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JavaScript Developer Career Guide

JavaScript developers use their expertise in the JavaScript programming language to craft, modify, and enhance websites. Primarily, these developers are responsible for the interactivity and responsiveness of a website for overall user experience. This means anything from clickable buttons on web pages to drop-down lists, modifiable fields, and much more.

Successful JavaScript developers must maintain a variety of skill sets. Being self-motivated, an excellent communicator, and team player with sharp technical and abstract thinking skills are just a few examples. Do you like the idea of designing websites? Are you great at handling both the small details and the “big picture” concepts for a project? Becoming a JavaScript developer can be an extremely rewarding career, where you can do all this and more!

Sample job description

When businesses are looking for clean and responsive websites, they turn to us. That’s because we approach every project with the same core concept: The job isn’t done until the client is satisfied with the end product. When we’re creating websites that act as the first impression for a client, they’re trusting us to make that experience seamless, professional, and appealing. 

That kind of trust has empowered us to strive for the absolute best when it comes to project quality, and that’s why we want experts on our team to continue that tradition! We’re currently searching for a JS developer to join us. Our team is composed of collaborative high performers and we’re in need of one more to round out the responsibilities as our client list grows. If you think you’ll fit in well with the team at [Your Company Name], we’d love to hear from you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Design, create, test, and modify web applications and services
  • Work closely with team, project management, and clients to coordinate and create features, software, and promote quality assurance
  • Implement user-centric features for various client applications
  • Implement sustainable and reusable front-end applications
  • Coordinate with back-end developers
  • Follow software engineering best practices, CD/CD, source control, quality, etc.

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or equivalent field
  • Minimum 5 years experience in JS position

Required skills and qualifications

  • Fluent in JS ES6+, React, state management, SCSS, CSS3, and functional programming
  • Experience implementing design libraries and microservices to support functional and responsive UI
  • Familiarity with RESTful API, Webpack, NPM, and Jest or equivalent framework
  • Familiarity with Agile methodology development cycles, source control, and Jira task management
  • Experience with TypeScript

Preferred qualifications

  • Cloud platform experience
  • Middle-ware experience
  • ReactNative Mobile experience
  • Experience with Docker, Ansible, NodeJS, and Vagrant

Typical work environment

JavaScript developers primarily work in an office environment, often as part of a larger coordinating team. Some travel may be required to attend meetings at various locations, like offices, client businesses, worksites, or homes. Additionally, this job can be done remotely under certain conditions. Employer preference, freelance, or agency work may dictate the work environment.

Typical hours

Generally speaking, a JavaScript developer will be working the usual 40-hour work week, from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Although, this may change during periods of heavy work or during projects reaching close to their deadlines. Having freelance or agency contract work will create more flexible hours.

Available certifications

As JavaScript developers work in a variety of industries, there are many institutions that offer certifications, including:

  • JavaScript Developer Certificate – This certification from W3Schools is available as a beginner certification for those wanting to step into the JS world. You can study the accompanying learning material, books, courses, and webinars to prepare yourself for the exam. Scoring high enough on the exam will also gain you an excellency degree notation, further proving your understanding of the language. This is an excellent degree to develop a foundational understanding of JS and should be considered before taking more advanced and complicated exams for other certifications.
  • Certified JavaScript Developer – The International JavaScript Institute, or the IJSI, provides the CJD for those that can pass. The program not only assesses the level and understanding of JS, but also offers more advanced concepts to further your competency. The CJD will prove the candidate is well-versed in the general principles of programming, JS syntax, expressions, operators, data types, control structures, and more. You’ll also learn about DOM, AJAX, event handling, graphics, APIs, classes, objects, and much more. This is an intermediate-advanced level certification.
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Exam 98-382 – The MTA certification teaches much more than just Java alone, but is well worth it for anyone stepping into the programming world. You’ll learn Windows OS fundamentals, software development, security, Python, HTML, CSS, Java, and much more. For each exam passed, you’ll gain certification in that particular area.
  • CIW JavaScript Specialist – The Certified Internet Web Professional has been one of the top certifications in the United States since the ’90s. This certification specializes in user interactivity and ensures the candidate can entirely handle the front-end work of a web page. This certification teaches intermediate skills like manipulating JS DOM, deploying language objects, program flows, form validation, and creating and using expressions. If you’re interested in designing websites, UI, or becoming a full stack developer, it’s a great idea to work towards this certification.

Career path

The journey to becoming a JavaScript developer begins the same way as most careers, by receiving a degree. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any relevant field is a great first step in both learning the basics of programming and moving further into a Java career. While it isn’t necessarily vital to the position, showing you have a degree will make you significantly more competitive in the future.

Learning any number of programming languages, specifically JavaScript, will be the single most useful thing you can do to further your career as a developer. Learning the structure and foundation of programming, and staying up to date on changes and trends is at the core of being able to perform well in any IT environment.

Obtaining certification and gaining experience in front, back, or full stack positions will bolster your resume and help you remain competitive.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1256

2020 Employment199,400
Projected Employment in 2030201,900
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 13% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift25,500 increase

Interactive and responsive web pages are the beating heart of the web. Without the ability to do something as simple as click a button or type text, the internet wouldn’t be much more than an uncontrolled slideshow. Companies need developers who can create effective and efficient web pages for their clients and customers, and these pages need to be updated, altered, and fitted for different hardware regularly. 

For that reason, you likely won’t see JavaScript developers going anywhere anytime soon. This job has continued and will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future. As long as people want to visit websites, you’ll need people to make them work!