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How Long Does It Take To Learn JavaScript? (& How To Learn Fast)

By Zulie Rane on February 5, 2022

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A good programming language is one that newcomers can learn fast. This is one of the reasons why JavaScript is so popular – it’s possible to learn Javascript quickly and with minimum fuss.

In this article, I’ll break down how to learn JavaScript fast, how long you should expect it to take to learn JavaScript, and why JavaScript is worth spending time on. Let’s jump into the best guide on how to learn JavaScript fast.

Why Learn JavaScript? 🔗

It’s a great idea to learn how to program, especially if you find a language you can pick up quickly. The world is becoming increasingly digital, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for computer science and information technology will outpace the growth rate for all occupations nationwide with a predicted 11% increase from 2019 to 2029.

JavaScript is ranked as the #1 programming language to learn programming with by Times Jobs, Fullstack Academy, and many more. Regardless of which ranking you look at though, JavaScript is sure to be near the top. JavaScript has also been ranked as the most in-demand language by Berkeley when it comes to job openings.

JavaScript is the best programming language for learning how to program, but the beautiful thing about programming is that once you know how to program, you only need to learn the syntax of another programming language to program with it. The next language you learn is always faster to learn. Programming is much more about a way of thinking than it is about one programming language in particular. That being said, you do need to learn the syntax of a single programming language to begin with.

How long does it take to learn JavaScript? 🔗

It’s great to say you want to know how to learn JavaScript fast, but honestly, it’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take you to learn JavaScript. It depends on whether you are just starting to learn to program or if this is your seventh programming language, whether you are learning it on top of your full-time work, whether you are taking a course to learn JavaScript (online or in-person), and simply how much time you are willing to invest in the process on a weekly basis.

There are too many variables that change from one person to the next to give an exact estimate. The good thing about this is that you can control most of these things. The more time you invest in learning JavaScript and/or learning to program, the faster you will master these skills.

For me, JavaScript was one of the more recent languages I picked up. Since I already knew how to program, and I was comfortable doing it in R, Python, SQL, and a bit of C, learning JavaScript didn’t take long. It took me about two weeks to get a basic mobile app up and running. It was probably about six months after I started learning and playing around with JavaScript before I felt comfortable designing and implementing a proper, scalable, and performant JavaScript-based website. I was also learning web development simultaneously though, so my timeline may not be applicable to you if you don’t know how to program or are already quite familiar with web development.

If you have no programming experience, I think it is possible for you to learn JavaScript programming well enough in six weeks of full-time structured study to become an intermediate developer. In my view, an intermediate JavaScript developer should be able to develop a native JavaScript website. You’ll be able to develop small software projects that do not require any advanced frameworks such as React or Node.js. Mastering the use of these frameworks takes more time but produces code that can be better managed at scale.

With the right tools, time, and motivation, you can write JavaScript code in a few hours and develop functional websites or mobile apps in a few weeks. The more formal background you have in areas like discrete mathematics and basic programming concepts like variables, methods, and objects, the faster you can learn how to program using JavaScript. As I stated before, once you know how to program in one programming language, learning to program using another language is significantly faster. That’s because the main challenge when learning to program is getting in the habit of thinking computationally. It’s all about formulating the problem and solution in a way the computer can understand. The more you practice it, the easier it gets.

If you can already program using another language, you can probably learn JavaScript in a few hours. You’d be able to create a skeletal website or mobile application and get things running. It will take you a few weeks to get more familiar with the packages or libraries that are relevant to your project, like React if you are working on a user interface (UI).

If you don’t already know how to program, I’ll outline the fastest way to get started with JavaScript and how to learn to program quickly in general. Learning to program takes most people anywhere between three months to a year. You’ll be able to get simple scripts working within a few days and simple websites within a few weeks. It will take you several months of studying and practice to get to the point where you can design and implement something like a complete website including navigational components, pretty graphics, and backend integration.

How to learn JavaScript fast: Stay motivated 🔗

Before you dig into learning a programming language like JavaScript, make sure you reflect on why you want to learn to program, and why you’re so keen on understanding how to learn JavaScript fast. Is there a project you’ve been thinking of doing that requires programming skills? Do you want to make more money? Do you want to increase your job security? There are plenty of different reasons for wanting to know how to learn JavaScript fast.

Understand why you are learning to program, so you can use that reason to motivate your studies and practice. Remaining motivated will be the biggest factor in your success with learning to program. Like learning any skill, one of the biggest obstacles that will slow you down is when you just don’t feel like doing it today. One day turns into another and before you know it, you haven’t touched your IDE in weeks. The clearer you are on your “why”, the more determined you’ll be on how to learn JavaScript fast.

Having a reason or inspiration also makes it easy to focus on a single idea for a project for you to learn to program. Let’s say you’re interested in finance and want to build a budgeting app. The first thing you could figure out how to do would be to calculate the current balance of an account. Assuming you have the value of each transaction stored in an array, you could write a script that sums all the elements of the array together and prints out the balance.

Come up with an idea that fits your passion and can be expanded into a complex system. Also, take the time to think about the concepts of the idea you are most familiar with (like simple math) and consider what is the easiest thing for your application. In conclusion, for those who want to know how to learn JavaScript fast, start with understanding your own motivation.

How to learn JavaScript fast: Read and understand code 🔗

Syntax is like the vocabulary of a programming language. Just like when you learn a foreign language, it is going to be impossible and incredibly frustrating to understand any examples or program anything yourself if you’re not familiar with the basic vocabulary of programming. The faster you pick up the basic grammar rules of JavaScript, the sooner you’ll be able to write complex code yourself. By exposing yourself to as much code as possible and testing yourself on the meaning, the faster you’ll learn JavaScript. That’s why this is one of the most ignored – but most valuable – strategies on how to learn JavaScript fast.

The first step in being able to program with JavaScript quickly is being able to read JavaScript code. You are going to need to look at examples of scripts and be able to understand how the program works. They can be quite complex, so make sure you’ve taken the time to read through some JavaScript tutorials like this one before attempting to understand these examples.

It’s important to understand a few basic things about programming, for example, what a method or function is as well as what data types are. After you have gone through examples of how to create and use variables and understand what different operators do, take a look at what a class looks like. Understanding these simple mechanisms will speed up your overall learning journey.

There are dozens of very simple examples of JavaScript syntax out there, and reading through tutorials and blog posts can help you to understand what code looks like as well as get you thinking about what it can be used for. It’ll be tough at first, so remember to rely on Strategy 1 and focus on your motivation when you want to know how to learn JavaScript fast!

How to learn JavaScript fast: Solve real problems 🔗

The most important thing when determining how to learn JavaScript fast is to write a lot of code. If you only read through examples but don’t ever actually type code, you’ll never be able to program.

Interactive learning is about getting your hands dirty and interacting with the content. You can’t just sit through lectures or watch Youtube videos on programming, you need to actually do it to know how to learn JavaScript fast. A lot of great online courses exist that provide you with structure and organize exercises for you in a stepwise fashion, like this one.

You must bite off appropriately sized challenges, and many courses can provide you with the support you need while challenging you appropriately. You don’t want to only code simple things, as you won’t learn much. However, if you jump right into more complex projects or even just complicated problems, it can become quite discouraging if you’re banging your head against the wall for too long.

Websites like Leetcode and Hackerrank are great tools for practicing your skills, which is why they’re fantastic recommendations for anyone who wants to know how to learn JavaScript fast. They have challenges, and you can sort them based on difficulty. Start out with the simpler stuff, and if you get stuck, they do have the solutions. I’d also recommend this article on Scrimba if you’re curious which skills you should be practicing.

These websites are great because you don’t have to deal with any of the overhead of getting a website running or setting up a programming environment. You just need access to an Internet browser. It’s great practice, and they’ve got tons of exercises.

Make sure you spend a good amount of time working through the exercises on these sites. Don’t be afraid to revisit exercises you already solved a little while ago. We quickly forget the exact implementation we used, and it’s a quick way to practice programming again without having to think through the entire problem. However, it’s important that you don’t try to memorize solutions. This is counterproductive and will not help you in your quest.

Leetcode and Hackerrank are also great practice for coding interview questions, so if your goal is to eventually get hired as a software developer, it can be handy to prime yourself for how to think about these kinds of questions.

This is the most crucial step in learning how to program quickly – figuring out how to get your ideas for how to solve a problem down into code that successfully runs. The satisfaction of solving these problems is often its own motivator to learn JavaScript fast.

How to learn JavaScript fast: Make cool stuff 🔗

Remember when you reflected on why you’re Googling “how to learn JavaScript fast” today? Think of a project, big or small, that relates to this pressing need to learn Javascript as fast as possible. Maybe you want to use technology to connect people – build a chat app. Do you think facial recognition is the next big thing? Train a machine learning model to recognize your friends and family in your photos. Perhaps you like math – write a script that finds the roots of polynomial functions.

The best thing about programming is that it has so many applications. Computer science can be used in agriculture, healthcare, education, social interaction, automation, manufacturing, entertainment, and more.

Find a project or idea that you feel passionate about. Extend your interactive learning into the real world. Don’t worry if your idea is huge. There are always stepping stones that you can complete now, even with your beginner’s knowledge. This passion will be the very best fuel for you to learn JavaScript quickly.

Figure out what you still need to know to complete your project. Maybe it’s focused on data analytics, and you need to figure out how to read in a CSV using JavaScript. Whatever it is, think of all the different things your application needs to be able to do and how you want it to do them. Try and find some packages or libraries that can help you accomplish your programming goals. Work on integrating them into your project.

Programming is a muscle that you have to flex if you want to be successful at it. You need to practice designing complex systems. If you don’t take the time to think about how to store your data, how to process it efficiently, how your different classes will share central information, and other critical architecture issues, you will never build successful applications. You are going to fail and create flawed designs. That’s why the computer science world invented the idea of agile software development. You’re going to learn better ways of doing things and iteratively improve on your system as you go along.

Final thoughts on how to learn JavaScript quickly 🔗

If you are new to JavaScript, and want to know how to learn JavaScript fast, the fastest way to learn JavaScript is to re-implement something you’ve already done using another language in JavaScript. This will allow you to identify the similarities and differences between the programming language you know and JavaScript. If you’re new to coding altogether, then the four strategies outlined above will make it fast for you to pick up this new coding language. As a bonus, any language you learn after JavaScript will come even quicker to you.

It’s important that you harness your passions to motivate your education. CS can be applied to literally anything, so find the cross-section that sparks your interest. Remaining motivated is the key to learning JavaScript quickly, as the more work you put into learning it, the faster you’ll be successfully programming with JavaScript.

Having a bigger project to work on can be really helpful for motivating your learning. If you’re creating a small mobile application and you want different users to be able to log in, you’ll need a database as well as a backend.

You can learn to code simple things using JavaScript incredibly quickly. You can get a website running within a few days if you want. It takes longer to develop the way of thinking when it comes to designing and architecting complex systems, but the best way to learn quickly is to work on progressively larger projects – or keep the same project and keep adding components and functionality.

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