JavaScript - Getting Started

By completing Unit 1 you’ve demonstrated your ability to make web pages. Creating pages with HTML and CSS alone are static, meaning, they don’t change and you can’t really interact with them. That would be fine if all you wanted to develop were sites with content that rarely needed updating but you’re here because you want to make interactive web apps, right?

“When is an appropriate time to use the alert method in JavaScript?”
sample interview question

Most of the action on the web is controlled by a client-side scripting language called Javascript. This makes your pop-ups pop up, your drop-downs drop down and your roll-overs roll over. Basically anything cool that you see on the web is controlled by Javascript, which has been around for a long time but has become increasingly relevant in recent years. You’ll find it in use on almost every major website you visit, doing all sorts of cool stuff like:

  • validating forms
  • communicating with servers
  • enhancing user experience
  • and much, much more - Like this

It’s very powerful, but at the same time it’s a great language for beginning coders because as you’ll see its really easy to get started. In Unit 2, you’ll be putting JavaScript to work in your web pages and when you when you start to get JavaScript — you’ll start to get coding. So relax, take your time, and don’t forget about Google. This is the most crucial unit of the bunch.

Begin by reading Mozilla’s A re-introduction to Javascript - an excellent guide to the various terms and types that we’ll be learning about in this unit. Again, don’t feel like you need to understand and memorize every single term, but refer back to this throughout the unit to get a better understanding of what’s happening in the challenge. Pay special attention to the sections on variables and functions, as we’ll be focusing on them soon. Take a little break after you’ve finished reading the article, then come back!

MDN: A re-introduction to JavaScript

Before you can even think about making cool stuff with Javascript you’ll have to learn how to get it up and running on a web page. Remember how you learned multiple methods of CSS inclusion in Unit 1? Well, JavaScript is embedded into web pages using pretty similar methods.

There is nothing that will make you more comfortable with Javascript than interacting with it in real-time. Let’s begin by heading over to our old pals at Codecademy to break this down into more manageable chunks. Check out the Javascript track on Codecademy and complete both Getting Started with Programming and the Fizzbuzz Project.

Codecademy: Getting Started with Programming Codecademy: FizzBuzz Project

Now watch Getting Started With Javascript, from a developer at GrooveShark — having completed the Codecademy course, you should be able to follow along with the code being written in the video.

And in closing, please enjoy this special Coding for GOOD video presentation with a Front End Developer from GrooveShark.

Basic JavaScript: Data Structures w/ GrooveShark

If there’s anything you are struggling with, look back at A re-introduction to Javascript or try googling your problems away! All good? Time for the challenge!

What's next? Do the challenge!

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