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The Best Way to Learn JavaScript

Before you actually begin learning JavaScript, take a minute to understand what it is and does.

JavaScript is not jQuery, Flash, or Java. It’s a programming language separate from all of those.

JavaScript is the language of the browser (not exclusively these days, though). It’s primary purpose is to add interactivity to an otherwise static page. In the browser, it’s not going to replace PHP or Ruby for you. It’s not even going to replace your HTML or CSS; you’ll use it in conjunction to them. Also, it isn’t as terrible to learn as you might have thought or heard.

One more note: you’ve heard about jQuery, which is probably the most widely-used JavaScript library. Or maybe you’ve heard about one of the other popular JavaScript frameworks, like Mootools, YUI, Dojo, and others. Where do these fit into the picture? Consider them a collection of JavaScript helper utilities; you’re still writing JavaScript when using them, but it’s heavily abstracted JavaScript. It saves you a ton of work.

You might even have heard someone say that you should start with jQuery (or another library) and learn JavaScript after. I respectfully yet strongly disagree. Get a good handle on JavaScript first, and then use libraries. You’ll understand what you’re doing much better; and, consequently, you’ll be writing much better JavaScript.

Codecademy is a relatively new website that bills itself as “the easiest way to learn how to code.” You’ll be the judge of that! Currently, there are only two course: “Getting Started with Programming” and “JavaScript Quick Start Guide.” This is an awesome way to dip your toes in the JavaScript pool. Very similar to the Try Ruby exercises, you’ll follow short lessons, writing code inside the browser and watching the results. All while earning points and unlocking achievement badges.


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-Alla snubbar vill ju vara katt, för att en katt e alltid katt,
ja katt för sin hatt.

-säg mig alla snubbar tänder ju på en rivig låt,
men bara en katt förstår sig på.

(håll igång, sjung en blues)

-Ett sånt corny spel gör att allting blir fel
-Varje ton han tar

-o med ett fyrkantigt spel så blir man direkt en del
-utav stenåldern

(za-za-za-za olé)


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