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JavaScript Study Group: How to Learn JavaScript Properly Roadmap (Week 2 of 8)


This is only a study group. There will be no one teaching us JS. Think of it like a book club. You read the book and do the lessons on your own and then meetup with fellow coders on Saturday to discuss and troubleshoot. We're all following the same outline, but there's no 'structure' per se.

*Update: I started a Twitter account @denvercodeclub to keep us up-to-date. Any changes or announcements will be reflected both here and on Twitter**

This study group is for folks who want to learn and/or get better at writing JavaScript. Whether you're a budding novice or an experienced developer we welcome you. 

Together we'll learn the fundamentals of JavaScript by following Richard Bovell's "How to Learn JavaScript Properly" for the next eight weeks. If you follow the course outline you'll have a good, working knowledge of Javascript by the end of the year. 

This meetup is a hands-on-the-keyboard-meetup. We'll collectively follow the outline and meet to discuss where we're at with the course and the challenges that we're facing that week. Although we may occasionally have guest speakers, our meetups are primarily collaborative coding/pair programming sessions. 

A note on time: You should expect to dedicate 15-20hrs/week on JS during these 8 weeks. It's a lot of time. The idea is that you completely immerse yourself in JS for 2 months and have a study group to be accountable to. If you dedicate the time needed you'll come out on the other end a much better developer than if you just spend a few hours here and there.

Must haves: 

• A laptop

• A copy of JavaScript for Web Developers by Nicholas Zakas ($29.00 on Amazon)

• Sublime Text (or WebStorm)

• Working knowledge of CSS/HTML

At this first meeting we'll dive right into it and start discussing what we've been learning. 

Here's a few resources to get started with before we meet: 

• Codeschool has an excellent free course that teaches the basics

• Codecademy JavaScript track, which starts off week 1 

• A Reddit group that's working through the course together

• A similar meetup group in NY

I look forward to meeting you all Saturday morning!

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Weeks 1 and 2 - Introduction, Data Types, Expressions, and Operators (from the website)

• If you do not already know HTML and CSS very well, complete the Web Fundamentals Track on Codecademy. 

• Read the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 of Professional JavaScript for Web Developers.

Very Important

Every example code you encounter in the book, type it out and test it and tweak it (experiment with it) in Firefox’s or Chrome’s browser console. Or use JSFiddle. Don’t use Safari. I recommend Firefox—add the Firebug Add on to firefox and use it for testing and debugging your code. The browser console is an area of the browser where you can write and run JavaScript code. And JSFiddle is a web application that allows you to write and test your code online, right in your browser. You can test all sorts of code, including a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (and jQuery).

• Work through the Introduction to JavaScript section of the JavaScript Track on Codecademy. 

• Read the Preface and Chapters 3 and 4 of Professional JavaScript for Web Developers. You can skip the section on “Bitwise Operators”; it is hardly likely you will use those in your JavaScript career. And again, make sure you stop and write the example code in your browser’s console (or JSFiddle) and experiment—change some of the variables and tweak the code a bit.

• Work through sections 2 to 5 of the JavaScript Track on Codecademy.

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