Am I wasting my time learning Javascript?

So, when I originally started my journey of programming, I was aiming towards web development because I didn’t know where else to start and figured it would be the easiest route to get in.

I am by no means proficient but I’m starting to understand the basics of html, CSS and JavaScript. However, I am now knowing which career path I’d like to follow one day and it’s not web development. I don’t mine STARTING there but it’s not the end goal. I think my ideal career is to work for a company that builds actual software.

I’m still very new to all of this so I only partly know what I’m even talking about. I know JavaScript primary purpose is for web development/web applications. Do you think I’m wasting time learning JavaScript? Should I jump ship and go to something like Python? I also understand that it’s much easier to jump to another language once you’ve spent a good deal of time learning your first and truly understanding it. I’m at the point in Javascript where I can build something like a simple weather app or a very simple blackjack game just so you understand where I’m at. And I know the basics of things such as flexbox and css grid but this is where I feel like I’m wasting time going deeper into things such as super responsive web pages and whatnot because that’s not my end goal.

So am I wasting time putting a lot of my time into web development languages or do you think I should keep going this route until I have a SOLID understanding of programming before I jump to another language.

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you don’t need to worry what anyone says. You do you.
I never learned html/css/js in school, I learned lisp/java/C (I’m fairly old…)
And at Harvard university this year they start out by teaching C and Python (then a little bit of html/css/javascript)
So you do you. Go ahead and learn python or C or Java or whatever makes sense for the dream job (you can go to any job posting that you wish you could apply for and grab its requirements and work through learning them for eg).
No one answer fits everyone.
hope this helps.

I just feel like I’ve put so much effort into these languages and it would really suck to just drop them for something else.

i don’t wanna sound condescending. So I want to be careful here.
Ask yourself how you would feel 5 years from now if you have the <job-I-want> and you have forgotten some html/css/js.
If you feel bad, don’t do it.
Be honest.

I would not feel bad at all, but I feel like I’d be a lot closer to landing a job in programming if I kept on my current path. My first goal is to simply get hired basically anywhere in this field and then go from there. I understand what it takes to get a job as a web developer. I have NO IDEA what it takes to get hired as a software engineer. I feel like I’d be starting over.

I like learning JavaScript and it’s what I would want to work on if I was doing web development as I know that being proficient in JavaScript could translate into other programming languages. I really just don’t want to go deep into CSS as I feel like it’s wasting my time.

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sounds like a plan then. Keep working on JS and no need to delve further into CSS.
Try to do more backend work etc.

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I actually get a bit confused when people say “backend work”

from my understanding it’s just the programming that you don’t see on the page. Like HTML and CSS would be front end and JavaScript would be backend? Sorry, this is probably a question I should know by now haha

yes correctly reasoned. Front-end is anything that the user interacts with directly (the GUI), and back-end is all the behind-the-scenes work that is done on a server (or sometimes on the client-side computer) to figure out what to serve to the user.
Say if you are logging into a mobile app for your bank. The front end would be the fields you type into to login (plus the look-and-feel like the logo/colors/display) while the backend is the security the actual retrieval of the account info, the code that logs what you are doing so people can spy on you etc)

I think learning the HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a good thing for any programmer/coder. Its good to know how the other languages work as some but not of the content can be some what similar but have different outcomes. One website I found to be helpful from time to time is They show one thing and show how to do is a few different languages and you can even see the code and the differences they have but have the same outcome.

You have to choose what you want to do, and it may change a few times before you figure out what you enjoy and love doing.

I appreciate the responses; I have one more question.

When you’re working as a web developer, do they generally have like some of the team focus on the JavaScript and some of the team focus on the design aspect of the project (the CSS?) or is it more of a everyone pitches in on everything kind of set up?

I really want to focus on just JavaScript and learn some React and whatnot. I don’t want to end up being hired doing a lot of design. I don’t want to get hired as a web developer and not be able to advance my skills in an actual programming language.

Will companies hire you and stick you on basically just the programming side if you show that you are above average in skill level and not have you do any of the CSS?

EDIT* I picture it as like they have a group that specializes in design and a group that would specialize in the programming side of things, but I could be wrong.

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You said that you know what career path you want to follow and that it’s not web development, but what is it? If you know what you want then there is no reason not to make a specific plan to achieve that goal.

Design and development are two different things. Many teams have a dedicated designer who is not a programmer and tells you how things should look and behave (this is something you can always ask about in an interview). How the work is divided up varies from team to team. Some have separate frontend and backend developers - especially if the backend is not in JavaScript. Frontend work does include CSS, although most developers aren’t doing much with CSS very often.

JavaScript is an actual programming language.

CSS is programming. Programmers write CSS. If the role includes frontend development, then it includes CSS.

It really doesn’t matter all that much what language you start out with. But JavaScript and Python are good starter languages. Most C-style languages have so much in common that if you know one, you know the basics of them all. Besides, the core of programming isn’t about the language or its syntax, it is about problem-solving.

JavaScript is used both for frontend and backend. You can do a lot with just JavaScript, which at least in the beginning is very handy. Later on, JS might not be the most optimal language in every situation but it will still remain a very productive language.

Learning to code using JavaScript is in my opinion a pretty good choice no matter the end goal.

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things like HTML, JavaScript or even server side PHP and python are the bare ingredients. once you understand them learn the orchestration and automation part of the industry (CI/CD) like the frameworks such as laravel, NPM , git and docker to create and scale those python or php apps. and even there you will find that once you understand the concepts of docker you understand kubernetes clusters and so on…

great comment, Thank you.
I feel like I am in the same boat. my college did not prepare me for this, and now I am learning the HTML/CSS/JS trio and finding that I’m not as deep in as I had hoped, and therefore questioning the choice to begin here, as opposed to something possibly more marketable. truly, I do not know what I want or where. I love where I am, but spending so much time learning JS sometimes feels like I’m not increasing in skill as quickly as I need to be. I will take the advice to make a decision and a plan, however vague.
The real issue at heart here seems to be a lack of mentorship and encouragement, as well as not knowing enough about the desired sector of employment. that’s really why I am here, and I doubt I am alone in that. I want expert opinions and e-mentorship, even if just anonymously through the internet. Thank God I made it this far in JavaScript, and also, I know some stuff I didn’t know last week, or last month, so I encourage myself with that knowledge. the struggle is real, my friends. but I consistently find perseverance pays. even though the moment may be difficult.

Time learning a computer language is never wasted time. At some level, all programming is mostly the same - you just learn the details of the language. Most programmers know several languages. The first “real” language I learned was C. I haven’t used it in 30 years. But what I learned made it much easier to learn JS. Some people say your goal should be to learn a new language every year. There is no wasted learning.

Don’t worry about it too much.


If you have a specific goal that uses a different language, then by all means pursue that.
If you don’t have a specific goal, then that is totally fine for now too. If that’s the case, I think JavaScript is a really good language to start with.

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