February 1, 2012

Learning Javascript


I’ve been a C++ developer for the last six years working in P4V and P4Merge, and I realized it was time for a new challenge. So, I decided to learn Javascript. I’ve only been at it for a few weeks, but I can already tell that there are many language differences to get used to and a huge amount of resources to tap into.

Based on what I did, here are some steps you can take to learn Javascript:
  1. Take a class.
    I took a Javascript class back in December, but I have to say, it was not as good as I would have liked it to be. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have taken it since there are so many resources and tutorials online.
  2. Read a good Javascript book(s).
    There are lots of Javascript books out there, but so far, I like these three best:

    Also see the blog What to Read to Get Up to Speed in JavaScript.
  3. Look at examples, tutorials, and videos.
    There are many excellent videos, tutorials, and resources online:
    Douglas Crockford video series
    Learning to love Javascript

    Javascript for Beginners Part 1
    Javascript for Beginners Part 2
    Javascript for Beginners Part 3
    The Big List of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML Development Tools, Libraries, Projects, and Books

    Javascript Tutorial w3schools.com
    Google Code University CSS, HTML and Javascript
  4. Find a real project or tasks to work on.
    To me, there is nothing more valuable than looking at real code and working on a real-world project or task instead of just looking at examples. I’ve been helping Brian Murrell implement some of the new Perforce Javascript API operations. So far, I have implemented a few of them, and having something concrete to work on has proven to be really helpful in learning a new programming language. The next project I’ll be working on is implementing Merge Quest using HTML5 and Javascript. Wish me luck. 
Feel free to leave me a comment if you’d like more details about my experiences in learning Javascript.