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Learning JavaScript

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 8 February 2012.
Planet PHP

One of my goals this year is to acquire new skills, so I've decided to start by learning JavaScript. As was the case when I learned html and CSS, it's a tricky endeavor, because I'm not exactly a beginner, and most stuff is geared toward beginners, which can make learning so inefficient that I lose my motivation.

I've decided to treat this effort just like I treat exercise, which is to focus on rhythm and consistency above all else. Don't break the chain. My days are packed, but I'm setting aside at least half an hour each day to do something related to learning JavaScript. As long as I hold myself to that and continue making progress, I'll be happy.

Why am I telling you this? One reason is to put myself on the hook, and another reason is so that I can share what I'm doing to learn JavaScript, in case you want to join me. (This also means those of you who have already been down this path can offer your sage advice.)

Since I've just started, I'm currently only using two sources:

Eloquent JavaScript This not only seems like a good introduction, but it also offers interactive exercises, which I think is going to make a big difference. Codecademy As you can see, I've already gone through some of the courses on Codecademy. The quality seems to be hit or miss, but I like the concept and the platform, and it allows me to dedicate very little time and still feel like I've made some progress.

I also have a copy of JavaScript: The Good Parts that O'Reilly sent me back when they wanted Sean and I to write a similar book for PHP. I'm not sure if it's best used as a guide or a reference, though.

If you're a developer and don't already consider yourself a JavaScript expert, won't you join me?