Should Web Designers Learn Javascript?

Javascript Books

 

So judging from this picture, javascript is 90% bad, right? 🙂

I am near completion of a javascript course I took at a local community college.  The class has been interesting.  A number of students dropped out, I heard many saying the projects were causing them a lot of stress, and I saw grown men cry – not really on the last part!

But seriously, learning a new programming language is hard and is not for the faint of heart.  I sat staring at my screen many times trying to figure out why my code was not working and each time it was something silly like a variable name mistake or incorrect syntax.  I have found javascript to be very unforgiving but as I’m getting used to it’s nuances, I am appreciating it more and more.

There are many misconceptions about javascript – that it’s a wimpy language, that’s it’s a mini version of java, that there isn’t much a web developer can do with it.  These are major misconceptions.  Javascript is a very powerful, object oriented programming language that is a distant cousin of Java (at best).  Javascript and Java are similar in the way that Car and Carpet are similar! (credit to stackoverflow).

If you are a web designer and you have a good handle on HTML and CSS, you must learn javascript.  I can’t stress this enough.  Even if it serves you as a stepping stone to the awesomeness of jQuery, it is the place to start.  Taking the time to understand how the language works and what it can do, will add a great deal of clout to your webmaster toolbelt.  I am still learning and plan to continue doing so but it has already opened my eyes to a bigger world!

Here are some resources I’ve found helpful as I’ve been learning:

http://www.w3schools.com – basic tutorial
http://www.thenewboston.com – video tutorials – the guy’s voice is pretty mono-tone but he goes slow which is great for newbies!
http://www.quirksmode.org – browser compatibility information
http://www.echoecho.com – tutorial
https://addons.mozilla.org – Firefox Javascript Dubugger – essential!

And of course, no tutorial can replace learning by doing.  The tutorials help, but I’ve learned the most from doing exercises.  The exercises I was given in my course, and my solutions, can be found here.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image