Javascript is the new Java

Javascript is the new Java

Write once, run everywhere!”.

That’s the tag line that sold Java to developers since day 1.

Regardless computer architecture or platform your app could run anywhere nice and smooth. It’s been around us since 1995 and it did a great job. For a while there it was one of the most popular programming languages and even now most of software developers have used it at least once in their career. It powers lots of open-source tools and most of the enterprise software found in banks and corporations.

But coming back to the tagline, “write once, run everywhere” things have changed since 1995. TLC’s not hot anymore and same goes for Java. Why? First of all, Java developers are expensive. They are harder to find, they are usually good and coming from well established companies, thus demanding lots of money.

In the past few years the popularity of Javascript increased dramatically. Running Node.js on the server and plain Javascript in the frontend is now a common scenario in a lot of startups. Being able to use the same language in frontend and backend is the single greatest thing that happened to web apps. Any developer with Javascript knowledge could now build up an entire website without needing to master multiple technologies and frameworks.

In time this triggered the increased popularity of the language and the enlargement of the Javascript developers pool.

And that was great, but guess what, by that time, mobile apps were all the rage. “Bummer, all I know is Javascript, but I surely want a slice of that mobile cake! What can I do??”. Hmm, that’s a hard one! Or is it?

Some time back, a few great developers, asked themselves the same thing and set out to build something new, something great, a way to build mobile and desktop apps using Javascript entirely. No native code, no need for ObjectiveC or Swift or Java. Only Javascript.

Here comes ReactJS. Thanks to the great guys at Facebook native mobile apps can now easily be harnessed just by the raw power of Javascript. It “enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React”.

Now using ReactJS you could finally create the iOS app you had in mind since forever and put off too long because that ObjectiveC is a pain in the arse. No more, just set the whole thing up and shoot for the sky… of the App Store.

It’s not perfect, of course, it lacks a lot of the low level access provided by the native apps but in most of the apps, you can live with that. And you’ll still need a Mac.

Now, coming back to that “write once, run everywhere” tagline. “What about desktop apps? I want desktop apps!”. You do? Then look no more! Mobile is not everyhing Javascript can help you with, desktop too. Just take a look at ElectronJS given to us by the friendly folks at GitHub. That’s a fully fledged solution to your problem. Linux apps? Windows apps? MacOS apps? Your all covered!

cross platform desktop apps with web technologies”. Awesome! You’re probably already using it in your favorite editor Atom or in your daily chat tool Slack!

Exactly, great companies already rely on this tech and it’s open to you too!

So there you go! If you want to build iOS, (Android, soon), MacOS, Windows, Linux or Web apps and you want to master only one language, choose Javascript.

It’s the new Java.