What Is JavaScript?

If you’re in the tech industry, chances are that you’ve run into javascript at one point or another. In fact, javascript is one of the three backbone elements that make up web development. Once you have your structure (HTML) and aesthetic vibes (CSS), javascript comes in to make your project dynamic.

The most common use of javascript is to make websites and web applications more interactive. For example, when a website visitor clicks on a button or typed in text, that interaction triggers a piece of code that changes the site’s behavior. In some cases, this can involve changing HTML element attributes and even creating new ones.

In addition, javascript can help users to interact with APIs (Application Programming Interface) that are remotely accessible over the Internet. These APIs are functions that software developers leave open so that other developers can access and implement them within their software. For instance, if you see a Twitter feed on a webpage, that is a javascript function communicating with the API that generates the Tweets.

JavaScript can also be used to create and manipulate DOM (Document Object Model) elements, which are the building blocks of a web page. These include things like images, videos, text, and links. This allows for dynamic changes to a web page without reloading or redirecting the user to another page. For example, a website can display real-time stock or crypto prices using a javascript function that connects to an API and updates the data on the page without reloading the entire webpage.

A lot of javascript happens behind the scenes. It is interpreted by the browser’s Javascript interpreter and then translated into machine code, which is then executed in memory. This process is referred to as Just-In-Time compilation. When a program is run, the browser’s Javascript interpreter keeps track of the order of function calls by using something called a call stack. The call stack also keeps a record of what variable is being accessed.

The best way to understand javascript is by thinking about the web apps and services you use on a daily basis. You probably take certain features for granted, such as your Facebook timeline automatically updating on your screen or Google suggesting search terms based on the first few letters you start typing. These are a result of javascript running in the background.

You can also think of javascript as the “glue” that holds together all of the other elements on your favorite websites and mobile apps. Without javascript, the structure of your website would be static and would not respond to the actions of users. For this reason, a full understanding of the language is essential for every developer. If you’re ready to learn more about javascript, check out our free guide here. This will give you a solid foundation to start coding in the language today!