What is JavaScript and What Can it Do
Out of the Blue Blog

What is JavaScript and What Can it Do?

There’s a good reason why programming languages, like JavaScript, BASIC, and Python, are called “languages.” Just as spoken languages allow us to communicate with people from all over the world, programming languages allow us to communicate with our computers. More specifically, programming languages give us the “words” to instruct our computers to do certain things.

Each programming language comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, and just like spoken languages, some programming languages endure while others get replaced. Let’s talk about one that has endured for over 24 years, and one that is still universally used today: JavaScript.

What is JavaScript?

You may have never heard the word “JavaScript” before, but if you use the internet every day, you also use JavaScript every day. JavaScript is a programming language that actually runs inside your web browser, and works hand-in-hand with HTML, or the most basic language that gives websites structure, and CSS, which is what gives websites their color.

If you have some mastery of JavaScript, you can do all kinds of things, including:

  • Change how your website looks by manipulating HTML and CSS
  • Track the way users interact with your website, like what they click, type, and where they move their cursor
  • Communicate how users behave on your site to Google Analytics
  • Enable forms that require an email or phone number
  • Display pop-up messages, like a newsletter sign-up form
  • Pull data from third party websites like Facebook, Twitter and others

Any time you visit a website that asks you to sign up for its e-newsletter, any time you look at your business’s Google Analytics account, any time you’re confronted by a clever loading animation, you’re using JavaScript. JavaScript can even be used to make in-browser games, mobile apps, and allow certain drones to fly. If you know how to use it, JavaScript can be a powerful tool.

Supporting JavaScript With More Tools

Of course, JavaScript can’t do everything on its own. That’s why you need other tools, like HTML and CSS, to really give it life. However, if you want to push the limits more, there are tons of tools out there to help you really harness JavaScript’s potential.

jQuery

Using JavaScript can be long and tedious if you’re starting from scratch, but if you throw jQuery into the mix, your computer suddenly has a reference point for everything. You might want to make an outdated page automatically redirect to a new page. If you’re using just JavaScript, you’d have a lot to type so your computer understands what you want it to do. However, with jQuery, your computer can look up what you want and how to do it. It’s a library of powerful commands that you can build off of and reference.

JSON

JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a way to store and share data among websites in a way that both you and the computer can read. It’s cleaner than your basic JavaScript and it’s much quicker to use than other methods. Store and send data and share scripts easily. Simply put, it’s a way for websites to talk to one another.


Let Blue Laser Do the Talking

As the internet gets increasingly complex, and building websites and understanding data only becomes more difficult for the average person, you don’t want your business to be left behind. Give us a call; we can be your translator.

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