Are jQuery and native browser APIs still worth it to learn

I am new to JavaScript and front-end web development. I am hearing from various voices that jQuery will soon be replaced by more modern front-end frameworks, such as React. Thus I have the below questions:

  1. Are jQuery and native browser APIs still worth it to learn?
  2. If so, in which circumstances should they be used?
  3. If not, can I build fully functional dynamic web pages or single-paged apps with only those frameworks and without learning the basic APIs, like Element.appendChild or document.getElementById?

Hi @Thomas1111 !

Welcome to the forum!

I feel like it is good to be a little familiar with jQuery because you might be working with some older code that uses it.

But you are not going to run out and build a new application with jQuery.


React is javascript. It is an application framework built and composed in javascript. It runs in the browser, and uses many of the very APIs you mention. Amy successful app, in react or otherwise, requires a knowledge of the core language, including the APIs shown on the MDN site.

Do you need to know jQuery? It’s useful to know, because a lot of what we do is migrating from existing code, often built on jQuery. And it’s hard to upgrade what we don’t understand.

I guess I’d have to answer your question with a question: if you’re looking at professional web development, what would be the advantage to not knowing those things?

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Sure. But that situation would indicate that you have no idea how the libraries/frameworks work (the browser APIs that allow them to do anything), so it’s likely to be difficult/impossible for you to fix some issues (or even realise what those issues or the causes of them are). Various parts of all the frameworks make direct use of the browser APIs as well, and you’re not going to be able to recognise that

I mean jQuery is just one library that uses the browser APIs, so not really unless you need/want to use it, same as any library. Not bothering learning the browser APIs is just going to leave a huge knowledge gap; if you’re trying to learn frontend development and you ignore them then you’re going to have huge issues

Web development is browser scripting. Having good base in JS and browser APIs is absolutely crucial if you are looking to do web dev professionally. Picking up a whatever library or framework is currently in fashion will be trivial when you have strong foundations.

So to answer your questions:
1a. You mistakenly lump jQuery and browser APIs together. jQuery is meh. It is a nice library and I enjoyed working with it, but you might never write jQ in your professional career (2021 and forward). And if the need does arise, you can pick it up in a day.
1b. I would never hire (or recommend hiring) somebody who does not have good grasp of browser APIs.
2. jQ? Probably none. I used to write prototypes and personal projects with jQ, but since then have moved on to other tools.
Writing straight to browser, without any overhead, is used where performance is first priority. I think google writes (some of) their stuff in vanilla and github advocated their re-write as a vanilla project. I’m not too sure tho.
3. Yes.