Do You Need To Know JavaScript To Learn Node js

Written By: Grant Darling
March 31, 2022

So you’re wondering if you need to know JavaScript to learn Node js? Well, you’re in luck because today I am going to break down exactly what you need to know to be successful in learning Nodejs and why it is so important.

What Is Nodejs?

Nodejs is an incredibly popular, useful, and powerful runtime environment that can be used to build a plethora of different projects. Node js is built with JavaScript and runs on the V8 engine outside of the browser. Allowing you to run and create server environments from any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).

Should You Know JavaScript Before Node js?

The short answer is yes, you need to learn JavaScript in order to use Nodejs. Nodejs is a toolkit built around JavaScript and all of the code you will be writing will be in JavaScript. If you don’t know anything about JavaScript, this is going to be very challenging.

However, this does not mean you need to be an expert JavaScript developer in order to use Nodejs. Especially if you have already learned an additional programming language and are comfortable with backend development.

Obviously, the more JavaScript you know, the easier it will be to learn Nodejs. However, according to the official docs, these are the main concepts you should understand if you want to get started with Nodejs.

  • Lexical Structure
  • Expressions
  • Types
  • Classes
  • Variables
  • Functions
  • this
  • Arrow Functions
  • Loops
  • Scopes
  • Arrays
  • Template Literals
  • Semicolons
  • Strict Mode
  • ECMAScript 6, 2016, 2017

If you have an understanding of each of these topics, you should know enough JavaScript to get started with Nodejs.

You might be wondering why it is important to know these topics. Well, this is because the Node environment has its own built-in functions and operations. If you jump in without a foundation in JavaScript, it will be hard to distinguish what code is specific to Node and specific to JavaScript. It is the same reason you should learn JavaScript before React. Learning the two at the same time can further confuse you and prove to be more difficult.

Summary

In order to learn Node js, it is very important that you have some JavaScript knowledge under your belt. By understanding the concepts outlined above, you should have a good grasp on JavaScript and enough knowledge to begin your journey with Node js. Failing to learn JavaScript before Node can lead to confusion between what is part of the Node runtime environment and what is pure JavaScript. By learning JavaScript first, you eliminate this issue and the learning process becomes much easier.

So that is pretty much it! Everything you need to know before learning Node js. If you are a new developer just getting started in web development, check out my list of free resources here. If you want to check out some other great courses, you can find them here.

Happy coding!

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