Learning JavaScript Online

Why not learn JavaScript

While between employment gigs – the professional way to say that I have a lot of spare time right now – I’ve become a voracious reader of tweets and blogs. This blog post by Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars and partner at Foundry Group, gave me another idea of how to use my time. Why not learn JavaScript?

Sample JavaScript
Sample JavaScript that you can paste into your web page.

JavaScript is a programming language that grew out of a need to add interactivity to web sites. It has since evolved into an incredibly versatile language used for both client-side (within the browser) and server-side (code that serves web pages to users) applications.

It might not be as sexy as Ruby or as popular as PHP, but it doesn’t have their learning degree of difficulty either. I’m not naive enough to think I’m going to be a competent JavaScript programmer simply by running through an online tutorial. But I’m geeky enough to think that a “merit badge” would be pretty darn cool!

Plus, it’s one of the three legs of the webmaster’s stool. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the three languages you’ll see in just about any website.

Use Codecademy

Plus, Codecademy is no ordinary online tutorial. I’ve just completed my first lesson, which included 42 exercises in eight sections. The user interface is slick, there are some social media features that provide incentives to share your progress, and a lot of thought has gone into the lesson plan. I’m eager to tackle the second lesson and post my progress!


It’s been many moons and I’ve not tackled the second lesson. A kid, then a new job, then a second kid, then a second new job. Online JavaScript lessons are still a good idea, but the merit badge will have to wait!

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