CodeAcademy Introduction to Javascript Course

May 06, 2016

I haven't had as much to talk about the past couple weeks because I've been working on learning more Javascript. After talking to some people and looking around I decided to start with CodeAcademy's free online JS course. It was an interesting course to follow because it was purely about Javascript. It didn't talk about using JS to talk to html or manipulate the DOM. It didn't work with anything outside of a few popup alerts and the console. In some ways this was good because it meant I wasn't distracted or confused by any of that, but at the same time I came to learn JS to work with it in the context of a website, not manipulate the console. So I was a bit disappointed in that aspect of things. At the same time, I feel like it gave me more understanding of the basics of how JS works and the concepts of programming so I did learn stuff.

Programming is something that I really need to get my head around soon. Back in high school I took a programming course and did pretty terrible with it. Part of that was over-thinking the concepts. The teacher gave us the assignment to make a simple calculator program. My head was spinning trying to figure out how to teach the program the basic concepts of math. It didn't occur to me that I could just tell it to multiply or divide two values that were input by the user. The only reason I didn't bomb that class completely was because I had my own website, a rarity back in the late 90's, and my teacher gave me credit for scanning in photos during class. So now it's time to continue to my next step of learning. I've gotten a few JS books that I'm going to start reading through and I'm feeling good about the first one. It's an O'Reilly book and in the introduction the author walks you through how to install Git, Node.js and Gulp, all of which are heavily used in the industry. So the fact that in the introduction they're starting with practical skills is encouraging. Many tutorials go the route of being so high-level that you only learn concepts and nothing practical so this should be a good one.