Learn JavaScript Essentials

(for all skill levels)

by Eric Elliott

One Clear Path

There are so many JavaScript resources available out there, it’s hard to understand how much of it overlaps and how much is redundant. Not to mention the process of weeding out bad information. Most JavaScript learning resources neglect two of the most important topics in JavaScript: prototypal inheritance and functional programming.

There are many possible paths, several good paths, but few great paths.

Here is one clear path to JavaScript mastery:

Why JavaScript?

JavaScript is the standard language of the web platform. Learning it will allow you to build any app you want for any device or platform you want. Watch this 1 minute video to learn more about what JavaScript can do for you:

Why JavaScript?

The essentials, in order:

On ES6

ES6+ (ES2018 as of this writing) is the current JavaScript standard, but many of the existing learning resources are written for an older version of JavaScript. In the meantime, all the new blog posts and tutorials are written for ES6, and if you’re building new apps, you should be doing so using ES6. Here’s a quick syntax overview and why you should care.

On JavaScript Modules

The largest package repository in the world (for any programming language) is npm. It’s the package manager that comes with Node.js, but it’s also widely used for client-side modules using solutions like Webpack.

Modulecounts.com 2017

ES6+ is the current standard, and you can use ES6 module syntax in browsers with npm + Webpack. My current recommendation for production is to use ES6 module syntax — both in Node and in the browser using Universal JavaScript — one codebase that runs on both the client and the server.

Favor Object Composition Over Class Inheritance

Most JS books will teach you how to implement classical inheritance in JavaScript. Watch this video to learn why classical inheritance should be avoided in JavaScript, and how to put prototypal inheritance to work for you:

Classical Inheritance is Obsolete: How to think in Prototypal OO

Extra credit: