HTML + JavaScript + CSS = Employment

This is a guest blog post from Microsoft’s Introduction to HTML and JavaScript course team. 

You may have heard somewhere along your career path that web development is a hot area where your career can really take off and earn you more than you ever thought before. You may have also read articles that cite large average salaries of $87,000 USD. Even the US Department of Labor projects that the web developer profession will continue to grow year over year through 2020. What you may not know is that web development is a long-standing career path and is rooted in technology that is at least a couple of decades old.

HTML, CSS and JavaScript (JS) are the cornerstones of web development.

These three programming languages have survived many iterations and changes as technology has evolved. Even though the hottest technology this year may be different than the hottest technology last year, all of the web development frameworks share one thing in common – you must know HTML, CSS and JavaScript with confidence in order to use them.

Even new technology platforms require you to know these basic web technologies.

  • Interested in developing mobile apps? Apache Cordova and PhoneGap allow you to write an application once and deploy it to Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Both use HTML, JavaScript and CSS for their applications.
  • Are you interested in developing apps for the Internet of Things (IoT)? Many IoT platforms require you to write your applications using HTML, JS and CSS. If writing a server-side application using Node.JS (like for the Raspberry Pi), you need to know JavaScript.
  • Even cross-platform desktop applications written on platforms such as Adobe AIR and Electron use HTML, JS and CSS as their foundational technologies.
  • Do you want to build responsive web pages that look modern and slick? You would likely use a CSS framework like Bootstrap to accomplish this. Before you can learn Bootstrap, you would have to deeply understand CSS. If you wanted to create a theme for Bootstrap or customize the built-in template, you would need to know SaaS. There’s even a Bootstrap course you can tackle after taking Introduction to HTML and JavaScript.
  • Do you want to build web applications that include a ton of interactivity? It would be ideal to include a JavaScript framework like jQuery that enhances your JavaScript capabilities to make this job easier. Before you learn jQuery, you need a deep understanding of JavaScript and the Document Object Model.

JavaScript has become the language of the web.

The 2015 Stack Overflow developer survey shows that JavaScript easily surpasses other programing languages as the most popular. Many developers are now “full-stack” web developers where they create both their web applications (front-end) and their business logic (back-end) using JavaScript. Even among this group, a particular set of technologies, all based in JavaScript, known as the MEAN stack has emerged as an incredibly popular way of building web applications. According to Forbes, the MEAN stack, Mongo, Express, Angular, and Node, shows just how much JavaScript has evolved into a platform of its own. There is even a MEAN stack course where the only prerequisite is basic knowledge of JavaScript.

In the upcoming Introduction to HTML and JavaScript course from Microsoft, we will explore HTML, JS and CSS from a foundational “boots to the ground” perspective and work our way up. Each module will build on the previous until you have a basic understanding of each of the three components. You will build a prototype website and improve it each time you learn a new technology. The final module is the most exciting, as you are briefly introduced to some of the hottest web frameworks of today.

This computer science course is designed as a “jumping off” point for your career. The intention is for you to follow up this course by taking more computer science courses on your favorite web framework or the hottest web frameworks to accelerate your career.

No matter where you decide to use your programming skills, you will see that the technologies of the web are truly foundational and required to make the most of every platform. If you want to build on this new, modern web the Introduction to HTML and JavaScript course is a great first step.