How to Learn JavaScript

Eddie Carrasco
Apr 22 · 3 min read

This is the third piece of my series on how to start a Software Development career. I recommend giving that a quick read if you haven’t already.

© Eddie Carrasco

Ahh JavaScript. What an interesting language you’ve been to understand. I remember being thrown into the proverbial fire when asked to make a code change involving you and JQuery. Some light Googling taught me just enough to complete my task. And from then on, it’s been a learning on the job type of ordeal.

My relationship with JavaScript has been mostly pleasant. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some challenges to overcome. All-in-all I’m grateful for my JavaScript experience, as it sometimes has an influence on the programming language I use in my professional career (PHP). It helps certain things feel intuitive as a result.

I won’t pretend to be a JavaScript expert, however if a friend came to me today and asked: how can I learn some JavaScript? I’d give them the steps below to help them get started.

Google anything JavaScript related, and you’re bound to see a ton of results on the matter. A lot of it may be quality material worthy of your time. For someone who’s just starting out though, I can’t think of a better resource than MDN (Mozilla Developer Network). This link will lead you to a comprehensive guide where they go from the basics (e.g., syntax), all the way to advanced concepts (e.g., promises, modules).

Pro tip: save yourself time and append “mdn” to any JavaScript related Google search you do.

Look at your keyboard and find the F12 button. Now press it. You should see a new window pop up. There should be a tab called Console that you can click on. Don’t be alarmed by what you see. This window is for displaying output from the JavaScript code that is running locally on your computer. It got there as soon as you visited whichever site the browser window is currently on (probably Medium right?). There should be an area where you can type, it’s usually near the bottom of the window/tab. Try copying and pasting the following in that area and then hitting Enter:

console.log(‘Hello World!’)

Cool huh?! Follow these steps on any browser to start hacking away with JavaScript. I like to learn by example myself, so I put together some things on this awesome site called Playcode that you should try to grasp early on in your JavaScript journey:

Once you’re ready to step up your game consider installing Node.js on a local server for more advanced functionality.

The steps I described above will certainly get you up and running with this versatile language. But if you truly want to master this language, I highly recommend reading the You Don’t Know JS series. Not only is this great resource free but it is written in a very digestible fashion, with many great examples to drive concepts home. The Scope & Closures and this & Object Prototypes books helped boost my skills immensely, make sure you read at least those two books if nothing else.

Don’t be intimidated by this language if you don’t immediately understand something. Certainly, the more I used it the more I came to grasp the inner workings of the JavaScript engine. And in all honesty, you don’t need to understand much to be able to start hacking away on some things.

I plan to continue writing about ways to learn about all these different technologies and what you should focus on when you do, so if this interests you make sure to give me a follow on Medium and Twitter!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please reach out!

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Eddie Carrasco

Written by

An Engineer with curiosity for days. With a taste for photography, writing, and software.

Geek Culture

A new tech publication by Start it up (https://medium.com/swlh).

Eddie Carrasco

Written by

An Engineer with curiosity for days. With a taste for photography, writing, and software.

Geek Culture

A new tech publication by Start it up (https://medium.com/swlh).

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