[New Series] Using the MDN Web Docs

andogq profile image Tom Anderson ・2 min read

Welcome to this new series, Things I Wish I Knew! I plan to periodically write a brief post that covers a very specific aspect of JavaScript that would've been amazing to know when I was starting out.

This is in no way meant to be an advanced topic or tutorial series, many of the things I write about you may already know, I'm simply trying to provide some extra insight and explanation to people who are interested in learning more about JavaScript!

Feel free to let me know if you're interested in hearing more about a specific topic that I write about, I'd be more than happy to expand if people are interested!

MDN Web Docs

Resources for developers, by developers.

It says it right in the tag line. The Mozilla Developer Network Web Docs (aka MDN) is a repository filled to the brim with indepth and up to date documentation and examples covering web technologies, including JS, CSS and HTML, along with substantial coverage of browser and DOM APIs. To give you an idea of how elaborate they are, just have a look at the overview.

I cannot understate how much of a useful and relevant resource this is for any developer. There are numerous examples present on each page, along with extensive cross-linking between to other relevant articles. It makes it painless to discover and understand any topic that you find yourself investigating.

I personally spend more time, and learn more from the docs, compared to other sites such as StackOverflow. Don't get me wrong, StackOverflow is an incredible resource and repository of knowledge which I use daily, but I've found if I want a deeper level of understanding and want to utilise what I've found in the future, MDN is the way to go.

My favourite aspect of the docs to browse would be the API Index (yes my life is sad, moving on), which lists out all the Web APIs available through JavaScript. The list is staggering, everything from Ambient Light Sensors to Web Crypto, it's certainly worth a look to see what is available for your website or app. Each API is supplemented with a compatibility table, outlining the functionality and support for all the major browsers, right along side a direct link to the specifications and related technologies.

I urge you to take the time have a look at MDN, learn how to use it to your advantage and to grow your knowledge and understanding as a developer. When you're Googling something, make an effort to scroll down an extra result or two do open the MDN page and get a thorough example and explaination. You won't regret it!


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