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How Long Does it Take to Learn JavaScript? #Advice from the Experts!

If you are an aspiring programmer, one of the most fundamental programming languages you need to learn would be JavaScript. But how long does it take to learn JavaScript? That would perhaps be one of the prime questions one would need to address if you are really looking for those enticing career opportunities.

Can I learn JavaScript within a week? That is one of the questions our readers have consistently been asking us ever since we began the ongoing series of posts on how long does it take to learn a range of programming languages. We gave it a thought and decided to address this query in finer detail.

How Long does it Take to learn JavaScript? Can I Learn JavaScript Within a Week?

If you are looking to become a front end web developer, learning JavaScript should be one of the prime programming languages you need to learn.

Ideally speaking, you should be able to grasp the basic concepts of JavaScript within a week. This would include basic concepts such as control flow, function, and data types. However, the deeper concepts such as OOPS in JS, prototype, inheritance, classes, and objects would need you a minimum of one month or even more. Grasping the complete knowledge and application of your knowledge into practical areas would take anywhere between six to nine months. The exact time is taken to learn JavaScript would be dependent on your grasp of the basics of the language.

What is Javascript?

Before we can understand how long does it take to learn javaScript, it may be much essential to understand what exactly is JavaScript and how does it influence web development. This knowledge would help us understand the basic concepts that the language is made of and how can it affect your workability.

JavaScript is the language of the web, so to say. The significant number of web applications you would find around the internet – either on desktop or mobile platform is built on JavaScript. Of course, you are aware of HTML and CSS, but that should not necessarily be of any use unless you have a good knowledge of JavaScript.

Web applications apart, it would also be one of the prominent programming languages for several front end framework options such as React, Angular or Vue. In fact, this is a pre-requisite for almost all those frameworks.

In essence, JavaScript is a must for every sort of front end web development.

What Can you Do with JavaScript?

We guess we already made it clear. JavaScript is the primary language that forms the basic framework of almost all web applications. A recent survey from Stack Overflow has clearly put JavaScript as the most popular programming language ever. It enjoys a whopping 85 per cent popularity and stays ahead of all the programming languages put together.

What can JavaScript do and what applications can you build with javaScript? Well, the list is literally endless. If you have been a fan of online games, a huge lot of them are built using HTML5 and JavaScript. Practically everything that you would create for the web would invariably need a thorough knowledge of JavaScript. Moreover, every other framework such as MeteorJS, ReactJS, AngularJS needs you to use JavaScript.

Most of the social media networks that we have been using today are based on JavaScript, and a few prime examples would include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora.

If you are looking to answer the question of what can I do with JavaScript, a few of the options can include


That should be quite obvious, and one of the major areas that JavaScript is used in building websites. More so, with the dynamic websites. JavaScript helps you add interactivity and dynamic content to your website, which would look static otherwise. All modern websites work on the principle of JavaScript.

Most of the interactive games that we have been used as of now are primarily built on JavaScript. The additional support from HTML5 is yet another excellent option that has further improved the efficiency of games further. The browser-based games have received a huge impetus over the years. JavaScript has been an excellent option that provides you access to improved performance.
Mobile Apps
One of the strongest factors that have made JavaScript a preferred option is the use of the language for non-web context. JavaScript lets you create apps for those things that are NOT on the internet. With the focus of using the internet shifting to mobile devices these days, JavaScript has been what has redefined the way these apps are created.
Web Servers
You can simply create a web server with just around 10 to 15 lines of code. Of course, more robust servers will need you to make use of high-end frameworks. But, in any case, web servers do have JavaScript as the building block of the construction.

How Long does it Take to Learn JavaScript?

It may not be that easy to fix a timeline to learn JavaScript and define how long does it take to learn javaScript. Not JavaScript alone, but it is much hard to set a definite timeframe to learn and gain mastery of your programming language.

In sharp contrast to how long it can take to learn HTML and CSS, learning JavaScript and mastering it can take several months. As we have already stated, it should take somewhere between 6 to 9 months. While learning basics would be possible within a week, it will take around 9 months to master the language.

Is JavaScript Hard to Learn?

Well, JavaScript is not exactly a difficult programming language to learn. But things can get a little difficult if this is your FIRST programming language. Learning a programming language is akin to learning a new foreign language in the traditional world, and it needs you to prepare your mindset accordingly.

It has been rated as one of the easiest languages to learn in comparison to other languages such as C# which can take a considerably longer time to learn. There are plenty of resources that assist you in learning the language. We will discuss a few of them in the latter part of this post.

One of the huge problems you would come across when learning JavaScript is that it is updated too often. That would make you keep yourself updated with the latest versions and developments, and that is actually the toughest part of learning JavaScript.

Yet another difficult aspect that can make learning JavaScript a hard job is a fact that it lets you do the same task in more ways than one. What we mean by that is it would let you do one single task with more number of ways. That would be one of the difficult tasks and what makes learning JavaScript a tough task ever.

The crux of the matter is – JavaScript is NOT a difficult language to learn the syntax, but it may take a while to learn the actual programming of the apps and other aspects that would appear to be a little difficult and a little hard to learn.

How do I Learn JavaScript?

Well, learning JavaScript can be one of the complex tasks, and it would definitely require you to handle a host of strategies. That would essentially mean you are expected to undertake a rather strategic approach when trying to learn JavaScript.

The right approach to learn Javascript would involve the following approach. Let us analyze the right strategic approach you should employ when learning Javascript can be summarised on the following pointers –

Begin with the Basics

Experts call it learning the Vanilla JavaScript. The vanilla JavaScript refers to the codes that are devoid of any other elements such as libraries and complex frameworks. You will attempt to learn the basic syntax and scripting of the language before moving on to the frameworks and other complex elements in the construction of the language.

Learning JavaScript would involve Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced skills. If you are looking for the options to land in a decent job that needs JavaScript, you need to have enough knowledge of a minimum of intermediate expertise.

Learning the Vanilla JavaScript should take you around 3 to 6 months.

Move to important Libraries
Next step after you have gathered enough proficiency would be to focus on a few basic libraries. One of the best options in this context would be React. 

React, or React.js is one of the prominent JavaScript libraries that would help you build interfaces. It should be one of the best frameworks to learn if you want to build a career as a front end developer. It can be quite helpful in learning how to create single-page web applications and simple mobile apps.

It should be noticed that React needs you to have enough knowledge of basic JavaScript. The framework expects you have understood and gained experience in intermediate level javascript.

Learn other Front end frameworks and libraries
Once you have learned the vanilla JavaScript and gained enough knowledge in the basic libraries, the next stage would be to learn the other relevant frameworks and libraries.

Do note that libraries and frameworks come with a different approach. A library is what helps you add the features and methods to the existing code. A framework, on the other hand, is something that has its own structure to which you would add your code. Frameworks come with their own syntax, and that is exactly what would make it much more important to understand the basics of JavaScript as a programming language.

Learn the back end development
This is the final stage of learning JavaScript and attaining a fair degree of proficiency. Back end development techniques would include Node.js, Express.js, and Mongo DB.

The back end development frameworks would help you run your Javascript code outside the server. Learning JavaScript can definitely take a considerably longer time frame and can also be quite difficult at times. That is exactly why we would recommend tackling the back end development options only after the practice and experience in Javascript for at least one year. Learning the back end development tools such as Node.js can take around a few months, as you already have enough knowledge in javaScript and a few other frameworks that you have already learned.

Should I Learn HTML and CSS Before JavaScript?

Well, the skills tend to complement one another. Learning just one language can be one of the limiting factors and can perhaps considerably limit the opportunities you would gain access to. Learning any one language and skipping others can severely impact your prospects and leave you concentrating or being comfortable with a few specific types of projects.

If you are wondering and trying to find answers to the query should I learn HTML and CSS before JavaScript, our answer would be – YES, you need to learn HTML and CSS before JavaScript. We would advise you to learn the HTML and CSS before JavaScript at least to some extent.

In fact, we would recommend learning CSS and HTML to a level where they would integrate with and impact each other. One of the huge issues we found with a few programmers and web developers is that they commit the huge mistake of trying to work with javaScript without the knowledge of other essential background aspects.

Do note that Web Development and its basics have their root in HTML and CSS and thus, before you can learn JavaScript; you need to master HTML and CSS along with other basic aspects of web development. The reason for mastering HTML and CSS lies in the fact that almost all concepts of JavaScript are based on HTML and CSS. 

Should you Learn JQuery?

JQuery has been one of the most essential JavaScript libraries. However, you would find it quite often that most of the modern JavaScript courses do not include JQuery. The reason is that JQuery is no longer an essential tool for JavaScript developers.

However, there are websites that are still using JQuery. While it may not be necessary for the newer projects that you build so that you can use the newer frameworks for them, if you are working with any existing projects, you may need to learn JQuery.

We would recommend opting for JQuery as a separate study once you have mastered JavaScript and other allied frameworks.

A Few Resources that Can Help you Learn JavaScript

Well, now that we have found out the right and perfect options to learn JavaScript and the right approach to use in how to learn the programming language, let us check out a few resources that you can utilize for learning JavaScript.

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The new approach that uses technology to cut your effort in half by [Mark Myers]

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript

Buy from Amazon

Written specifically for the beginners, the book should be one of the excellent options for learning JavaScript in a more flexible manner. The book is authored by Mark Myers , and makes use of a unique appraoch in terms of teaching the basic concepts of the language.

The book focusses on addressing the retention problems and thus uses a consistent approach to keep you abreast of what you have learned. It provides you access to an extra exercise if it finds that you are shaky in any way in handling the difficult learning.

JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

Buy from Amazon

The book helps you learn the basic programming skills along with the core elements of the JavaScript programming language. Availability of JQuery is one of the huge options that the book does offer you. It does provide you a complete advanced information in the realm of sliders, content filters, form validation, and updating content using Ajax.

The book consists of a thousand of scripts, JavaScript APIs, and jQuery plugins that you can get for free over the internet. The interactive approach that the book relies upon is what would further make it a great option in the long run. Once you complete the book, you should be able to create your own scripts.

Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition: A Modern Introduction to Programming by [Marijn Haverbeke]

Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition

Buy from Amazon

The book has been one of the prominent options for an enhanced and improved experience in providing you access to a wonderful programming tutoring in JavaScript. The book provides you the ability to write real time applications.

You can make use of the book to learn essential elements of programming, including syntax, control, and data; harness the power of Node.js and build servers or utilities. The book should be one of the excellent options that would assist you in learning the language that has been the backbone of the web interface.

One of the best resources we found rather impressive when it comes to learning JavaScript in a more authoritative manner is the book titled Learn JavaScript the Hard Way. Written by none other than Zed Shaw, the book offers you the same experience as you have with similar videos titled Learn Python the hard way that does offer you a better learning experience if you are checking out the options on how to learn Python.

The book uses the same concept as the one observed in the Learn Python the hard way videos. The book can indeed be one of the great options you can utilise for learning JavaScript for an enhanced experience ever. Getting access to the book may not be easy as we could not find it on Amazon or any other stores. We will update the post once we find the details.

The Closing Thoughts on How to Learn JavaScript

Well, JavaScript is the building block of almost all web applications that we see them as of today. Mastering the language can definitely take a considerably longer time. If you already have a good knowledge of any other programming language, you would perhaps be able to learn JavaScript rather easy enough.

The tips and options to learn the language as outlined here should ideally help you gain access to a better grasp of the subject matter and how would you be able to master the language.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a web enthusiast and blogger who loves blogging. He enjoys the challenges of creativity by providing information from the field of technology, SEO, social media and blogging.

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