Javascript development: Easy to get employed at, hard to get rich with

If you want to get a job, learn Javascript

Javascript is the common language of all the internet, and with it alone you can build anything, from websites to apps, to databases, and even blockchains!

So by learning Javascript (do not confuse it with Java, they are very different) you will have a huge range of jobs you can apply for.

The downside is that so many people know Javascript that the jobs usually do not pay well. Javascript is like English in programming, even if you do not work with it, chances are you need to know it "just in case", so almost everyone knows it.

So you can probably get a job very easily, but it will also probably not pay well.


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What to learn

You can learn to do a bit of everything, we call that "full-stack". There are frameworks/libraries that can help you develop faster and better with Javascript.

The stack called MERN will allow you to build websites from front to back.

MERN stands for:

  • MongoDB: The most commonly used form Javascript developers. It is easy and intuitive and NoSQL, so you work with it as you would work with JSON objects.

  • ExpressJS: The framework you use to build APIs. APIs sit between your database and your front-end and work with the data processing and distribution.

  • ReactJS: The framework you will use to build the front-end. It can be used to build websites and even apps for both Android and iOS!

  • NodeJS: The engine that runs it all. Javascript was made for browsers, but NodeJS took it out to the next level, allowing you to code Javascript for anything, even browsers if you want to.

Did it work for me?

Absolutely. When I started my software engineering graduation I knew absolutely nothing of programming. I struggled to get a job with the languages I learned in my course, so I took on myself to study Javascript in my free time.

I ended up landing a few freelances working on small Javascript projects and some startups that used especially the MERN stack. In 5 years using Javascript only I went from a freelancer to a full-time employee in a multinational company.

MERN was just a stepping stone, the iceberg goes deep and there are many frameworks. Right now I am studying other things because as I grew in my career I faced demands for different skills that will likely pay more but are harder to find a job for, like ABAP from SAP, which has a huge demand in my company, but not many people know about it and not many companies need it, but it pays very well (much more than Javascript), so I am studying it.

If you are a beginner and want to get into development, go with Javascript. You won't get rich with it, but it will make it easier to land your first job.

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