JavaScript Blitz!

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For a long time, my relationship with JavaScript could best be described as “indifferent”. We didn’t dislike each other per se, we just didn’t have any interest in getting to know each other any better. I found JavaScript to be without reason or accountability and she found me to lack focus and commitment.

However, there were signs along the past few years that things were probably going to have to change. But each time it happened, I reluctantly learned just enough to get whatever project I was working on un-stuck.

All this changed when I started at Sharethrough back in June and started working full-time on a (somewhat front-end heavy) Rails app. I could no longer fake the JS funk and expect to be as effective as I needed to be. I was suddenly thrust into the world of jQuery, Backbone.js, Jammit, Underscore, and more recently, 3rd-party JavaScript. So…. I needed to get up to speed, and quickly. I decided that this 6-month span (Jan-June 2012) will be my JS blitzkrieg. I still have a long way to go, but so far so good. Here are the resources I’ve been using:

1. Learning Advanced JavaScript: This is an awesome interactive online tutorial by John Resig that acts a great intro and primer. I’ve probably worked through this 3 times already.

2. JavaScript Patterns: This is the first JS book that actually made sense to me, but if I’m being honest it’s probably the first one that I actually gave the needed attention. Lots of great stuff in here, helps explain why a lot of JS libraries look like they do.

3. Backbone.JS Peepcode Screencast: Specific to the Backbone.js library, but extremely well-done. The teacher really knows his shit and keeps an almost comically high level of enthusiasm throughout the whole thing. Comes with a sample app to give some real-world examples.

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