JavaScript

A decent place to start learning basic JavaScript for free is Codecademy. I also recommend the MDN.

Smashing Magazine, one of my favorite places to learn, has a helpful JavaScript Essentials page.

People rightfully rave about Douglas Crockford.

I wouldn’t stop there, however.

You’ll need to spend three to six hours a day over the course of several months and years to be serious about learning JavaScript. And even then, as you continue to learn, you’ll be amazed at what you didn’t know or what you misunderstood.

You’ll never stop learning if you’re really serious.

I have learned just enough to know that I need to refine my process. I still waste too much time being stuck.

I’m sure I could use better tools (I use Komodo Edit) but for now it isn’t Komodo that is holding me back, it’s my extreme reluctance to ask for help.

Getting stuck for a long time on one thing may be more honorable than always crying for help, but honestly, sometimes you just need a hand.

Fortunately, the JS community tends to be super helpful.  Who knows why? Maybe because they are cocky, or like to show off; maybe they have a crush on you. Or maybe they just want to pay it forward. The bottom line for me is this: as long as I have made my best attempt, I shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help.

Of course, there’s a flip side to seeking help. If you annoy your best resources by asking remedial things over and over or asking for help before making any attempt at all, then you’ll become toxic and annoying.

I hope to get cocky about code someday. I really do — at least just a little bit. My favorite sushi chefs tend to be conceited and it comes through in their work. A little swagger goes a long way.

I hope one day I’ll feel I don’t have time to waste being nice to plebeian supplicants pestering me with petty problems. I’ll answer them peremptorily with a riddle or a rebuke because I have more advanced students to help, more serious people to support.  They’ll quickly return to their keyboards, inspired and grateful.

Maybe by 2020 I’ll be a surly genius making speeches on the mountaintop but for now I’m just a wide-eyed pilgrim serving tea at base camp.

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