Seeking Advice on Learning JavaScript for Web Development

I’m new to the Kirupa forums and relatively new to web development. I’ve been focusing on learning JavaScript, and I’m looking for some advice and guidance from the experienced members here.

My Current Situation:

  • HTML & CSS: I have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS and have built a few simple web pages.
  • JavaScript: I’ve started learning JavaScript, but I find some concepts challenging to grasp.
  • Projects: I’m working on a couple of small projects to practice, but I’m not sure if I’m on the right track.

Specific Questions:

  1. Learning Resources: What are the best resources (books, websites, courses) for learning JavaScript, especially for beginners?
  2. Project Ideas: Can you suggest some beginner-friendly project ideas that will help me apply JavaScript concepts in a practical way?
  3. Common Pitfalls: What are some common mistakes beginners make when learning JavaScript, and how can I avoid them?
  4. Best Practices: What are some best practices for writing clean, efficient, and maintainable JavaScript code?
  5. Debugging Tips: Any tips or tools you recommend for debugging JavaScript code effectively?

What I’ve Tried So Far:

  • Following online tutorials and completing exercises on sites like freeCodeCamp and Codecademy.
  • Building small projects like a to-do list and a simple calculator to practice JavaScript.
  • Reading JavaScript documentation and articles, but sometimes finding it overwhelming.

Hey! Welcome to the forums! First off it sounds like you are on the right track. Web development is a deep ocean lots to learn even to get the “basics” if you feel challenged, even overwhelmed that’s perfectly normal.
Having used both freeCodeCamp and Codecademy in the past, I’d recommend both for different reasons, perhaps you have already discovered them. For me, I found that I worked through an entire course in Codecademy, finished and could barely write a line of PHP (that was the class I took) while freeCodeCamp actually taught me something. From what I found freeCodeCamp did a lot less hand-holding, they had good exercises and good explanations but it was up to you to muscle your way through searching for answers when you were stuck. This in and of itself is a huge skill to have a a developer. Codecademy does a lot more step by step break downs which is a good way to get familiar with the syntax of a language but I don’t think it helps close the gap between familiarity and being able to build something on your own.
I’d also recommend The Oden Project they have a similar approach to freeCodeCamp.

The best projects for anyone, beginner or otherwise, are things you are interested in. Why do you want to learn to code? If you have something you want to build just start working on it, you will move slowly and there will be a lot of frustration but it’s going to be as effective a teacher as any of the aforementioned sites above.

There are lots of ways do accomplish tasks in JavaScript almost every organization has their own “best practices” and if you add a framework like React on top there is a whole other bag of skills that go along with it. When learning I wouldn’t worry too much about clean, efficient, or maintainable as long as you get it to work. As you progress you can go back and read your earlier stuff, you will learn a lot of best practices just from doing that.

Debugging: debugger is a fantastic resource, I use it all the time. console.log is good for seeing stuff in your browser console but if you go to the ‘debugger’ tab in Firefox or ‘sources’ in Chrome there is a little section called “watch expressions” or “watch”. You can select specific variables in your code, combined with debugger in your code you can step through your code. I think Wes Bos has a video on this: