At some point somebody a lot smarter than me (probably the first person who reads this) will see the title of this article and say “No duh! JavaScript and Java are completely different. What a waste of an article!”. You can actually find quite a bit of information on this topic out on the internet but let’s face it, anybody who isn’t in IT or Development probably doesn’t care anyway.

Since both of these technologies are used in ServiceNow though, this confusion often presents itself so it is good to be informed. First of all, you don’t need to know a thing about Java (or even care about it) to be successful in the administration, implementation, or configuration of ServiceNow.  No Java NecessaryYou don’t need to know a thing about Java to be successful in the administration, implementation, or configuration of ServiceNow.You heard correctly.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW JAVA!  This statement runs contrary to what you might hear from your boss, project manager, or even a ServiceNow developer or consultant job posting.  The underlying code that the ServiceNow platform is built on is built using the Java programming language.  Even the title ‘ServiceNow Developer’ is probably a little bit excessive unless you are one of the people working in the Development group in Solana Beach.  Those people know (and are required to know) Java extremely well and they use it (along with JavaScript) to bring us the awesome features that are part of the ServiceNow software platform.  Having said all of that, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge of Java simply because that gives you an understanding of programming and scripting in general.

JavaScript, on the other hand, is the world that ServiceNow administrators and consultants live in.  Business Rules, Client Scripts, and UI Actions are all written in JavaScript.  JavaScript is the scripting language used to perform HTML manipulations in the browser (client-side g_form, etc.) and interact with the actual Java code on the back-end (server-side gs., current., etc.).  I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that to configure or enhance a mid to large sized ServiceNow deployment it is essential that you have someone who has a decent amount of knowledge about JavaScript or some other scripting language.  At the very minimum, they need to be someone who can pick up on it quickly.

Lots of very smart people have already written about the differences between Java and JavaScript.  If you’d like to learn more I’ll refer you to your preferred search engine.  Here are a couple of results I found today on Google.