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Cover image for A basic JavaScript course is NOT enough - Do these 5 things!

A basic JavaScript course is NOT enough - Do these 5 things!

arnoldgee profile image Arnau Gómez ・3 min read

About 3 months ago, when I started learning to code from scratch, the prospect of completing the entire freeCodeCamp JavaScript course seemed an impossible feat. At that time, the duration of the course (300 hours of algorithms and data headaches) made me think that whoever managed to complete it would become an absolute expert in JavaScript.

Not until I finished the last challenge - and received a diploma in Holy Patience 😇 - did I realize how wrong I was 😝.

Beginners! Do not make the same mistake as I did. The journey uphill had just begun 🚠 - yet there I was, feeling insignificant in front of the vast, pale yellow landscape of the JavaScript universe.

Learning Javascript is like climbing. Master the tough parts!

The truth is: an introductory course in JavaScript will only get you so far 🛣. In order to keep improving, you need to keep good habits and prepare yourself for a lifelong journey.

So, what next? 😉

The following 5 websites and strategies will make the journey much more enjoyable. I have chosen each of these for a specific JavaScript ability, so stay until the end!

1 CodeWars 🤺

CodeWars is a platform where you can practice coding challenges and climb up the ranks - just like in any martial art. Thanks to its community-driven approach, you can create and share your own challenges.

You can even watch how the very same challenge you solved in a single day and 40 lines of code is being dispatched in a single line of code by more experience users - yikes!

Apart from helping me learn tons of new functions, CodeWars has taught me a about algorithms - and how the hardest solution to a complex problem is actually the one that looks the simplest.

⚔️ Get started on CodeWars

2 MDN 🦖

Don't fear documentation - the Mozilla web docs are perfect for those who prefer reading than watching youtube tutorials. In my experience, the JavaScript section has always been a particularly useful tool in my belt: it's well explained, visually pleasing, packed wi and structured in a comprehensive frontend career path that targets the current demands in the job market.

In my opinion, making a habit of reading one article a day is an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and learn complex JavaScript concepts like this, promises or async functions.

🐉 Get started on MDN

3 Coding Interview Prep 😎

https://www.freecodecamp.org/learn/#coding-interview-prep
It took some time to discover that the freeCodeCamp JavaScript challenges were not over - the Coding Interview Prep "DLC" is available at the bottom of the page for those who are ready to take a serious challenge.

🏕 Get ready for a challenge on FCC

4 Scrimba 📝

A great platform for those who enjoy learning by doing. As a free code learning platform, Scrimba's top feature is the ability to pause the instructor's video and mess around with the code. Which is a giant step forward in comparison to traditional YouTube tutorials!

The website hosts many JavaScript courses, but I have been using it mainly to learn front-end frameworks. I highly recommend Bob Ziroll's course, which lets you learn React and finish the course with two fully functional projects in your portfolio.

5 Forums / Stack Overflow 🤓

According to the educational psychologist David Duran, teaching is one of the best ways to learn a topic in depth. And what better way to learn by teaching than to engage in a coding community?

Personally, helping the newbies at freeCodeCamp forum has been an excellent way to refresh basic JavaScript concepts and test my understanding of them. It's a win-win. I also plan to do the same in StackOverflow in the future, because, as Kalle Hallden points out, you StackOverflow reputation might eventually be decisive factor to land a first job in the industry.

🔖 Remember to save and like this article so that you don't forget the links! Now, a last message:

Speaking from the heart 💌

Even 300 hours won't get you far in the way to becoming a professional web developer. But, trust me: a lifetime of consistent learning will.

The best advice is: focus on the process, enjoy the daily challenges, and take your time to learn a programming language in depth. Consistency will pay off in the long run. 🏃🏾‍♀️

Happy coding!


💬 How long have you been learning JavaScript?
👉 What websites do you use practice it?
🌻 Is pale yellow your favourite colour?

💬 Leave a comment down below!

📷 cover photo: Steve Halama. photo: speckfechta.

Posted on by:

arnoldgee profile

Arnau Gómez

@arnoldgee

Thoughts 🧠 & hacks 🛠 on productivity, motivation 💪 & living a meaningful life as a Web Developer 👨🏻‍💻

Discussion

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Nice! Would indeed recommend CodeWars although I haven't used it in quite some time. It's usually more rewarding to build something you actually want to use yourself.

What I would also do:

  • Read all books from You Don't Know JS and take notes.
  • Take the free Javascript 30 course by Wes Bos. Don't cheat, try hard first before you give up and look at the actual solution.
  • Listen to podcasts whenever you feel like it (during your commute for example): JS Party, Syntax, The Changelog ...
 

codewars is especially awesome for pre-interview phase

 

That's right! Cracking the interview is tough and algorithms daily practice is the way in. Do you think I should read a book on algorithms too?

 

I recommend this post on how to prepare technical interviews, where I list resources that you'll find useful.

dev.to/codinglanguages/how-to-ace-...

Thanks for the resource! It'll definitely help.

 

In the pre-interview phase, I would study some docs/books on data structures and algorithms and try to apply them to real problems in codewars...

 

CodeWars and Hackerrank are the two sites I use to practice algorithms. Algorithms are not my strong suit, but I am trying to improve. I also need to learn when to use which datastructures better for which scenario. I kind of tend to solve different problems the same way. Great article!

 

Thanks for the comment. I didn't know about Hackerrank, but if you stick around I will review it in another article.

 

Bookmarking this for the near future :)

 
 

oh, man - thank you! This is so helpful, bookmarking for future notes.

 

Thanks Shannon! Where are you in your JavaScript learning path? If you like this article you can meet me on Twitter, where I post more about javascript, webdev, and purposeful productivity. twitter.com/4rnoldGee

 

Just in the very early stages, but always looking for aftercare when I finish courses!

 
 

You’re welcome! Where are you on your way to Javascript mastery?
If you wanna join me on Twitter: twitter.com/4rnoldgee

 

This was really great!!
That FCC Javascript deal is sure something. :(

 

Bookmarked and following 🦄

 

Thanks Alice! Do you write/ are you active on twitter? Tell me and I follow you!