Why JavaScript Is Fullstack

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From Python to C++ to Ruby on Rails to Java there are so many programming languages, it can be hard to sort through which one is best to start with. Many newbies want to learn more than one. If you do try to do that in the beginning, you will be completely overwhelmed. I know that picking the “right” one can be really hard. It can make you feel like you made the wrong choice every time you see a posting for that one language that you *almost* picked.

You might look up what language commands the highest salary and choose that one for your starting point. I get it. Python looks and sounds really cool and marketable. Unfortunately, I have seen many newbies start with Python and then never make it to the end because it is just such a tough one to start with. It’s a balancing act because you really can’t learn everything at once and yet, you may need some pieces of language in order to fit everything together.

For example, you could spend months learning every HTML tag in existence, but that won’t help you get hired or add more value when you get on the job because in practice, developers don’t use every HTML tag. To learn HTML quickly, check out my tutorial-style podcast 20% of HTML for 80% effectiveness. Instead of learning a bunch of HTML tags you’ll never use, get up to speed on CSS or maybe some JavaScript. They are used for faster, more effective frontend implement than HTML which is used but more as a shell that holds everything together.

CSSGrid is one example of how CSS can be used really effective and replaces HTML tags. CSSGrid is used instead of HTML tables in a faster and more effective manner for page layouts. I’ve listed 3 resources that you can use to become fluent in CSSGrid — QUICKLY!

Watch this short one first.

This speech is the best I’ve seen on explaining the value of CSSGrid.

Use this one as your go-to resource guide when you have questions or come across a hurdle.

But if JavaScript is so powerful, why do we see so many “frontend” jobs listing JavaScript as the main language. Why don’t we see more fullstack positions with JavaScript? It’s hard to figure it all out when you are just getting started with development. Here is how it breaks down. “Vanilla” JavaScript or just plain ‘ol JavaScript is a frontend language. It’s not really fullstack by itself. But if you add on a framework like React, VueJS or Angular, you are getting much closer to a fullstack language. Throw in a little Node JS and some Mongodb and you have arrived at fullstack! Why? Because you are able to receive input from the user, process (or store) it on the backend and send information back to the user based on that input. That my friend, is fullstack!

So while Python and RoR and Java and C++ all have their benefits, if you are looking for the quickest path to becoming a fullstack developer, that path is looks something like this:

  1. 20% of HTML
  2. 20% of CSS (including CSS Grid)
  3. Vanilla JavaScript
  4. React JavaScript
  5. Node JS
  6. Mongodb

It’s so confusing out there to parse through what to do and where to go, I wanted to lay out just one straightforward path for you. I know there are others. You could ask ten developers what the right path is for a newbie and you’ll probably get 10 different responses. I don’t have Python experience so consider that my exposure to it is in regards to newbies in our youaretechy community testing it out and sharing their experiences. I have coded in C++, Java+ and RoR and I can tell you that JavaScript React is easier but on par with those languages.

So use this path I’ve set out if it’s helpful, or pick your own. As always, though, decide! Learning more than one language at a time will slow down your getting hired time. It’s really and truly best to learn one language thoroughly. You’ll see that picking up a second language or a third after you really know one, is MUCH faster. It’s hard to separate out what you need to know from what you don’t so I hope this have been helpful getting you well on your way!

You are Techy founder, technology learning coach, bringing women to tech, tech mamma.

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