Learn Javascript First

The front-end space over the last six years or so has really heated up, you could say superheated. As browsers become more powerful, devices continually improved and innovation a constant thing, no language is more popular and widely used than Javascript.

And yet, as learning resources have become more easily accessible and coding boot camps have become a thing, newcomers are being taught to lean on frameworks and libraries straight out of the gate.

This puts some newcomers into an interesting situation. They might have a good grasp of React or Vue, but lack basic fundamental knowledge of the language itself. It is all well and good to rely on a library, but the moment it can’t do something you want to do, you’re stuck.

While React and Vue might seem like safe bets, I can assure you that people said the same things about Knockout, ExtJS, AngularJS, jQuery and a whole list of other frameworks and libraries that have come and gone over the years.

People will tell you things are different these days, maybe they are. But what happens when Hype.js becomes the popular option and you’re forced to learn a new library with limited Javascript knowledge? You get left behind, that’s what happens.

The only constant is Javascript

The common theme here amongst these rising and falling trends when it comes to technology on the front-end is Javascript. While WebAssembly has high hopes of shifting some responsibility from Javascript, it will remain the number one choice for client-side scripting.

As tempting as it might be to learn React Hooks or try Vue 3, the more you rely on a tool and use it as a language crutch, the further you’re falling behind. Learn Javascript and the rest comes naturally.

If you are an experienced developer, you should be learning new frameworks and libraries, leverage your knowledge of Javascript to widen your skillset and pad out your C.V. If you’re a junior who graduates college or a coding boot camp, learn the language first.

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