JavaScript Basics


Use a variable when you need to store something for later 📦. Name them to help you know what is stored in them, but don’t use spaces in the name. You can change a variable’s value later if you need to.

Create a new variable with the var keyword:

var someFantasticVariable = “a great var”;

Use the variable name (after you create it) to substitute its value:


Overwrite the value of the variable using the = operator:

someFantasticVariable = 15;


Strings are words, single characters, sentences, or text of any kind 🕮. Use quotes to show you want a string:

var myString = “JavaScript is all right!”;


Use numbers when you need to represent a quantity 💯. Whole numbers and decimal fractions are created the same way in JavaScript:

var myOne = 1;
var myFivePointOne = 5.1;


Booleans are ways to represent things that are true 🗹 or false 🗵!

var myFantasticTrueness = true;
var myFantasticFalseness = false;


Use comments to make a line not run ⛔:

// console.log(“I won’t run ”);
console.log(“Staying Busy!”); // runs fine.

or leave notes on the code for later.

// I am a comment! Humans love me 😘.


Arrays are lists of other values 📋. Arrays in JavaScript can have different types of values. Use square brackets around values to show you need an array, and separate values with commas:

var myGreatArray = [ 15, 16 ];

Get values back from them using square brackets and indexes starting at 0:

console.log(myGreatArray[0]; // prints “15”
myGreatArray[1] = 17; // changes 16 to 17


Dictionaries are strong 💪 variables! They let you store other values in named slots. Almost everything in JavaScript is a dictionary (including the code you write 🤯). Sometimes they are called objects. Use curly braces to show you need a dictionary…

var myDictionary = {
  thisIsANumber: 15,
  thisIsAString: “Wow another string”

…and use a period followed by the name to reference nested dictionary values later. You can also use strings to access values. These lines do the same thing:

myDictionary.thisIsANumber = 16;
myDictionary["thisIsANumber"] = 16;

the next two lines both print 16:



Calculate stuff with operators. There are tons of these guys, so only some are here – sorry not sorry.😊

Assignmenta = bLoad (put) b into a
Additiona + bAdd a to b
Divisiona / bDivide a by b
Subtractiona – bSubtract b from a
Multiplicationa * bMultiply a times b
Remaindera % bThe remainder of a divided by b
Exponenta ** bRaise a to the bth power
Anda && bAre both a and b true?
Ora || bIs a or b true? (both might be true)
Not!atrue if a is false
false if a is true
Equalitya == bDo a and b have kinda equal values?
Strict Equalitya === bDo a and b have the same type and value?
Greater thana > bIs a larger than b?
Greater than or equala >= bIs a larger or equal to b?
Less thana < bIs a smaller than b?
Less than or equala <= bIs a smaller or equal to b?
Nullitya??Does a even have a value?
Ternarya ? b: cIf a, then b, else c. Pretty iffy
Incrementa++Make a one greater: changes a!
Decrementa--Make a one less: changes a!


Use parentheses to clarify ☀ the order of your expressions. If it gets too hard to understand 😕, give yourself a break and put it into a variable instead:

var a = true;
var b = false;
var c = 10;
// d is true
var d = (a && (!b)) && ((c * 4) == 40);


Indent your code, put statements on their own lines, and use line breaks so you don’t have to scroll horizontally:

// Hard to read, but I guess it works
function someFunc(){a=15;console.log(a);}

…but this is so much better 👒👔👠!

function someFunc(){

Flow Control

Normally, JavaScript just runs code in order which is BORING! 😴

console.log(“I run first!”);
console.log(“I run second!”);
console.log(“I run… Oh, you get it. ”);


A for-loop does something so long as its test is true. For loops love 😍 lists, but their syntax is… unique 🤪…

// prints: “a \n great \n list \n”
var aList = [“a”, “great”, “list”];
for(var i = 0; i < aList.length; i ++){

While-Loops and Do-Loops

…but there are ways to loop ⮔ without a list, too:

var someTestableValue = true;
// runs only if someTestableValue is true
while (someTestableValue){
  someTestableValue = doSomethingElse();
// always runs once and then checks if true
do {
  someTestableValue = doSomethingElse();
} while (someTestableValue)


You can use branching 🌲 to run code if something conditionally. The simplest is an if-block, but you can add else and else ifs after you want:

if(someVar == 10) {
  console.log(“someVar is ten”);
else if(someVar < 0){
  console.log(“someVar is negative.”);
else if(someVar >= 1000){
  console.log(“someVar is pretty big!”);
else {
  console.log(“someVar is ” + someVar);


Functions let you reuse ♲ code you’ve already written. When we use the function, we say we call or invoke it. Give something back to the caller with return:

function someUsefulCode(funcArg){
  var aNewVar = “Who am I!? ” + funcArg;
  return aNewVar;
// prints: “Who am I!? I don’t know.”
Var a = console.log(someUsefulCode(“I don’t know.”));

Functions can call ☎ other functions. Functions can even call themselves, a technique called recursion. Just make sure it eventually exits… or your program will eventually crash ⛐:

function countdownFunc(from, to){
  if(from > to){
    countdownFunc(from – 1, to);

this call uses the previous function to print a countdown from 10 to 0:

countdownFunc(10, 0);

When you create a function, JavaScript puts it into a variable which you can call later – you can do a lot of the same things with function names that you can do with variables! But with great power 🕷…

// An empty func!
function aFunction(){}
aFunction = “I am not a function”;
// prints: “I am not a function”