What is JavaScript?

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What is JavaScript?

A computer programming language that is integrated into the code of web pages in order to make them interactive. In digital analytics, JavaScript is used to measure the amount of traffic to a particular page, as well as visitor interactions.

What is JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language used primarily by Web browsers to create a dynamic and interactive experience for the user. Most of the functions and applications that make the Internet indispensable to modern life are coded in some form of JavaScript.


When most people learn to code, they start with good old HTML and CSS. From there, they move on to JavaScript. Which makes sense! The three elements together form the backbone of web development.
For those not familiar:

HTML is the structure of your page—the headers, the body text, any images you want to include
CSS controls how that page looks (it’s what you’ll use to customize fonts, background colors, etc.)
JavaScript is the magic third element. Once you’ve created your structure (HTML) and your aesthetic vibe (CSS), JavaScript makes your site or project dynamic.

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What Is JavaScript Used For?

  • We covered this a bit in the intro, but here’s a quick list of the main things JavaScript is used for.
  • Adding interactivity to websites—yup, if you want a website to be more than a static page of text, you’ll need to do some Java scripting.
  • Developing mobile applications—JavaScript isn’t just for websites…it’s used to create those apps you have on your phone and tablet as well.
  • Creating web browser-based games—Ever played a game directly from your web browser? JavaScript probably helped make that happen.
  • Back-end web development—yeah, JavaScript is MOSTLY used on the front end of things, but it’s a versatile enough scripting language to be used on back-end infrastructure, too.
What is JavaScript

How JavaScript works

JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, which means that it’s a programming language that can run inside a web browser. There are other languages (like Flash) that run in browsers, but JavaScript is currently the only one that you can use in all the popular browsers.
JavaScript’s popularity comes (in part) from its custom features that deal with the web browser environment. Let’s look at some of these features, such as variables, operations, and integration with APIs.

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Basics of JavaScript programming

HTML provides a special <SCRIPT> tag that enables developers to embed JavaScript within the markup of the page.
Variable declaration using the var keyword in JavaScript is very straightforward and does not involve a complex set of initialization rules as one might see in Java or C++. JavaScript is known as an untyped language, which means that variables can take on a variety of different forms as a program executes.
For example, in the following program, a variable named greeting is declared and is initialized to a text string. But, on the next line, the greeting variable is assigned to an integer value of 10. A new variable named product is then initialized to the value of the greeting variable multiplied by itself.

Example of JavaScript code

The following is a simple example of a rock-paper-scissors application coded using HTML and JavaScript. The <SCRIPT> tag contains a JavaScript function called playRoshambo, which is triggered by the on-click event of the user clicking on an anchor link that contains the text paper. The result of playing the game is displayed within the <div> tag named results.
playRoshambo = function(clientGesture) {
//server always chooses rock
if (clientGesture==’rock’) {
result = “tie”;
if (clientGesture==’paper’) {
result = “win”;
if (clientGesture==’scissors’) {
result = “lose”;
document.getElementById(‘results’).innerHTML = result;
Which one will it be?<br/>
<a href=”#” onclick=”playRoshambo(‘paper’)”> paper </a>
<div id=”results”></div>

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