Today’s Javascript landscape is completely different from what it was a decade ago.

Before, there wasn’t much debate on the path someone could take after learning Javascript. Today, though, you can find so many tools and technologies to pick up when you’re confident in your Javascript.

What You Should Learn After Javascript

It could be a Javascript or CSS framework. Or it could be a new development practice like testing. You could also shift the focus from the frontend to either backend or mobile development.

At the end of the day, what you should learn after Javascript depends on personal preference. It’s pointless for me to give a cookie-cutter answer to this question. What I can do, instead, is provide a broad idea about each available option to help you figure out that answer on your own.

Note that I’ll only be focusing on frontend-related technologies in this post.

Learn a Frontend library or framework

Some people find frontend development with just Javascript too tedious. If you’re one of them, learning a frontend library or a framework can appeal to you more as the next step.

Why? Because frontend frameworks and libraries are tailor-made to give developers a simpler and more efficient development experience. They still use Javascript underneath, sometimes HTML and CSS as well. But compared to traditional Javascript, they reduce the amount of code you have to write by yourself.

These frameworks and libraries provide methods that abstract some complexities in Javascript’s behavior and let you easily reuse code components across several projects. They also relieve you from the burden of ensuring cross-browser compatibility from a Javascript perspective.

Popular frontend frameworks and libraries

  • The most popular tool that falls into this category is React. It’s a Javascript UI library for building reusable dynamic components. React has been an industry favorite for six years running. And its fame doesn’t seem about to die down soon.
  • Angular is a bit older framework with built-in support for all aspects of front-end development, including routing, data binding, and testing. Even though Angular is not the easiest technology to pick up at first, it’s still the go-to choice of many developers for larger projects.
  • Vue.js is another frontend framework similar to Angular but with less complexity. It has been increasingly popular among developers in recent years. Today, Vue is often used to build single-page applications.

While there are dozens of other frontend frameworks and libraries available, these three are the most popular and established ones in the domain. You can’t go wrong with picking any of the three as your next venture after Javascript.

Besides giving you a better development experience, learning frontend technology comes with an additional benefit. It increases your chances of landing a job. You have many companies who tend to adopt such technology instead of relying on vanilla Javascript to thank for that.

Learn Typescript

If you have any previous experience with a statically-typed language like Java before, you would know this. Automatic code suggestion support for vanilla Javascript on an IDE is next to nonexistent. If you want to receive better support from the IDE when developing the frontend, there’s one thing you can do: learn Typescript.

Javascript is inherently a dynamically typed language. Due to this, Javascript allows its variables to change the type of data they store. You can use the same variable to store a number, string, and object during a single runtime.

While this isn’t necessarily bad, it diminishes an IDE’s ability to make automatic suggestions and locate errors to give you a better development experience.

That’s why learning Typescript is important. It adds an extra layer on top of Javascript to make the language statically typed. It allows you to define variables with definite types that can’t be changed during runtime.

To be honest, better IDE support is not the biggest advantage you gain from using Typescript. The biggest advantage is how these static types let you write code with fewer bugs, especially in bigger projects with several collaborators.

Considering these points, it’s no wonder Typescript isn’t far behind Javascript in popularity among developers today. Learning Typescript will also help you stand out in a job interview. It will also come in handy if you wish to try out Angular one day.

Learn a CSS framework

I’m making this recommendation assuming you already know your way around CSS. If not, now is a good time for you to learn how to style websites with CSS.

If you want to know more about designing websites after your stint with Javascript, pick a CSS framework to learn next.

They allow you to write less code and spend less time styling by giving a collection of pre-built stylesheets. You can use their styling blocks out-of-the-box with minor modifications to quickly generate the design in your mind.

Popular CSS framework

  • Bootstrap, now in version 5, is one of the oldest CSS frameworks. It comes with built-in themes and UI components that you can add to a page by using relevant class names. Its highly responsive grid system allows you to make a website mobile-friendly without special handling.
  • Tailwind CSS, another popular CSS framework, takes a slightly different approach than Bootstrap. It contains a set of pre-designed widgets that you can use to build your website block-by-block. This makes Tailwind easier to customize based on your needs.

There are many other CSS frameworks you can find today other than these two. No matter which one of them you pick, what’s important is learning it to the end without giving up halfway.

Learn testing tools

Knowing how to test an application is a piece of knowledge valuable for any area of programming, not just frontend development.

It allows you to ensure your app is working as expected before moving it into production. So, if you are looking for something new to learn after Javascript, you can’t go wrong with choosing frontend testing approaches and tools.

Testing an application is not a single process. It involves several rounds and types of testing that look at the app’s functionality from various angles. Here, I have listed a few such methods developers use to test the frontend.

Method How does it work? Examples of tools used
Unit testing Single units (functions, classes) are isolated and tested independently to ensure there are no misbehaviors.
Integration testing

Interactions between units are tested to ensure there are no misbehaviors. Examples of such units:

  • Two modules
  • Class and a database
  • Function and an API
Functional testing Tests the application functionality end-to-end from a user point of view.
Cross-browser testing Test application’s compatibility with browsers of different types and versions.

You don’t have to learn all these test types in one go. A decent unit and integration testing knowledge are more than enough to get started. You can learn the rest over time as you gain more experience.

Wrapping up

What you should learn after Javascript is something a lot of beginners to frontend development wonders after their initial stretch with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Fortunately, the options available today are numerous and diverse.

You have the freedom to choose a path that fits your preferences and become an expert at it to prepare for a future job. You may want to find better technologies to handle dynamic frontend functionality. Or you’d like to design more user-friendly websites. If none of them is your pick, you can learn how to ensure the quality of your applications through testing.

As a field that is constantly evolving, one thing I can guarantee about the frontend is that it’ll never run out of new technologies to excite you and your curiosity.