Learning to Code – JavaScript Edition – The BIMsider

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Information about Learning to Code – JavaScript Edition – The BIMsider

Phil Puccio

Well, I’ve decided to give learning how to code another kick and this time JavaScript plays the role of the can.

Click me!

So if this post looks like déjà vu, somehow it is. I’ve been here and done this … learned to code or code anyway. I have studied programming many times in my life, since I was a little boy “playing” logo on a TRS-80 or programming simple games on a Vic-20 using books from the school library. Many years later my interest in everything to do with programming began again with Dynamo, C #, a little Python, and now JavaScript.

Ok but why do you ask? Well this is a story about how my life was turned upside down. And I liked to take a minute and just sit down. I’m telling you how I became the prince of a city … oh wait, that’s different.

But seriously, these days I work at BIM track I spend more time with cloud-based software and APIs than anything else. That means less time in Dynamo, C #, or Python, and as they say, if you don’t use it, you will lose it or at least get rusty. When I started into the world of “Web developer“It seemed like JavaScript would be a good start and I knew you can do cool Plugins to the FormIt with JS, so why not!

The plugin playground in FormIt 2022

At the beginning

The hardest part of starting up is deciding to start, of course the really hard part is after you’ve made up your mind to move on! For me that means different learning methods, not just one. I’ve used books, YouTube, self-directed learning, teacher lead learning, and the real game changer this time around was the projects! More on projects and resources later in the post.

A couple of other things that I discovered this time:

  • IIt’s okay to learn the basics more than once.
    • The more you learn the basics, the more they sink into it
    • Once you’ve learned it, the next time you can learn it with context. That is, you learned the principle for the first time, this time you will learn the practical side of it
    • Yes, that “Basics” are similar in many programming languages, but the subtleties are different. For example, did you know that you can use either ”” or ”? around strings in JavaScript, just not one of each at the same time.
  • L.Earning a code can lead to rabbit holes.
    • Like learning other languages. Did you know some know? HTML and CSS will be very helpful in learning JavaScript
    • To write the JavaScript it helps to have a text editor – Enter VS code
    • Now you need to learn how to use VS Code (or your favorite text editor).
    • GitHub give you access to free “pages” (think websites) with your free GitHub account.
    • To use them effectively GitHub pages you should learn Discount language
    • Really understanding and using GitHub is practical to learn Git (the language)
    • Soooo many rabbit holes …

resources

This is a list of some of the resources that helped me learn JavaScript during my journey (key to me, everyone learns differently, but I’m sure some will find them helpful).

Books

I know it’s shocking, but I’m not a great book reader 🤯. That being said, I read this book from start to finish and found it fun, sarcastic, and informative with the added bonus of exercises and records.

Other books you might find helpful, like me:

Youtube

YouTube seems to be everyone’s cup of tea these days, and with JavaScript being the “language of the internet” there is no shortage of content. These are some of the YouTube channels I’ve found helpful so far.

Traversy media – That is Brad Traversys YouTube channel, tons of great content. Brad is a dedicated teacher and his tutorials are great.

Framework Tech Media – That is Mark Lassoffs The YouTube channel, like Brads’, has a lot of great content and I really appreciate the style and way he teaches.

Other YouTube channels you might find helpful.

  • Scrimba – Good content for JS, HTML, CSS and projects
  • Florin Pop – Some good content, I’ve been following his $ 0- $ 100K challenge
  • codeSTACKr – Some helpful tips on VS Code and JavaScript content
  • Code with Ania Kubow – Lots of different content includes JS (even a video to create Mario in JS)
  • Code with Leanne – One of the two behind the Scrimba Weekly Dev Challenge (more on this)
  • dcode – Lots of tutorials in JS, HTML & CSS
  • Alan Simpson – I’ve attended some of Alan’s online courses, great teacher – this is his channel
  • Anna Lytical – Coding with a side of Drag Queen Sass!
  • Colby Fayock – Got some good web dev stuff here
  • Colt Steele – Good general all round coding page with some JS, HTML, CSS
  • The web ninja – good content great name 🙂
  • DevPool – To be honest, mostly because of the name, but also some helpful content

Courses

These are some courses that I have taken or are attending that are online and are a mix of self study and teacher guidance. I really prefer the instructor, which is preferred to self-study. And if I had a choice, I like it synchronous Version where there is a real class being taught every week somewhere in the world and you are only attending that class virtually at that time. I’ve taken courses LinkedIn learning, Udemy, ed2go, Scrimba, and Frame TV. These were a mix of paid and free courses. By the way: Did you know that many city libraries offer free access to LinkedIn Learning as part of their library membership? It was an amazing (and completely free) resource for me.

Modern JavaScript right from the start – created by Brad Traversy

I’m doing this course right now and I really enjoy it. Brad does a great job explaining the basics and then expanding to more real-world examples. The other HUGH bonus is that there are many projects that are part of the class.

Other courses that I have attended or think might be helpful, again a mix of free and paid

Projects

For me, the biggest difference this time on my coding journey was adding projects! I’ve always said when I’m training Dynamo (or any other visual programming language or other) that solving a problem of your own makes the process a lot easier because you have a personal interest in the outcome. You don’t always have a problem to solve, however, so bridging that gap as you work on projects helps. Keep in mind that there are different types of projects for coding too. You can do the tutorial type (separately or as part of a course) where someone does the project with you (or by following videos alone). There are also those that are just ideas of how it would make a great JavaScript project magical 8-ball app, or a calculator or whatever.

Finding for me Scrimba Weekly Web Developer Challenge has been great. It’s a weekly JavaScript focused challenge, with some HTML and CSS a great community on Discord to help. They also do a weekly “Code-Along”Session where the people running the challenge live code a possible solution.

You can learn more about it here

Some other project options I came across during my JavaScript adventure.

Where are we now?

I’ve been working on this JavaScript adventure for the last 4 or 5 months, starting with courses, and I’ve been really enjoying the projects lately. I’m still working on a few self-paced courses and have a new instructor to lead one from mid-September. My end goal is to get enough knowledge in JavaScript to get more API stuff done. I want to be able to tools like Open API for BIM tracks (At swagger) or the Postman API platform to automate and simplify integration with an API.

So far I’ve learned (and learned again) a lot and even started keeping track of what I’ve coded on mine GitHub. I have a couple of repos, one for mine Weekly web development challenge Try and do one with the projects that I have as part of the Modern JavaScript course. If you click on the mission statement for this post, you will get to one of my first projects 😁

The real takeaway here is never to stop learning. Googling while coding is also okay, with the exception of the fact that you never learn everything. The nice thing about JavaScript is that pages like Overflow of packets have tons of answers to your questions, usually many different but equally good answers, which makes learning easier.

In conclusion, I want to say that I’m not sure where this will take me, but I enjoy it. And as my good buddy John Pierson (@60second revision) always says “Having fun is 73.7% of it” (I may paraphrase a little I think he says No work is ever wasted). And in honor of John, I leave you with another one of my Web Dev Solutions. Long live the doge!

The JavaScript Loader Challenge

Just click on it … you know you want it

Until next time,

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Original Source: https://thebimsider.com/2021/08/27/learning-to-code-js/
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