Share Your Learning Strategy

Hi everyone! This is my first post on the forum.

I’ve been trying to learn Javascript on and off for more than a year now. I’m originally a marketer and it seems like I’m always brought back to my primary skill whenever I’m a part of a project.

Now, I’m curious about people’s strategy to learn Javascript and what you have found to work for you and others. Please share what is your learning plan and what has helped you to keep learning and applying what you are learning on FreeCodeCamp.

My learning strategy is:

STEP 0: Learn basics of algorithms and data structures
STEP 1. Learn Javascript
STEP 2. Learn how Internet works under the hood
STEP 3. Learn APIs and frameworks

HEADS UP: It would feel slooooow and counterintuitive because all correct decisions feel that way.

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Hi there.

I started learning Javascript through a course paid by the company I now worked, but I found it wasn’t very good so I decided to investigate on my own. Obviously, the FreeCodeCamp curriculum has basically teached me everything. I sometimes go to W3Schools for more specific questions. And obviously, trying to make a lot of projects so It becomes muscle memory.

Hope that helps <3

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First of all, I’d identify why you haven’t been able to learn Javascript for over a year of trying. How far have you gotten in those learning sessions you’ve had? Were you learning on your own or using some courses, tutorials?
There are lots of ways to learn any programming language, my favorite is learning with a course (Udemy has some great ones) and creating some own projects after that course. When you feel comfortable enough, jump into another course - this time for a framework or some other technology - and repeat.

Also, you’ve mentioned Javascript but not HTML/CSS, are you proficient with those? You should have a good hang of basics IMO before you jump into JS.

That’s assuming that all decisions that feel slow and counter-intuitive are good decisions. I don’t know about starting with data structures and algorithms when you’re just wanting to begin learning JS. I guess that depends on the purpose, for Web Development he’s barely going to need either of those.

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practice, practice, practice :slight_smile:

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I’ve also been on and off learning JavaScript for awhile. I’ve finally figured out that what gets me a lot of time is the pacing of a course. Short modules like the ones on FreeCodeCamp and Codecademy go too quickly for me and it’s sometimes too easy to follow the instructions blindly without thinking about what I’m doing, so I don’t retain the information as well (they’re great for practice and review, though!). I’ve been combining these kinds of exercises with longer, more explanatory sources (check your local library for programming books, it’s alright if they’re a little out of date, but there’s a bit of a judgement call there) or the course over at developer.mozilla.org which is a little less structured than a textbook, but has an excellent reference section. It’s also good to feel like I’m working towards something, so, just for fun I’ve delved into the #Javascript 30 because the projects are short (it’s supposed to be one a day for a month) and I get a glimpse of some of the cool things Javascript can do, even if I don’t understand exactly everything going on in the code.

The second half, of course, is dedication and keeping myself motivated.

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My strat is to:

  1. Get my feet wet with simple explanation and examples from documentation, quick tutorials, or/and a video.
  2. Start messing around in a sandbox environment.
  3. Run into problems and realize I don’t understand some fundamental somewhere.
  4. Read deeper into the docs, find a book that covers it in more depth, and/or article, and/or google for a stack overflow answer on the explanation of the fundamental rather than a quick solution to the immediate problem.
  5. Continue experimenting with the new knowledge.
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I came from a Computer Science background and had mostly done Java before JavaScript so the basics of programming were already there, but it actually took me frighteningly long to start to learn JavaScripts quirks like variable scope and the way objects and callbacks work. I just cleaned up some old projects where I was synchronously disabling and re enabling on clicks in the Tic Tac Toe and Simon projects which means they could still be clicked while the settimeouts where waiting (because the synchronous code on the stack finishes it’s execution before the callback queue stuff can pop in). So I added the re enabling of on clicks into the callback that plays the sound.

Things like this are unique to JavaScript (or at least out of what I knew beforehand). So I would say make sure to learn how callbacks and the eventloop works in JavaScript after you learn the fundamentals of programming in general.

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People keep telling me to just start building something, but I dont like that because I just get annoyed and discouraged.

I think it’s really important to be playful when you’re learning something, rather than just trying to dive in head first and trying to learn everything as fast as possible.

Hands on work is important for sure but my approach is less coding is more. My approach is to watch videos and tutorials and instead of coding along, just watch the video and pay attention to what’s actually going on. I watch lots of videos and whats them multiple times.

Then I hit the editor and spend a good amount of time “chewing” on the tools or concepts that I’ve learned in small chunks until I feel comfortable with them. My aim isn’t to build something in particular, but when I do feel comfortable I try to build a component of something that I might want to use in a future project.

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