For Aspiring Programmers

Learn JavaScript.

For anyone wanting to become a programmer, here are six reason to consider JavaScript:

  1. Javascript runs in every web browser — the whole internet is your dev environment.
  2. jQuery is never going to go away… and if it does it will be replaced with an even more awesome javascript library (or an evolved version of JavaScript, like ES6 or ES7).
  3. Server-side coding can be done in javascript using NodeJS.
  4. Desktop applications in Windows can be written in WinJS.
  5. Cross platform — Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows — desktop applications can be written in JavaScript using Electron.
  6. Regardless of whether Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile wins the mobile O/S war, none of them will drop support for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

JavaScript isn’t the be-all, end-all language (there is a reason the top Computer Science programs start their freshmen on Python).  It’s an easy language to hate (can’t do financial math reliably!) and if you’re a seasoned web programmer you doubtless have war stories about the several times JavaScript has bitten you in the backside.

But despite its warts and performance issues, JavaScript will be around forever. Long after COBOL, Java, and C# have gone the way of the dinosaur, JavaScript will live on.