Coding Languages Demystified: From HTML to JavaScript

building web developer skills

There is a seemingly endless number of coding languages out there, with more and more being developed and rolled out each day. With so many different languages to learn, it can be challenging to know how to begin to become a developer or front-end designer.

While the specific languages you need to learn greatly depends on what field and role you want to pursue, there are a few necessary languages you should start with if you are looking into how to become a web designer or programmer. To demystify the various coding languages and frameworks you should learn, here are the top few, from HTML to jQuery:

Coding Langauges Demystified: From HTML to JavaScript, by @LarCavezz Click To Tweet

HTML/ CSS

While not a programming language (it’s actually a “markup language”—a set of markup symbols and codes), HTML is the foundation for creating web pages and applications. Essentially, it describes how content should be presented on a page. When used in conjunction with CSS (the markup language for adding style to web pages), you can not only create a basic website, but design it as well. Though not an official coding language, HTML and CSS are certainly two of the main front-end web developer skills you need to know.

JavaScript

Learning JavaScript is essential if you hope to enter into web design, development, or other related fields. Essentially, JavaScript allows you to make your website interactive. If you’re having difficulty imagining how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript come together for a front-end developer, consider them in terms of sentence structure. HTML is the noun—the subject that the sentence is all about, CSS is the adjective, dressing up that noun to make it more attractive, and JavaScript is the verb—the interactions and animations on the website.

But JavaScript isn’t just for front-end developers. JavaScript is supported by every major browser and is one of the only languages created for both the server (back-end) and client-side (front-end), it’s one of the most useful and versatile web development skill sets out there. It’s not just a recommended language to learn— any experts say it’s imperative that you learn it. JavaScript is a crucial part of every modern web developer’s language toolkit.

HTML is the noun, CSS is the adj, and JavaScript is the verb, says @LarCavezz Click To Tweet

Ruby on Rails

The creator of Ruby said he created this programming language as a way to “make programmers happy.” While not designed for use on the web, Ruby was simply designed to make programming more straightforward and fun. Rails—a web application framework designed to work within the Ruby language—was created in order to then make Ruby accessible on the web.

This means that, while you can be fine just knowing the Ruby language, most companies aren’t going to hire you to solely write in Ruby—they want you to know Rails as well. If you’re still new to the coding world, Ruby on Rails (RoR) is one of the best languages for beginners to learn as it’s a high-level language, rather than low-level languages like C. You’re dealing with higher levels of abstraction, so you don’t have to worry about low-level things like memory allocation, garbage collection, and semicolons. In theory, your code will be more about the actual task at hand, rather than specific details about how computers function.

Coding in #RubyonRails means more focus on the actual task at hand, says @LarCavezz Click To Tweet

jQuery

Once you’ve learned JavaScript and HTML, you might be ready for jQuery. As jQuery is a library of present JavaScript tasks, it makes programming in JavaScript easier, faster, and more engaging. Instead of writing extensive lines of code, you can use jQuery shortcuts to drastically change the way you write JavaScript. jQuery is an extremely common library (meaning, as a web developer, you’ll probably have to work with it eventually), which makes a bunch of common tasks in the browser more easy to do. While it will take your coding skills to the next level, it will also be extremely useful.

These are just a few of the programming and markup languages you will want to know if you want to become a front or back-end web developer. Research the jobs you want to hold and fields you want to enter to discover which languages to prioritize and what else you might want to add to your coding repertoire. In this fast-paced, competitive market, it’s best to be knowledgeable in many areas while having one or two languages of expertise to offer something unique and interesting to potential employers.

#Developers—be knowledgable + an expert in few, says @LarCavezz Click To Tweet

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Lara Cavezza

Lara is a UX designer and front-end developer. With a background in psychology, linguistics, and speech-language pathology, she carries over her past experiences practicing child-centered therapy and treatment design to her work now in user-centered design. When she's not heads down in CSS, you can find her giving a guided-tour of the Freedom Trail or spending time with her dachshund. Also, her name rhymes with Sarah, just in case you thought it was Laura.


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