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Advice for begining javascript?

rvakid82 profile image rvakid82 ・1 min read

How does someone learn javascript? I’m currently doing a codeacadmey course and it’s not going too well, Webinars are all too advanced even the beginner ones. I tried w3scools and it’s simple enough but it’s so hard to remember anything. I’m not a tech person so i don’t know what bots or vue or angular does or how they relate to javascript or why there are tutorials for those. Feeling really defeated

Discussion

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start creating small applications. Like, make an application to change the text on a page. then slowly grow bigger.

"I’m currently doing a Codecademy course and it’s not going too well, Webinars are all too advanced even the beginner ones."

Take a break. try out whatever you have learned so far and then continue where you left.

"it’s so hard to remember anything"

You don't have to. You will automatically memorize things as you learn. Until then don't hesitate from using cheat sheets and other reference resources.

"I don’t know what bots or vue or angular does"

They are solutions to some recurring problems which I don't think you will face anytime soon. You can try them out. just blindly follow a tutorial and leave it. get back to basics. you will slowly start missing how easy that blind tutorial was. then you would know what they are.

"Feeling really defeated"

That's a just common thing. In programming, nobody is invincible. Everybody gets stuck at some point. Try a different route.


What I do is play around with something using a reference and then go to a full tutorial. try it, maybe it will work.

 

Thank you for the reply. How would i make an application...like an app for a phone? I don’t even know where to begin.

 

How about you just create an application as a website? Then slowly you can learn about what you need to make it into a native app.

Electron, React Native, etc. are all for this very purpose.

If you are a beginner, try to only concentrate on what you want to make. Platform, distribution, management, these all come after you know what you want to make.

I don't know what to make....i don't even know what javascript would be able to do. Do i need to know react or native or electron to know javaScript? I thought I had to learn javaScript before those other languages?

Do i need to know react or native or electron to know javaScript?

No.

I don't know what to make

Maybe start here

 

Hi. I will try to use as simple English as possible with minimum tech words and tell you what I would do if I was you.

  • make sure that you know what is HTML & CSS, learning JavaScript (henceforth JS) will be then faster. If you know HTML & CSS, then don't expect that JS will be similar. Imagine HTML & CSS like drawing on the website. In HTML, you "draw" (with code) some element, let's say

    tag, and then you see it. It has no functionality. You only placed an element on the layout. On the other hand, with JS, you can add functionality for those elements. Example: imagine your lamp on your table as HTML&CSS. That lamp could be pretty nice, it has a nice color. But to light up the lamp, you would need to add functionality and that is JS.

  • I use w3schools and other similar sources (e.g. Mozilla documentation) as documentation only. That means that if you forget anything, you can go there and find it out, otherwise, don't learn from those sites if you are beginner, you won't enjoy it and learning will become boring and you will lose your motivation

  • you mentioned that it is hard to remember stuff. Of course, it is even hard for me to remember all things. Don't expect that when you read code, you will remember it. You learn to code by coding. This means that instead of reading sooo much stuff, just read one part, and then go to code it. You will come out from your comfort zone and you will need to do something. But that's how people learn to code. By trying. So just start with simple projects and only used stuff you have learned in the previous lesson. Do small steps. If you want to become a good JS programmer as soon as possible, you cannot learn everything at once. Instead, you need to code smaller parts first and code them more often, maybe every day. This way you will have a feeling that you create something, and that's what should drive you.

  • don't think about Vue.js, React, Angular. Learn to program first. To work with them, you would need to know JS. Things like Vue / React / Angular just come and go, they are not stable. The stable part is JS which you use to code inside of them. I won't lie to you, coding with React or Vue will make your life much simpler and it is fun to work with those, but to do it, you need to know JS. Just ignore those until you know JS. With JS in your hands, you can then build mobile apps, web apps, desktop apps, etc. a lot of cool stuff. So learn what is important.

  • lastly. You need to search for JavaScript crash courses, or Vanilla (pure) JavaScript to learn JS first. Don't waste your time looking at advanced code. You will lose motivation and it does not help you. Try to start with something like this.
    youtube.com/watch?v=hdI2bqOjy3c&t=...

  • this last one is very important. Code in parallel with instructor. Code with him. Open code editor and do the exact same steps as the instructor does. Without doing this, you will stay in one place and would not be able to progress.

Good luck!

 

Thank you for the reply. I’ll try as much as i can on my own. How do i know what to create? I don’t even know what i’m learning or what it does. I won’t be able to have an instuctor for a while, i already can’t keep up with basic free tutorials i can’t pay for an instructors class when i know i’ll fail maybe one day i can pay for a class.

 

I didn't mean a real instructor. I meant a youtube instructor, author of the videos. For example Brad Traversy, the youtube video I sent you. Just learn fundamentals, and then later, after a few hours of learning fundamentals you will create something simple man. Just find on youtube courses for total beginners.

I'll try the video, thank you. I've been spending about 3-6 hours a day for the last month with JavaScript tutorials and this is all i have to show. I hope I can find some beginner tutorials that are not over my head. w3 schools is simple enough to follow but I still have no idea what the things I'm learning are used to do.

What you do is unefficient.

  1. code while watching (Most important)
  2. Code very small apps first
  3. Don’t care about big, it will come later
 

The first is to remind yourself that it's okay not to understand everything on the first try. Programming isn't easy. There are a lot of things to learn and keep track of. There are also a lot of weird interactions among different parts of a language. So firstly remember that it's okay to come out of reading a tutorial, following a video or attending a lecture having understood very little.

I don't have experience with codeacademy, but you might want to give freeCodeCamp's JavaScript courses a go. They're not amazingly amazing, but they're good at introducing concepts one at a time.

One thing that I find very helpful when learning something new (and it has been very helpful in my journey to learn coding) is to "keep track of things without understanding them". It's hard to put a label on it, but what I mean why that is that you don't need to understand everything. You don't need to understand what it is or why it is useful. It's okay to just start by being exposed to it. When I was first introduced to lookaheads (what a lookahead is isn't important right now), I read through the description and was left without the foggiest idea of what a lookahead was or why it'd be useful. But sometime later I did some research to solve a coding problem I was facing and it turned out that a solution was lookaheads. Then I finally understood what they were and why they were useful. The point is: repetition is key to learning. The first time you're introduced to something new, it's normal to be confused. Don't be discouraged by that. There'll be other chances to see the new concept in action.

Another thing you could do is try to find a mentor. If you don't personally know any programmer, you can try asking around DEV or in any other community of developers. Or join a discord server. Having someone whom you can ask specific questions, discuss ideas and learn from is amazing.

Lastly, try to build something on your own. It doesn't have to be a big thing. It doesn't have to solve anyone's problems, or be pretty, or even be useful. If you've just learned about variables, try making a bunch of new variables on your own. If you've just learned about console.log, try logging the value of all the variables you've made to the console. Repetition is key to learning. When you've been introduced to a new concept, practice it on your own.

Regarding bots, Vue, Angular and their relationship to JavaScript, if you're starting just now, that's not important. Really, don't sweat it. If you want to learn JavaScript, focus on learning JavaScript. Once you become more familiar with the programming language and the jargon of coding, it'll be a lot easier to figure out what those things are.

 

Thank you for the reply. What is discord? I keep hearing about it but i don’t understand what it does.

How do i build something? Is there a tutorail with instuctions? I don’t know what console log does. I repeat the same exercises but i don’t understand them at all.

I do need a mentor, but maybe i need ideas first to discuss? Do i need to learn servers or discord first?

 

Discord is a communication tool. It's designed for gaming, but it has a wide variety of uses. It basically allows people to set up text and voice channels to communicate. If you create an account, you can join servers and be part of a discord community. A quick search shows several options for programming communities.

The way to build something is very simple: You use what you have learned, but instead of following someone else's instructions you choose what to do. It doesn't have to be big. Just something that comes out of you rather than a guide. I could give you specific ideas on how to go about building something if I had a better idea of what you've learned so far; but the main thing is create something of your own.

You don't need to learn servers or discord. Discord is a useful tool for communication, but it isn't necessary. There plenty of ways to communicate with people online.

I don't think i've learned anything...I still don't even really understand why I would want to use JavaScript for something? I don't know what any of it does except print words to a screen or generate random numbers. I'll try freecodecamp for some more instructions, I really hope it's not over my head. Does it just take years and years to learn?