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  1. #1
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    Can you recommend books for absolute beginners?

    Hi everyone,

    Can anyone recommend a good book for beginners in JavaScript coding. I have read tutorials/ watched tutorials/ read the first chapters of JavaScript in Easy Steps(Mike McGrath), JavaScript Beginner's Guide by John Pollock... I also came across some other books online, read tons of book reviews and still don't know which one(s) would be good for me. What I find odd is that everything starts super easy - especially when they explain the math operations, the structure/logic behind the if...else statements, and then bam! -the actual code is incomprehensible. Please, help me, if you can. Or, if you can share your experience with books you have found useful, it would be great!
    Thank you, all.

  • #2
    Supreme Master coder! Philip M's Avatar
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    This question is often asked.

    Trying to learn JavaScript -- Any suggestions

    Best Javascript book or tutorial

    Best way to learn javascript properly?

    But it is not possible to learn to swim by correspondence course. The best advice is to spend a lot of time practicing writing (and testing/modifying) code. Also keep in touch with this forum.


    Almost 20,000 prisoners were forced to share a cell designed for one person last year. - Newsreader, BBC Radio 4.
    Last edited by Philip M; 09-21-2013 at 08:43 AM.

    All the code given in this post has been tested and is intended to address the question asked.
    Unless stated otherwise it is not just a demonstration.

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  • #3
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    Thank you very much.

  • #4
    Senior Coder rnd me's Avatar
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    you might consider learning something easier like C++ before you take on javascript. i think compiled languages are easier to debug while learning the ins and outs of programming. Javascript also has a lot of complication not present in other languages; compat headaches, DOM complexity, prototypical inheritance, and other conspire to confuse the learner...

    work through the first 8-12 chapters of a C++ book, then you should be ready to take on JS and all it's ugly glory.
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  • #5
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    It's funny(to me) that you recommend C++ rnd_me. I programmed in machine language, assembly, and C and then C++ came out. It threw me to the floor and kicked me til I bleed. Stopped coding for awhile because of it.
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  • #6
    Senior Coder rnd me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunfighter View Post
    It's funny(to me) that you recommend C++ rnd_me. I programmed in machine language, assembly, and C and then C++ came out. It threw me to the floor and kicked me til I bleed. Stopped coding for awhile because of it.
    it's not that JS is more complex, it's that it's harder to debug at the very start until you learn what the error messages actually mean.

    you probably weren't writing "hello world" - level programs in C++, and you had conflicting experience making it harder for you. Typically, the 2nd learned language will always be a coder's strongest.

    Excel's VBA would not be a bad place to start either, that's what they used to teach my "CS101" class at UIUC. But, excel cost money, so i wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    BASIC and Pascal are nice for learning, but very limited in use today. I feel that C++ can let one learn rules, loops, and structures using a nice javascript-like syntax that will translate easily when the coder moves on to real projects on the web.
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  • #7
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    What do you think about Python? Not that I play with it, but was told it was an easy language and some good things are programmed in it. Don't know. I ask cause it looks similar to javascript and I personally have just got interested in Raspberry Pi (the cheap computer board) and they recommend Python, I think it has a small foot print, for making programs for the thing.
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  • #8
    Senior Coder rnd me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunfighter View Post
    What do you think about Python?
    not a bad fundamental choice, but the syntax (indentation-based) is quite a bit different than curly-brace languages like c or js. python does have some nice features, lots of libs, and a good community. i haven't used it enough to speak for the debug capabilities.

    To me, a first language doesn't have to be the language that will be used everyday, or even ever again. it need not run on every device or platform. It should be common enough to find answers and get help upon. it should allow top-down procedural code to get you up and running with variables, loops, input, sub-routines, etc, but also allow other paradigms like OOP, functional, or event-driven so that the learner can get a foothold in popular patterns within the comfort of a familiar language. It should have good debugging options. intermediate mode is a big help, so is a console, and so is file-based logging.

    i'm not really a programming expert though. i dabbled for years with basic in K-12, took up vb6 a bit later for a few side-projects, and then hooked, I moved to JS to get away from the distribution headaches of compiled code. I also studied lisp and haskell a bit and that upped my JS skills more than taking an intro CS class a couple years ago.

    In short, i think it would be easier to learn how to program a little bit then learn JS than to try to do both at once...
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