JavaScript to do. This guide will help you

JavaScript programming is arguably the most
valuable tech skill in existence. Roughly 90% of websites rely on it for
browser interaction and the keyword “JavaScript” appears more on career sites
than any other programming language.

Learning general JavaScript is an essential
part of a front-end development career, but it takes more than that to
completely master the language. Approximately 70% of websites use one of
JavaScript’s many libraries — sets of pre-written JavaScript code programmers
can call on to allow easier development of JavaScript-based applications. These
libraries are valuable skills in and of themselves (and remember they are
different than frameworks).

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The only problem?  There are way too many of them to learn (more
than 50, although it’s hard to keep count; new ones keep springing up and
definition issues). You’ need to pick and prioritize depending on your career
goals and the kind of development you want to do.

This guide will help you do just that by
describing the purpose of each library and offering some quick resources for
how to learn it online.

Editorial Note: These resources are mostly
geared towards intermediate level learners with some advanced exceptions. You
should have basic knowledge of frontend development and JavaScript before
attempting to learn most of these libraries.

The Most Valuable Libraries


jQuery is the most valuable JavaScript library
because you can find it in 62% of websites and it is the JavaScript library of
choice 95% of the time. It mostly makes the following things much easier by
using an API that works across multiple browsers: HTML document traversal and
manipulation, event handling and AJAX.

Where to Learn:


Official jQuery Blog

Learning jQuery

Online Courses







Modernizr makes it easy to write conditional
JavaScript and CSS, which is useful for doing work where conditions vary from
browser to browser. It’s great at detecting features so you can do more of what
programmers call “progressive enhancement.”

Where to Learn:


It might not have a cool name like Modernizr,
but has still made its mark with companies and organizations
including NASA, Apple and IKEA. It works well with the Prototype framework and
has tools such as animation frameworks, drag and drop code options, AJAX
controls, DOM utilities and unit testing. Don’t know what any of these things
are? If not, maybe it’s time to learn.

Where to learn:



Backbone.js delivers on its name by giving web
applications a stronger structure and connecting to any existing APi via a
restful JSON interface. It does this by providing models with key-value binding
and custom events, collections with a multi-functional API and views with
declarative event handling. Again, you’ll have to dive into learning the
library before you can understand these terms in a concrete way.

Where to Learn:

Code School





The official Underscore.js website describes
it as the answer to the question: “If I sit down in front of a blank HTML page,
and want to start being productive immediately, what do I need?” Underscore.js
provides more than 100 functions to support crucial programming helpers such as
map, filter, and invoke. It works excellently with jQuery and Backbone, meaning
you should definitely learn it if you decide to tackle Backbone (jQuery goes
without saying because it’s become essential for any JavaScript developer).

Where to Learn:




The aptly named D3 (Data-Driven Documents) is
a tool for manipulating data-based documents by using frontend programming.
It’s all about visualizing the data so it becomes more useful and accessible.

Where to Learn:

Frontend Masters




Facebook and Instagram teamed up to create
React, a JavaScript library designed for building user interfaces. React works
well with model-view-controllers MVCs and Node.js, a popular JavaScript platform.

Where to Learn:


Online Courses



To become a true JavaScript master, your next
step will be tackling JavaScript frameworks, which can include libraries or at
least work with them. People often conflate frameworks and libraries, so
remember that libraries are static collections of functionalities you can draw
upon for various tasks while frameworks are a fluid set of tools — which
sometimes include libraries — that almost act as applications on their own and
can be modified to suit specific goals.




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