Currently, JS occupies the 7th position in the TIOBE index that lists the most popular programming languages in the world. However, take a look at the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, and you’ll see JavaScript occupying the first position among the most loved languages. It’s the eighth year in a row that JS managed to maintain this position. 

Moreover, it’s also listed as one of the most wanted languages among developers. This means that the popularity of JavaScript isn’t going to wane anytime soon. Development teams that don’t have dedicated frontend developers often need to learn the basics themselves – and this is when they turn to JavaScript. Consider Atwood’s law, which states that “Any application that can be written in JavaScript will eventually be written in JavaScript.” Now, Jeff Atwood was actually making a joke at JavaScript’s expense, but his statement turned out to be true. Thanks to the advances in browser technologies and the move towards the server with Node.js, developers can achieve much more with JavaScript than they could just a few years ago. 

But what applications can you build with JavaScript? In this article, we list the most important types of applications companies today build with JavaScript to show you how versatile and handy this technology is, and why every software developer should learn its basics. 

 

7 apps you can build with JavaScript

 

1. Websites

This one is pretty obvious. JavaScript was invented to add interactivity and new behavior to static websites back in 1995. Needless to say, JavaScript is still one of the most popular technologies for creating websites. This is especially true for website frontend development thanks to the wide range of frameworks, libraries, and tools.

 

2. Web applications

As browsers and computers improved over time, so their abilities to support robust web applications. Consider an app like Google Maps. It offers lots of information on a simple interface that hides all of its complexity. Thanks to the variety of technologies such as Vue.js, Angular.js, and others, JavaScript is today at the forefront of web development. Practically every modern web development project uses JavaScript or tools and frameworks based on it. Moreover, JS serves not only as a tool for frontend developers. It’s now possible to build an application backend using the framework Node.js.

 

3. Server applications

The rise of Node.js a few years ago enabled developers to extend JavaScript way beyond the browser. The programming language can finally be used on the server-side as well, leading to easier and faster development of desktop applications. Since then, JS has found wide adoption from major companies as a key part of their backend infrastructures. Sometimes it’s just better to stick to the programming language you know if you have the possibility of extending it to both the frontend and backend. That’s why Node.js has become such a popular solution.

 

4. Games 

The browser has never served as a core platform for game enthusiasts. However, recently it has become a robust space for games. The addition of the HTML5 allowed developers to reach a new level of complexity in building browser-based games. By combining HTML5 with JavaScript, you can add more interactivity to make content more dynamic – which is just perfect for gaming purposes. Moreover, various APIs offer many methods to draw whatever game designers want and then easily animate these elements. Development teams can also use game frameworks that abstract the most boring parts of building games like handling shape animations to make their lives easier.

 

5. Smartwatch applications

Developers looking to build applications running on smartwatches and other wearable devices can benefit a lot from JavaScript’s ecosystem of tools. There exists a special framework called NativeScript, which was created specifically to enable building native apps for iOS and Android, always based on JavaScript. Moreover, developers can easily integrate it with the programming language TypeScript or the famous JavaScript framework, Angular.js.

 

6. Mobile applications

And what if the development team wants to use JavaScript to develop applications for Android and iOS systems? One of the most interesting things developers can do today with JavaScript is building applications for non-web contexts. This means that you can use JavaScript to create applications that aren’t published on the internet. Mobile devices are now very popular among users, and their impact is only going to grow. All modern websites developed today need to be responsive. But businesses are also increasingly interested in building mobile applications. 

 

Cross-platform development 

Native mobile applications written for iOS and Android operating systems use completely different programming languages. If you want to build a native application, you need to engage two development teams. However, today it’s also possible to write a single app that will work on both platforms – for example, by using solutions such as React Native. 

Cross-platform development with JavaScript has become a key trend today, allowing businesses to create mobile apps with JS that can be deployed and downloaded right into the respective app stores. React Native allows writing an app’s code in JavaScript and then converting the React components into native components of a mobile platform. This makes accessing hardware features is so much easier for React Native – for example, it provides built-in support for camera and GPS. 

 

Hybrid development

Another way developers can use JavaScript to build mobile applications is by choosing the hybrid app development approach. Hybrid frameworks allow writing apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to display the code in the browser view on mobile devices. However, to access hardware features such as a camera or GPS, you need to use native plug-ins. This often makes both development and testing more complicated and time-consuming. Some of these plug-ins offer limited functionality or are full of bugs.

 

7. Internet of Things (IoT)

JavaScript is also used in one of the most exciting areas of tech today, the Internet of Things. Development teams use JS to build applications that control embedded hardware frameworks such as Johnny-Five. This framework supports the Arduino single-board computer, allowing teams to write programs that support full hardware access to motors, GPS, buttons, switches, and more. This is all again thanks to the existence of Node.js that allows running JavaScript programs outside of the browser.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, JavaScript is called one of the most popular programming languages in the world for a good reason. The sheer number and variety of applications you can build with it show the potential of JavaScript in powering future trends such as mobile applications, wearable technologies, and the Internet of Things. 

If you’re considering learning a programming language, JavaScript is an excellent starting point. Whether you’re interested in becoming a frontend or backend developer, basic knowledge of JavaScript is going to take your career one step further. And if you find out that JavaScript is what you love, you can take it to the next level, learn the ins and outs of its most popular frameworks, and become a successful web or mobile application developer. In other words, choosing JavaScript as the core of your career as a software developer is a smart move. It opens many doors, allowing you to enjoy everything programming has to offer. 

If you would like to learn more about key trends in software development, keep a close eye on our blog, where our experts share their insights about the tech industry, and offer targeted career advice for those looking to enter the exciting field.