How Much JavaScript Do You Need to Know For a Job

After you learn some JavaScript, you want to find a good job and get paid for your new skill. But how much JavaScript knowledge is required for that first programming job? Many say that JavaScript is an easy to learn programming language, but like most languages it can be difficult to master. Despite some basic similarities, JavaScript and Java are otherwise unrelated. The syntax of JavaScript is actually derived from C, while the semantics and design are influenced by the Self and Scheme programming languages.

In this article by Jeff Cogswell, we read his thoughts on the subject of what you need to know for that first job, and how to master the important parts of the language.

Below is the bare minimum of what you’ll need to know to work with JavaScript (beyond the absolute basics such as variables, functions, the difference between null and undefined, and so on). For those who have some JavaScript knowledge, the following list might miss some specific elements you think belong there; but the idea here is that, if beginners are at a level where they understand the presented items, they probably understand the language enough to operate effectively.

The Beginner’s List

  • Know the different ways to create objects, such as using the “new” keyword, as well as just declaring an object (such as ‘x = {a:1, b:2};’).
  • Know what a prototype is, what the “this” variable does, and how to use both.
  • Know the difference between a list and an object (and how a list is technically both, and can be used as both).
  • Know that functions are objects that can be passed as parameters into other functions and returned from other functions.
  • Know what closures are and how to use them. This might seem like an advanced topic, but when working with functions returning functions, it’s easy to introduce bugs if you’re not careful.
  • Know how to use functions such as the list’s map and filter functions. With this in mind, I encourage you to read this specification and learn the methods available on all types of objects.
  • Understand the built-in objects (they’re constructors!) and how to use them, including Function and Array (with capital F and A).
  • Know your way around the developer command line and debugger. All the major browsers provide these now.





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