Should I start learning Front End Libraries before going any further into Javascript?

I have been working through the FCC JS curriculum (and previously went through the HTML/CSS curriculums) but am thinking of jumping ahead to the Front End Libraries certification and am interested in people’s thoughts as to whether it’s a bad idea.

My initial goal is to get a front-end developer job (and then continue to learn JS more fully once I get that job). I went through the “Basic Javascript” curriculum in FCC (so it’s not that I haven’t done any JS- I just still a total beginner at it. I’ve got rough understanding of loops, functions, arrays etc. All the stuff in the basic JS curriculum). Anyway, as I’m working through the JS curriculum, I am constantly thinking “I am not going to remember any of this stuff”.

I know from learning lots of other things, you retain something 1000x better when it is solving a problem for you. So as I’m going through the JS curriculum, I am endlessly thinking “this is pointless, I barely understand it now, and I’ll never retain it”. I’m sure the exercises are very useful for someone else, or for me at a different point in my progression (because I don’t plan to stop learning, and I do want to eventually understand the JS more fully). But right now, I’m just learning these very concepts which I will never retain (because they aren’t solving any problems for me).

Even if there are JS concepts that I need to use React etc, I would learn those specific concepts better when I’m poised with that problem. Also, when I do get a job as a front-end dev, I don’t expect that many of these algorithmic exercises will really be part of my day-to-day expected responsibilities… (I’m aware these algorithms exercises are a big part of the interview process though)

Anyway, am I wrong/crazy/lazy in thinking about jumping from basic JS to the Front End Libraries certification? Any thoughts or other’s experiences would be appreciated! Thanks

Hi @El_Escandalo, before tackling any of the js frameworks like Angular and React, I strongly suggest to have a deeper knowledge of JavaScript and specifically of Object Oriented JS and the features introduced by ES6.
Those are heavily present in the frameworks and I think that if you don’t know them, the frequent context-switching to learn what you don’t know will be a bit too much and it wouldn’t allow you to give the totality of the focus to learning the framework (which is already complex by itself).
The way I see it, going for React and Redux without a good understanding of advanced JS (OOP and ES6) Is a bit like going for math analysis without a good understanding of algebra.
Doable, but it’ll probably costs you 20 times the effort :sweat_smile:

As for the algorithmic part, if by that you mean the jQuery and DOM manipulation part of the curriculum, it would be very much expected that you know how to do that because it’s one of the fundamental goals of client-side programming.
If you mean the general exercises with js on for/while loops, arrays, functions and so on, they are extremely important (if not mandatory) because they give the experience to recognise when and where to use the tools you learnt in the theory to solve a problem (which is ultimately your goal as a developer).
If instead, you mean the part on data structures (lists, linkedLists, hashMaps, binary trees), I also think it is important but less “vital” than the other part.

Bootstrap however, as a front-end library, can be learnt when you have a good understanding of html5 and css3.


@simonebogni Ok thank you for your thoughts! Yes, I understand the concerns with the frequent context-shifting…

@simonebogni I know this questions is from close to 9 months ago, but do you have any suggestions for bridging that gap? I’m currently in a Bootcamp, but am completely overwhelmed by my brief knowledge of Javascript. I do have some python experience, which has helped. Do you have any suggestions for getting a deeper understanding of JS like you recommended?

edit: OR do you feel that the full curriculum of Javascript from FCC suffices?