Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.

How to Learn Javascript

2 min read

JavaScript is a programming language. In order to learn JavaScript, we recommend that you first learn the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. Because, as you’ll soon see: HTML, CSS and JavaScript always work together at the same time. Together these three languages are known as the front-end languages and they each play a role in building a website:

html vs. css vs. javascript

What does JavaScript do?

JavaScript is responsible for the behavior of your website. What that means, is that JavaScript animates the various HTML elements and CSS styles on the page. Watch this video to see some live JavaScript examples:

If you’re thinking of learning JavaScript, you may quickly learn that there are many popular JavaScript frameworks (i.e., free code to help you succeed). Frameworks can be a good thing once you get started learning! But in the beginning, they may be overwhelming.

Let’s take a look at some actual JavaScript code, and then we’ll talk about JavaScript frameworks, and finally, I’ll share tips on how to learn JavaScript.

First, Learn JavaScript Basics

The code for JavaScript looks a little something likes this.

alert("Yo, I'm an annoying JavaScript popup")

That JavaScript code be written into the <head> of any HTML page: learn javascript online for free

 When we add this one line of JavaScript to a webpage you get this really simple alert: 

learn javascript part 3

I know what you’re thinking now: How do you go from coding that little JavaScript popup, to developing an entire JavaScript site? Well, lucky for us they’re a ton of frameworks!

Should You Avoid JavaScript frameworks?

Frameworks are essentially free code that you can use to make your site run really quick. Some popular JavaScript frameworks include jQuery, React, and AngularJS. If you see “JS” in the frameworks name then that means it’s made using JavaScript.

When you’re getting started you might be like, “Should I start with JavaScript, or should I start with a JavaScript framework first?” That’s kind of like the never-ending debate.

Here at One Month, we like to think to do a little bit of both. Jumping into the framework is gonna be really nice, cause it’ll give you a nice overview and you’ll feel really rewards of like, “This stuff’s working.” But doing the JavaScript itself will make you feel like, “Okay, cool. I’m learning the bones of how this thing’s put together.” If that makes sense. There’s really no right or wrong. For example, you can learn jQuery first, or start with JavaScript. At the end of the day just go in and make some things move.

Learn JavaScript Online Using These Free Resources

  • HTML vs. CSSHTML, CSS and JavaScript work together to make 99% of websites on the internet. Read before learning JavaScript you must know the difference between HTML and CSS. 
  • Eloquent JavaScript: a free online resource (also available in book format at Amazon). Read through the first few chapters of this book to get a feel for the basics of JavaScript.

The Best Online Courses to Learn JavaScript

Ready to take an online course? Here are a few online JavaScript courses that I’d recommend for beginners:

  • Learn JS — Whether you are an experienced programmer or a total beginner, this website is a great place to start learning JavaScript. You’ll learn the basics of JavaScript like operators, loops, variables, and callbacks.
  • Learn Javascript with One Month — Get JavaScript certified in just 30 days with this online JavaScript coding course. Each week you will be assigned one hour of video content, with an assignment to make a real-world project.
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Chris Castiglione Co-founder of Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.