Learning JavaScript

You really don’t have to check where JavaScript stands in the TIOBE index, it is undoubtedly the most popular programming language in today’s world. JavaScript started big in the browser land but with the inception and rise of NodeJS, it has come out of it’s browser context and now being used in all sorts of tools and toys. From modern progressive web apps to desktop apps, from command line tools to IoT – JavaScript is literally everywhere. The language has it’s quirks, it’s not perfect and it gets a lot hatred from time to time. Despite the backlash, JavaScript continues to grow and get more and more mind share. Specially if you’re interested in web development, sooner or later you would need some level of skills in the language. So in this blog post, I will go ahead and list some of the resources that can help beginners in the JS world.

Learning The Language

JavaScript, the language can be used in the browser or on the server side through a framework like NodeJS. You can also use JS in different other places for scripting purposes. Depending on where we’re using the language, the libraries or the APIs can vary. But the language – it remains more or less the same. So before you want to start learning the next modern front end framework or the latest MVC framework in the Node land, you probably want to learn the language first. You should learn basics very well and have a solid grasp of the language before you choose your platform / stack.

  • Speaking JavaScript is an excellent book to get started with ES5. The same author brings you Exploring ES6.  And that’s not all, he also has another book – Exploring ES2016 and ES2017. You can probably already guess – the author, Dr. Axel Rauschmayer is pretty awesome. Reading these books will definitely get your basics strong. You can read these books free online.
  • Eloquent Javascript is also free online and should help you learn both the language and how it works in the browser.
  • JavaScript: The Good Parts is another excellent book. The book is not very big in terms of volume but it covers the language pretty well.
  • You Don’t Know JS is the title of a series of books written by Kyle Simpson. You can read the books free online. This series is pretty awesome!
  • JavaScript Allongé, the “Six” Edition – can also be read free online and packs lots of excellent content.

You may consult multiple books to understand the same topic. But it would be a good idea to start one book and stick to it.

Practising JavaScript

When reading through the concepts, please do try out the codes yourself. Just reading through won’t help much if you don’t practise. You can practise JavaScript in these places:

  • HackerRank – solve programming problems with JS here.
  • You can also train JS at CodeWars.
  • How about learning JS while playing some games? CodeCombat has you covered!
  • You can solve problems at Project Euler too!

What’s Next?

Once you have learned the language, you can choose to work on the front end or the backend or you can choose to be a full stack JS developer! The choice is yours. Do try both and see which ones you like. Having a solid understanding of the language will make it easier for you to pick up any stack / framework. So put extra focus on learning the concepts well and taking your JS skills to intermediate level!

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