CodeSchool JavaScript Road Trip

Ask my mother. She will be the first to tell you. I am stubborn. A few years back she told me, "We raised you to be independent, but you really took the concept and ran with it." My mother has a lot more tact than I do.

On the good side, pure stubbornness and persistence is how I learned ArcGIS and later Python scripting. By nature I am curious and like to be able to do things and know how they work. If there is  a better way to do it, a way to build a better donculator, I want to be able to figure out how to build the donculator. As of late, this has meant a desire to learn a lot more about web technologies, specifically the language of web applications, JavaScript.

Most JavaScript tutorials I have run across, even books I have picked up, spend a lot of time in the weeds in the basics. While good, I have had difficulty finding a good place to pick up more advanced topics, the things I am really interested in.

True, learning the basics is important, but I can figure most of that stuff out pretty fast. Understanding JavaScript objects and such, this is the stuff I really want to better understand.

Enter CodeSchool and their JavaScript Road Trip. There are three parts. It took me a morning to complete parts one and two. Part three took a week of spare time to wade through, and I may still go back and redo many of the sections.

Their format works. There are videos, few longer than 10 minutes and practical exercises completed in the web browser. I found myself toying around with a lot of the code in Notepad++ just because I would not loose it and testing out ideas using the Chrome interpreter.

This is in no way a ding on CodeSchool's environment. Rather, I tend to tinker with ideas a lot and this happened to be an easy and readily accessible environment for my purposes.

In addition to the videos and practical exercises, CodeSchool also has a support forum. Use the forums early and often. The CodeSchool staff monitor them and are extremely helpful if you run into difficulty. This can potentially save you hours of frustration.

If you, like myself, would like to actually learn JavaScript instead of flounder around with code samples you likey only understand a little of, this is an excellent place to get started. Although I still have a long way to go, at least I have a foundation now, something so all those code samples and documentation make a little more sense.