My First Programming Language Was Javascript

Many people start off programming learning all sorts of things. Several years ago, the most common languages to start learning programming in were Basic and Visual Basic, then the advent of C, C++ and Java came, and they were the standard first languages to learn. However, for me, being mostly a self taught programmer, my first actual programming language was Javascript. That is if you can call it a programming language. I was just 14 then.

I started out learning Javascript when I picked up Web Development back in 1999. Back then, there were not that many resources available for learning how to develop the kinds of things we see today. I basically, taught myself HTML, CSS and Javascript by hacking apart web pages. My favourite website to hack back then was MSN. It was a fun a experience, as I spent 2 – 3 weeks teaching myself a new language. I skipped out on vacation classes then, just to get time to sit behind my computer to hack away at HTML.

When I finally got to Javascript, it was a delight to learn. I learned how to programme conditional statements, loops, switch statements (I personally hated them, didn’t see their benefit then), the DOM, Event Handlers and so much more. And I did all this without even the help of a “Learn Javascript in 21 Days” book. Back then E-Books were scarce, and hard copy books on Web Development with up to date information were impossible to find in any of the libraries in and around school.

When I look at how far I have come, going from Javascript to main stream Java and then to PHP and now back to heavy use of Javascript, I find it interesting. Back then, my code consisted mainly of scattered functions in either the head of the web document or when I feel like being a good boy, in a separate JS document. Now my Javascript code consists mainly of Objects with function definitions, almost always in a separate JS file. I currently do not use JQuery much, not because I can’t but just because I have not found a project that requires me to depend on its vast majority of well written functions and plugins. I usually get by with the host Javascript libraries I have put together over the years.

I’m glad to see though, that my first “language” has now become a dominant tool in the world of web development. I just pray, I can keep up with all the changes and the developments that are on going in the field. This dog certainly has to learn some new tricks.

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5 thoughts on “My First Programming Language Was Javascript

  1. You started way too early, I guess that is why you are so good at what you do. I started visiting the internet cafe at age 15 and started taking interest in HTML code at age 17 although I couldn’t write ’em. It was all good. The first website I ever visited was celinedion.com, ..haha. Funny. So far the internet has been a better part of my life.

    1. It is never too early to start. But it certainly is necessary to keep up with all the major changes that this field presents.

      All the best with the coding.

  2. Hello Francis,

    i am a web designer by profession and works on photshop,dreamweaver,html and css.I want to learn programming.My colleagues work on php and javascript.Could you please tell me from where do i start with?

    Thanx,

    Chandan

    1. Becoming a programmer is pretty easy. It is all about solving problems using code, so if you can’t define your problem then you can’t be on your way to solving anything, and hence becoming a programmer. I recommend you identify small problems you are presented with everyday during your web design processes, and then based on the problem, you can look around for the best tool for the job, potentially Javascript since you are in a browser environment.

      Once you have your problem, and you tools to help solve the problem, it is all about taking a hammer to a nail one strike (or line of code) at a time, and you will be a full fledged developer in a couple of years.

  3. For beginning programmers, I think that JavaScript is a pretty good place to start, mostly because it’s the language of the Internet, within browsers now, but in time on servers, too. (Node.js) I’ve written a program for beginning programmers to write JavaScript with. It’s called JSX Edit. You edit a simplified version of JavaScript, and then it generates the JavaScript for you to incorporate into web pages, or run using Node.js, or cscript or wscript on Windows.

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