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3 Reasons Designers Should Learn to Code: JavaScript (or at least jQuery)

08/28/15, 9:34 AM
Alex Kastanas

JavaScript is a little bit more difficult of a coding language to learn than HTML and CSS, but just as necessary in understanding how websites function when designing for mobile, tablet and desktop. Plus, as a programming language, it is the easiest one to learn!

Read 3 Reasons Designers Should Learn to Code, the HTML & CSS edition>>

1. Simplicity

As programming languages are difficult to learn and master, JavaScript is definitely one of the easier ones to learn and you can quickly have a functional knowledge base. Comparable to C#, C++, Java, Swift, XAML, Ruby, Python, PHP, or any other programming language, JavaScript is a breeze. Here is a visual example on the simpler syntax of JavaScript vs. C#:


Besides the fact that it is easy to learn, JavaScript is also very easy to use. You do not need a specialized development environment, code compiler or local server to be able to run your custom JavaScript. You can move directly from a code editor, like Sublime, on your local machine to running the code in your browser just like HTML and CSS.

2. Functionality

The simplicity of JavaScript ties into how much of a functional language it is. JavaScript is prototype-based with first-class functions. It supports object-oriented, imperative and functional coding styles.

All this means is there is so much you can do with JavaScript. It is one of the three essential languages of the web and is very highly supported in the latest browsers. Any active logic on a webpage is created primarily through JavaScript (although CSS3 is doing some pretty interesting stuff in that realm!) which allows for pop ups, sliding menus, scroll-to-section/scroll-to-top buttons, live countdown timers, etc.

website-647013_6403. Versatility

Its versatility is my last reason behind why designers should learn JavaScript. JavaScript can be written for server side applications through Node.js, frontend development (you can even manipulate the DOM and create your own elements easily through Google’s Polymer Project), native mobile applications, desktop app extensions, and small electronic boards like the Espruino and Tessel.

In conclusion, if you are a designer that is VERY comfortable with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is your next step in bettering yourself. Having the opportunity to truly know how your designs are coming to life and being able to create them is a gift and a chance you can give to yourself!

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Topics: Coding, Web Design, Web Development

Alex Kastanas

Alex Kastanas