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Logan McLaughlin
Logan McLaughlin

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Day 2 Post-Learning Summary

Hey everybody! My name is Logan McLaughlin and today I just finished Day 2 of my journey down the road of my Software Engineering education! If you unclear about where my journey began, please visit the navigation links below, which I will begin to add at the end of every post for the sake of user convenience, to both take you to the very first post in this series as well as Previous and Next links!

Now, onto the content!

Small Talk
Thoughts About Today’s Lesson
+Introduction to JavaScript Syntax, Part I
+Introduction to Programming With JavaScript
++JavaScript: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
++JavaScript Versions: ES6 and Before
++Intro to Mozilla Developer Network
Final Thoughts

Small Talk

I have been awful tired today, but not as bad as yesterday. That said, my stamina is just plain drained. On top of that, each of the individual sections was waaaay bigger than I originally thought, so instead of taking on the enture Intro to JavaScript unit, I will instead be focusing on ONE section at a time. This is a pace that I need to keep in order to take plenty of breaks and take care of myself so that I can get through this. Education is a marathon, not a sprint.

Also, I do want to take a moment to sing OneNote's praises as a notetaking program. I remember using Evernote a fair bit when I was first starting out with various kinds of notetaking for school as well as to keep personal track of things I was doing. After a while, due to a fair amount of Evernote establishing paywalls later in its life cycle, I kinda stopped using it. And honestly, I'm kinda glad since OneNote exists. It's part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs just so you are aware, but it has so many features for making my notes super useful and just about all of them are very intuitive and user-friendly, especially if you have past experience with Microsoft Office as a suite of programs. Things like Screen Clipping, being able to just casually drag-and-drop pictures and links into your notebooks is phenomenal to me, and I am even seeing other features I have not yet felt like I've needed to use yet, such as Online Video and File Printout. I'm really, really happy with these features and will likely continue to use OneNote from now on. For sure!

Thoughts About Today’s Lesson

Before we get started, I do want to say some initial thoughts about the lesson as a whole in regards to my last post. I was under the assumption these lessons were going to be way more bite-sized chunks than they actually were, not unlike a website such as Khan Academy. And while there are more bite-sized chunks in every section, there were way more subsections than was initially let on. So the hierarchy is, like, "Career Path" -> Module (what I erroneously called a Unit prior) -> Unit (what I erroneously called a Section prior) -> then the individual Lessons after that. So the tree went WAY deeper and had way more information I needed to study and parse than I originally thought.

So instead of going over the entire first half of the "JavaScript Syntax, Part I" MODULE, I will instead be going over the first two Units within the Module: "Introduction: JavaScript Syntax Part I" (the general intro to the module itself) and "Introduction to Programming with JavaScript (a look into JavaScript itself). So EVEN STILL we are not quite in the realm of actually learning proper code yet! But we will ABSOLUTELY get there!

Introduction to JavaScript Syntax, Part I

This was a particularly short and sweet introduction into the Module proper. Basically saying the goals are to introduce us to JavaScript and make us comfortable writing in JavaScript. Simple stuff, no additional lessons. Straightforward and to the point.

Introduction to Programming With JavaScript

I want to do another brief stop here to mention that there were two parts of the lesson that I will not be covering as they are third-party sources meant to be used as reference material, this is includes a book as well as documentation on JavaScript on MDN (which we will talk about in its appropriate section later in the post). As these are reference materials, I will just plain not be covering these. The book is "JavaScript and JQuery" by Jon Duckett, for those who are interested. Anyway, back to the summary!

JavaScript: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

In this lesson, we learned why JavaScript is so popular and how it was developed back in 1995 by developer Brendan Eich, who was tasked with creating a lightweight programming language in 10 days. That, to me, is absolutely insane. But he did it, it ended up being called Mocha, at first, but was later renamed JavaScript.

We learned that JavaScript (aka JS) is very flexible and powerful, and is considered one of the primary languages for web development, along with HTML and CSS. It can be used in front-end and back-end development, it's standardized, allows for user interactivity, and offers a wide range of frameworks and libraries which can be imported to improve functionality.

One of the most prominent server-side JS versions is called "Node.js", or "Node", which is widely used by NASA, eBay, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Service due to it's sheer scalability from its ability to execute programs out of sequence, and is even used to create scalable web applications, messaging platforms, and even multiplayer games.

JS also has a large presence in many cross-platform applications, like Slack, GitHub, Skype, and others, which are developed with a framework known as "Electron.js", excellent for desktop applications that need to communicate with eachother regardless of OS. It is even possible that JS will be used to expand other innovative tech, such as VR and Gaming applications as well as smart devices.

It was told that mastering vanilla JS (or, simply, basic JavaScript) will be key to helping me understand and navigate various frameworks and libraries. Which makes a lot of sense!

JavaScript Versions: ES6 and Before

I will admit that I had never heard of ES6 before and had no real idea what it meant, but this lesson really taught me the importance of knowing what it is, the history behind its inception, and why it's relevant to JS.

We learn that ES, otherwise known as ECMAScript, was developed in 1997 by an organization called Ecma International, and was used to create standards for the scripting language, which provided rules for JS features. As time went on and more was needed out of JS, it was ES that provided the basis for consistency between all previous JS versions and current.

There are also distinguishing features between JS and ES proper, such as that JS is used for apps or programs, while ES is about creating new scripting languages. The most popular iteration of ES, known as ES6 (or "Javascript ES6" or "ES2015") was developed in 2015 and was widely adopted by the developer community at large due to the new features added, such as new keywords, new syntax using Arrow functions, creation of Classes, allowing parameters to have default values, support for asynchronous actions, and so much more.

It was also far easier for many developers who specialize in other programming languages to adopt JavaScript due to its ability to utilize Object Oriented Programming, or OOP.

In learning newer tools and frameworks, knowledge of ES6 is essential, but we should not disregard legacy code either.

Intro to Mozilla Developer Network

I'll be candid. I did not spend a ton of time on this lesson. After the third section, I realized that this section is ultimately a lesson on how to use MDN from the standpoint of someone who has never used the search feature on a website before, so I ultimately skipped it. The resource itself is great and I will be fully utilizing it, but the lesson itself could easily be skipped, I felt.

Final Thoughts

I'll be honest. Even with skipping roughly 2 1/2 lessons, I did feel like I got my fill for the day on learning new things. I am honestly hoping we can get down to coding tomorrow or whenever the next day I decide to learn is. I am hoping I will be less tired tomorrow. I'm honestly a little concerned that, if these two extremely simple units were enough to get me close enough to being done for the day, that a unit jam-packed with actual information might cause some issues. But I will be mindful of my own mental and physical health going forward and pace myself accordingly!

With that said, thank you very much for joining me today! I will return when I’m good and ready to tackle the next lesson! Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful day!


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