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Two Question Marks Javascript: Javascript Explained

Table of Contents

In today’s modern world of web development and software engineering, most professionals have encountered the powerful programming language known as JavaScript. Whether an experienced programmer or a beginner trying to learn, understanding the basics of JavaScript is essential to writing effective and secure code. In this article, we will look at the basics of JavaScript to provide you with the foundational knowledge needed before diving into the more complex aspects of development with the language. We will discuss what JavaScript is, how it works, and look at important concepts such as functions, variables, data types, operators, control flow statements and more.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a high-level programming language primarily used for client-side scripting on webpages. It runs in the web browser and is used to add interactivity to websites. As a client-side scripting language, it does not require a separate server-side technology to be installed and can be directly embedded or integrated within HTML or other documents. Website visitors do not need to install any additional software to access the elements created with JavaScript.

JavaScript is a versatile language and can be used to create a wide range of applications, from simple web page animations to complex web applications. It is also used to create mobile applications and desktop applications. JavaScript is a popular language and is used by many web developers to create interactive websites and applications.

How Does JavaScript Work?

JavaScript is an event-driven language, meaning it is designed to respond to specific events or user actions. By detecting when a user interacts with the website (such as clicking buttons, dragging elements, and entering text input) JavaScript can provide dynamic content to the user and update the HTML in real-time.

JavaScript is also used to create interactive webpages, allowing users to interact with the page in a variety of ways. For example, JavaScript can be used to create games, animations, and other interactive elements. JavaScript can also be used to create forms, allowing users to submit information to the website. Finally, JavaScript can be used to create dynamic content, such as displaying the current time or date.

Functions and Variables in JavaScript

Functions in JavaScript are defined blocks of code that can be executed over and over again within the application. Functions wrap around pieces of code that perform a specific task so that they can be reused without having to repeat themselves throughout the code. By taking advantage of functions and variables in JavaScript, developers can write less code and make their applications more maintainable. Variables are concepts used in programming to store data that can be used later. Variables can take different forms depending on the data type associated with them (discussed below). When coding in JavaScript, variables must be assigned values before they can be used within functions.

Primitive Data Types in JavaScript

JavaScript is a loosely typed language, meaning that variables do not need to hold a specific data type. Data types in JavaScript include strings (a sequence of characters that represent text data), numbers (positive or negative integer and floating point numbers), boolean (true or false values), null (no value), and undefined.

Operators in JavaScript

Operators are symbols used in programming languages to perform mathematical, logical, and comparison operations on values. In JavaScript, operators are used to compare two values, mathematical calculations, and manipulate boolean values. Examples of operators that can be used in coding in JavaScript include comparison (>, <, ==), arithmetic (+, -, *), logical (&&, ||, !), assignment (=), bitwise (|, &), and unary (!).

Control Flow Statements in JavaScript

Control flow statements are used to execute pieces of code conditionally or repeat them multiple times for a given set of conditions. Examples of control flow statements used in JavaScript include if/else statements (executes a piece of code only if a certain condition is true), switch statements (executes one statement from multiple choices based on a condition), for/while loops (repeats a statement a defined number of times or until a condition is true), break/continue statements (used to exit or resume a loop) and try/catch statements (used for error handling).

Debugging and Error Handling with JavaScript

Regardless of how experienced you are as a programmer, debugging and error handling are important skills to have when developing applications using JavaScript. An effective debugging workflow requires using the right tools and techniques to find the location and cause of errors within the code. Common techniques include logging out values to the console, using breakpoints to pause execution of the code, writing test cases to isolate different parts of the code, and using built-in debugging tools within an IDE.

Working with Objects in JavaScript

Objects are crucial concepts used in programming languages to store related data as properties of an object. In other words, an object is like a “box” where you can store data related to a certain subject. Objects are very useful to store related data because they provide flexibility and structure when working with large data sets. In JavaScript, objects can be created using either object literals or object constructors.

Arrays and Loops in JavaScript

Arrays are collections of data which can be used to store multiple values without creating individual variables for each value. Arrays are particularly useful for storage and retrieval of data because values can easily be accessed by their index position. Loops are another crucial concept for every programmer as they allow iterating over data collections such as arrays or objects. By using loops, developers can write less code and increase maintainability by avoiding repetition.

Modules and Classes in JavaScript

Modules in JavaScript are used for organizing or “bundling up” functions, objects, classes and variables so that they can be re-used throughout the application. Modules are usually written as individual files that bring together different elements need for the application such as variables, classes, functions, objects and more. Classes in JavaScript are also useful for organizing code into sections that have similar attributes or behaviors. Often times large applications have hundreds of lines of code which makes classes important in order to keep code organized and split into manageable modules.

Using Libraries and APIs with JavaScript

Using libraries and APIs with JavaScript can greatly extend the functionality of applications created with the language by providing additional methods, objects and classes that developers can take advantage of. Libraries such as jQuery and ReactJS provide developers with shortcuts for writing common code such as AJAX requests or manipulating documents through the DOM.

Security Considerations for JavaScript Development

Security is an important aspect of developing web applications. As with any technology that interacts with user inputs or sensitive data it is important to take extra measures to protect your application from being vulnerable to attacks. This includes understanding SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), open redirects and more.

Popular Frameworks for Developing with JavaScript

The use of frameworks for web development is becoming increasingly popular due to the convenience it provides for developers when creating applications. Frameworks such as AngularJS, ReactJS and VueJS offer an easy way for developers to structure their code and get up-and-running quickly with application development.

The Future of JavaScript

JavaScript has come a long way since its creation in 1995. Today it still remains one of the most popular programming languages for web development due to its simple syntax and powerful features. As we look forward into the future, it’s certain that more enhancements will be made to the language, opening up new possibilities for developers.

Sarang Sharma

Sarang Sharma

Sarang Sharma is Software Engineer at Bito with a robust background in distributed systems, chatbots, large language models (LLMs), and SaaS technologies. With over six years of experience, Sarang has demonstrated expertise as a lead software engineer and backend engineer, primarily focusing on software infrastructure and design. Before joining Bito, he significantly contributed to Engati, where he played a pivotal role in enhancing and developing advanced software solutions. His career began with foundational experiences as an intern, including a notable project at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, to develop an assistive website for the visually challenged.

Written by developers for developers

This article was handcrafted with by the Bito team.

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