to learn it, especially when comparing it to many other languages, even enormously popular ones. In addition, it will allow programmers to build many other skills necessary for accessing other languages. This is why it’s so frequently the first development language coders learn.

A vast community supports it.

JavaScript has longevity. During its more than 2.5 decades of existence, the language has grown into a vast, impressive community, with resources on Stack Overflow, Hackernoon, and language-specific sites. For developers at all levels, having access to fellow programmers can be enormously helpful for troubleshooting, guidance, and tips. You can learn a lot from others in the JavaScript community and receive support as you tackle new projects and meet challenges head-on.

Moreover, a wealth of resources makes JavaScript development a breeze. Popular libraries and frameworks for the language include:

  • Angular
  • Animate On Scroll
  • D3
  • Ember
  • Express
  • jQuery
  • Lodash
  • Phonegap
  • React

It creates outstanding products.

Without JavaScript, we would be left with static products that aren’t all that exciting. As we have noted, the open-source language plays a fundamental role in bringing web pages, applications, and more to life. 

While web pages and websites are the most common applications for the language, JavaScript also aids the development of products. This includes games, blockchain tools, cloud-based technologies, and mobile apps, thanks to the many frameworks that facilitate and streamline programming. We can use it in products incorporating significant advances like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

JavaScript is also taking companies of all kinds to new heights. Thanks to its many exceptional qualities, it is an essential tool in digital transformation and acceleration, bringing businesses into a new age of technology.

It is high performance.

Speed is king when it comes to software and web development. The days when users are willing to wait minutes for pages to load are long gone. Fortunately, JavaScript is a high-performance language that loads and runs with fantastic speed, right within the client browser. Compared with many of its peer languages, JS is ultra-fast — a critical quality in any digital product and one that can make or break its very success.

It runs everywhere.

Why is JavaScript so ubiquitous? One primary reason is that it can run everywhere.

The language runs on all major browsers: Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Edge — and even some lesser-known browsers, too. This means code compilation is not necessary before executing the language. Remember: it’s already in your browser. Plus, it functions on both the client-side and server-side. 

JavaScript also runs on many devices, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. The programming language, in other words, is everywhere — it is truly all around us.

It speeds up delivery.

Reducing time to market is critical when you’re working in the technology space. Tech, unfortunately, becomes outdated quickly, and if you don’t deliver your products in the shortest period possible, you could miss the boat entirely. Moreover, you need to stay ahead of your competitors. 

JavaScript reduces time to market. Businesses can now quickly and efficiently deliver high-quality programs, websites, apps, and other products. This is possible thanks to JavaScript’s intuitive structure, simplicity, ease of use, and the many tools developers have to aid programming efforts. It ensures they stay ahead of the curve. 

JavaScript: a true powerhouse

Expressive. Ubiquitous. Productive. Easy to learn and use. Widely applicable. However, JavaScript can be described in many other ways as well.

By now, it should be no surprise that JavaScript has become the most popular programming language in the world. Wherever you look, you’ll see evidence across companies and industries, from education to finance to healthcare.

If you’re a business leader, chances are, you need highly skilled JavaScript developers on staff. You can’t progress without using the language if you’re working in technology. And suppose you’re a developer, well. In that case, you won’t advance in your career without knowing the language, no matter your specialty or area of expertise. But given the available resources and the accessibility of the language, this should hardly present a problem. 

JavaScript is already a robust and trendy language, showing no sign of slowing down. It’s still growing in use and maturing as a language — and we can see by now that it’s undoubtedly here to stay.

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