Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Why everyone should learn JavaScript

Computer code and script have really become the “lingua franca” of the digital era. All the mobile devices, applications, games, websites that we spend so much time engaging with in our digital lives – all of these technologies rely on code to make them run. Having skills and “fluency” in the new language of code is therefore a huge advantage in today’s digital economy. In other words, there are those who can code and those who cannot. Those who can code will continue to be in high demand and will get the best jobs and garner the biggest promotions. The demand for good programmers/coders will only increase as new emerging and disruptive technologies continue to unfold.




JavaScript has emerged in the past couple years as the de facto expression of next generation web technologies, and a critical component of HTML5 technologies – along with CSS and JQuery. The stakes have been high. The well-known and rather tired debate in recent years over who owns the future of web and mobile development bears little repeating. Native needs little explanation. The advantages of HTML5, if not already clear, are numerous as well: open source, relatively easy to learn, a powerful user interface for designing sleek and intuitive websites, and lower cost and less development time.




In the battle for the development of the next generation web, the star of the show has really become JavaScript. As one article put it, “JavaScript is the number one language in the world; it’s the language of the web, and a starting point for so many new developers . . .”

In order to more fully understand the increasing prevalence of JavaScript in the enterprise mobile, server-side, Big Data, and cloud markets, let’s list out here a variety of factors to keep in mind.

Mobile app development: Without rehashing the whole Native vs. HTML5 debate, suffice it to say that mobile application development frameworks like PhoneGap have opened up new opportunities to create native like mobile functionality through JavaScript API calls. Both Apple and Google have incorporated JavaScript into their mobile development toolkits in order to extend their developer base.

Backend server-side development: While not historically associated with server-side development, JavaScript has received rapid adoption in recent years through the influence of Node.js, a software platform used for building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js is based on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, or the Chrome browser runtime, and has gained immense popularity among major enterprises in recent years.

Big Data development: JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) has become the major standard today for data interchange used on the modern web. NoSQL databases such as MongoDB use JSON documents in order to store records in the same way that relational databases like MySQL use tables and rows to store records. JSON can be used with any programming language but it’s a natural fit for JavaScript developers to connect their applications to Big Data.

Cloud development: Node.js is also an increasingly popular choice for building cloud applications and is one of the top four languages supported by 5 of the 6 major platform-as-a-service offerings as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft Azure. According to this infographic, Node.js development is growing faster than ever with 35,000 downloads a day and there are now over 88,000 modules available.




So it’s no surprise that JavaScript is ubiquitous – it really is showing up everywhere! There are many other reasons why JavaScript and JS-based tools like JSON and Node.js are becoming the wave of the future. For example, JavaScript is the #1 most-used language on GitHub, and this trend is only going to increase. And Gartner predicts that through the rest of 2014 “improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment.”

Coders and programmers are the architects of the digital era. Line after line of functions, classes, objects, and loops are building our digital world into a place of unrealized new possibilities. But as we’ve seen in particular, anyone who has the ability to code in JavaScript or to gain fluency in a tool like Node.js will be able to write their own ticket to the future. Whether building the next generation of high performance mobile apps or developing a cloud service stack, those with JavaScript abilities will be the primary architects of the digital world and will find no lack of jobs and opportunities awaiting them!




A growing number of online tutorials and classes that teach JavaScript have emerged in recent years. Platforms like Codeacademy, Udacity,, and General Assembly are providing millions of people with the opportunities to learn JS (and other languages) in an engaging and interactive manner.

So what are you waiting for? If you want to speak the language of the digital future then familiarize yourself with JavaScript and how it works today. There have never been more opportunities. And who knows? With your new JavaScript skills you might write the next cool application that changes the world!

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.