The world of programming is undergoing major trend shifts for the recent few years. It wouldn’t be too far from reality to say that what came to be known as a plaything for programmers earlier on has quickly transformed into the most potent medium of programming in today’s world. Yes, I’m talking about JavaScript.

While there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not JavaScript will continue to retain its popularity in the coming years, it is safe to say that it has become the “go-to” language for programmers across the world. There’s something unique about JavaScript that sets it apart from its peers. This (pun intended) is probably the biggest reason why it has gained so much popularity in the past decade and is continuing to do so in this one. With 2020 halfway through, the first few months have given a clear picture so as to the growing popularity of JavaScript.

The Origin and Development of JavaScript

So, before we get into what is making JavaScript stand so tall, we have to take a look at its origin and development. You know what they say about history being the best teacher and blah blah. So, when was JavaScript formed? Well, back in the day when the internet was just getting started and there was a browser war brewing between Netscape and Microsoft to reach the market first, a visionary (yeah, I like calling him that, don’t judge me), Brendan Eich from NetScape built a lightweight scripting language formerly referred to as Mocha, which is today known as JavaScript (you see why I called him a visionary!) 

Netscape Navigator

So, essentially, JavaScript was always intended to be a go-between, an intermediary, a stop-gap solution for the browser. No one ever aimed to make it the formal or even standard web language.  But as fate would have it, the Mozilla Foundation obtained its code from AOL (who had acquired NetScape). This was the turning point in the career of JavaScript. Almost like an awkward teenager who blooms into a successful and suave adult.

But this entire process wasn’t an overnight turn of events. I mean, even back in 2010, many elitist programmers wouldn’t give JavaScript the light of day. It was almost a crutch only used for extremely advanced scope of work that needed a mighty budget like Google Maps, Gmail, etc. 

Cut to 2020, a new decade of JavaScript has emerged. It has earned its place as the nucleus of the world of programming. And don’t take my word for it. Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey shows exactly how popular this language has been amongst programmers all over the world. It has been voted the most commonly (they mean popularly, really) used programming language across the globe over six consecutive years. 

Who’s A Good Boy? JAVASCRIPT! Why is He A Good Boy?

So, now that we’ve covered a little about the background of JavaScript and how it came to be, maybe, let’s move on to more pressing topics: What was the key factor that contributed to the global popularity enjoyed by JavaScript today? Well, honestly, actually there are 3 things that have made JavaScript the present and the future of programming. 

Node.js quite literally turned the tables for JavaScript. So, initially, JavaScript wasn’t allowed to hang with the cool guys of programming because its capabilities were limited to creating awesome animations. That’s it. C was the weapon of choice because its purview of capabilities was a lot bigger. But Node.js changed everything of the past. 


Basically, what Node.js did was give JavaScript the power equivalent to any other programming language. What’s more, JavaScript is easy to self learn. This really hit it off with many programmers who did not want to go to elite programming schools and what not. 

So, typically, the three players used to create the front end are HTML, CSS, and, yours truly, JavaScript. But with the help of Node.js, programmers could work the back end with it too. Thanks to the Node Package Manager, JavaScript became a completely open-source, so JavaScript development can virtually have an endless scope. Everyone can create their own new version of JavaScript. 

Another extremely critical aspect of JavaScript (that none of the others have) is the fact that you can run JavaScript inside your browser. I guess Facebook was one of the first ones to realize they had struck gold on this with React.js. So, they created the ‘Single Page Web Application’. This truly created ripples across the web world because it eased the process of communication between servers almost entirely. A one time request is all that is needed for a user to navigate the entire webpage. 

But, since I’m on this topic, it wouldn’t be fair to miss mentioning Vue.js and Angular.js which are very similar to React.js. But in all fairness, my experience has always been the best with React.js.

Coming to React Native and Electron. So, what’s the big deal about these babies? Well, no one wants to limit their user experience to a nice web app. What people need today is the ability to create mobile apps. A quick call back to how JavaScript became open source, it also ensured that developers came up with React Native and Electron to help create mobile apps. 

React native

React Native essentially allows people to create their own apps (yeah you need to know JavaScript, obviously) in iOS and Android. React Electron does the same for you with desktop applications. Pretty cool stuff, huh? No wonder the future of front end development, mobile development, and all sorts of development rests in the cozy laps of JavaScript.

The Biggest Advantages of Working with JavaScript

Yeah Yeah, you’ve heard it all before, but since you are on this blog post anyway, trying to figure out why JavaScript is the hottest thing for this decade, you’ve got to look at the advantages of working with JavaScript.

1. There’s a little something for everyone in it

JavaScript consists of multiple components, implementing different procedural paradigm as well as oop models and functional patterns. This mixed bag makes sure that every kind of developer finds something or the other for themselves. The other thing is, JavaScript is easy to self learn. This is why developers the world over turn to it. But of course, if you are an entrepreneur trying to build your own brand’s online identity, you might want to hire a bunch of developers who have experience in working with this kind of stuff. But if you are looking to learn it yourself, here’s a handbook that could help. 

2. Scalability

This is perhaps the most important feature that any developer (and entrepreneur who owns the site) looks for in their coding language. JavaScript is extremely scalable. Since it is so lightweight, it can be scaled horizontally with little or no effort. 

3. Asynchronous

Unlike other programming languages that use threads to block operations, JavaScript uses callbacks and promises to do this. Threads are typically very messy and difficult to write and then debug, of course. JavaScript definitely gives the user more control over their own code and the way they want to handle the execution. 

4. Active User Community

Do you know what the biggest advantage of working with a popular language is? There is a very active community online that is available for any and all kinds of queries. The discussion boards are particularly interesting because there you’d find other JavaScript enthusiasts talking about various ideas, the future, and their experiences in working with JavaScript. 

5. Simplicity

In this chaotic world, where a lot of things don’t make any sense, wouldn’t it be nice to have a piece of state of the art technology that is simple to learn and execute? Well, JavaScript is just that. The symphony amid the chaos that is technology. 

6. Interoperable

This has got to be my favorite point. The ability to work with JavaScript in congruence with other languages has become very important in today’s times. Say you are a developer looking to help a client with a massive project that involves websites, mobile apps, and whatnot, and then it might be useful to work with a language that can be operated with other languages to build a seamless and beautiful final product. 

A Couple of Sour Points

You know, even angels have a few flaws here and there. So, JavaScript has a couple of sour points too (it is still my favorite though). I’ll just rip the band-aid off and tell you about them:

1. Browser Support

Sometimes, JavaScript can be interpreted differently by different browsers. This difference can be a major issue when it comes to writing cross-browser code. But this isn’t something that isn’t rectifiable. Basically, it just requires a little bit of experience. If you’ve practiced with JS for quite some time, this should not be something that should bother you.

2. Difficulty in Debugging

Okay, I’m only going to say this once and deny having said it at all if asked again: there is no debugging facility in JS which makes it hard for even experienced developers to track and debug the problems. The browser doesn’t prompt any error, so it might take forever for the developer to find the issue. This is perhaps the only thing that its peers like C/C++ are better at. 

What Does The Future Hold?

2020 hasn’t particularly been a pleasant year, so to speak. But apocalypse level contagion aside, we’ve begun this decade with ideas in our minds and JavaScript in our hands. You know what happens to bored developers, don’t you? They code. So, the whole lockdown has almost acted as a catalyst in the world of development and coding. 

But will this entire decade sweep by JavaScript? Or is the future of front end JavaScript development come to a standstill? While there can be significant growth estimated in the field of technology, nothing as big as JavaScript is likely to enter the market by 2030 to blow this out of the water completely. I could even go to the extent of saying that in all likeliness, JavaScript might be reigning supreme even during the 2030s. 

React has been popular right since its outset and one can say with a fairly decent amount of certainty that TypeScript too has gained a lot of traction. Unfortunately, I’m not so sure about Vue. You know, it doesn’t really bring anything different to the table. So, if there are people using it, they will probably not continue to for a very long time. 

To understand whether or not JavaScript will be able to hold onto its anchor, elements like TensorFlow.js have to come to play. Basically, this decade is all set up to be ruled by Artificial Intelligence. So, if there is a tool like TensorFlow that can help in building neural flows it is surely something that people are going to be after. 

Language preference

Quick Aside From the Blind Fortune Teller

You know how I feel about making predictions. I feel like I’m the blind fortune teller from Gotham who only seems to make predictions that are for his own benefit, until his last, biggest, and most important prediction about his loony son comes true. So, if you don’t agree with what I say, well, go easy, okay. It’s hard to make predictions about 10 years in technology. Nothing in this field is constant. What we’ve discussed here is based on the current trends. If something that no one in the market knows about just appears magically overnight, well, you can burn this post down and find me poring over that new bit of technology. 

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