Finally, A JavaScript Tutorial That’s Just For Me

In a previous post, I mentioned I knew jack squat when it comes to JavaScript.  I’ve tried tutorials on the W3Schools website, read through content on MDN, skimmed cool looking videos on Envato Tutsplus, but none of these resonated with me.  They held my attention for 2.5 seconds before I resigned myself to just taking a class in JavaScript next semester.  Yet the frustrating part was I wanted to learn JavaScript and I wanted to learn it now!

After doing some more digging, I found this tutorial on JavaScript for the absolute beginner on HTMLdog.com.  I felt the clouds part and a golden light shine down – finally, a tutorial I understand!  I wanted to kiss my laptop screen.  Seriously.

Everyone had their own unique style of learning.  It’s not a one size fits all approach, so finding something that captures your attention and breaks concepts down in ways you can comprehend is close to miraculous.  What I like about this tutorial is it does just that.  It starts with the very basics – having an external script file versus having the script in your HTML.  Then it goes on to dissect variables and their syntax instead of simply presenting a table of data types and operators.  Logic, looping, conditionals, object, function, and arrays are also touched on, with each lesson building on the previous one.  The code is stripped down and very easy to follow.

HTMLdog.com also offers intermediate and advanced lessons in JavaScripting – which I plan to check out as soon as I’m comfortable with the basics.

Pseu-Pseu-Pseudo Selectors

Ok, that was a bad attempt at a Phil Collins joke.  I apologize.  But I just want to have fun with my blog and the topic for this particular post is…fun…in a way.  I mean, how else can I get myself jazzed for talking about CSS Pseudo-Selectors without singing Phil Collins?

Yeah, so…how ‘bout them pseudo-selectors?  They’re really…neat?

Really though, they kind of are.  Knowing how to use them can make you feel like some kind of guru among developers.

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JavaScript Scripts and Plug-ins

I know absolutely zilch about JavaScript – aside from the fact it’s not Java.  That’s about it.  Oh, and it’s used for front-end development on websites.  That’s it.  That’s all I know.

Breaking front-end web development down into its three main parts, you have HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  In the simplest terms, HTML provides a website’s structure, CSS makes it look pretty, and JavaScript does the heavy lifting by converting a static webpage into one users can interact with – from form input to hover effects and media carousels, JavaScript can do it all.

To see some of these effects in action, check out Unheap.com.  Similar to a stock photo website, Unheap.com is full of user-created JavaScript scripts and JQuery plug-ins.  Some are free to download and use while others require some form of licensing.  With over 1000 plug-ins and featuring categories like UI, Input, Navigation, and Media, you’re bound to find inspiration for your next web project.

Some Thoughts on Apps

For the past month or two, I’ve been tossing around this idea of creating my first app – and ever since my discovery of Visual Studio Community, the desire to create my own app has doubled.  Strange, considering I’m not an avid app user.  I do have social media apps like Pinterest and Tumblr on my phone; I’ve downloaded things like Piano Composer and various collage maker apps, only to play around with them once and then delete them.  I don’t know if apps just don’t hold my attention or if I just haven’t found ones that are useful to me.  The only apps I use regularly are Google Maps and my weather app – very practical.  I guess it makes sense, then, that the app I want to create is a practical one.  I want an app that will help me keep track of my tasks, whether it’s homework, cleaning, or grocery shopping.

2LifeWeddingsScreens-1And I know there are dozens like that already out there, but you look at any one of them and they’re so…blah (and kind of a pain to use).

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Developing with Chrome

Everyone has an opinion about which browser is the greatest and why.  Prior to starting in web development, I used to just click on whatever icon was default for my computer – at work, that would be Internet Explorer, at home it was Edge or Safari depending on whether I was working on my Mac or laptop.  I never thought about downloading alternate browsers when all I wanted to do was get on the internet.  However, as a developer, being able to access and test your site on a variety of browsers is an important tool in your arsenal – and Chrome is fast becoming my browser of choice for developing.

One reason is the extensions it offers.  There’s an entire webstore of free extensions available.  For someone transitioning from print to web (like me), I’ve found a few to be invaluable.

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My First Look at Visual Studio Community for Web Design

Having previously played with Dreamweaver for web publishing, I was a bit apprehensive to try Visual Studio Community.  I was not won over by Dreamweaver in any way — sure, it has some nice features, like live view, but overall I just found it more of a hindrance and ended up hand coding my site all in code view.  So I was not overly excited to use a different WYSIWYG editor.  But, as I soon found out, Visual Studio Community is way beyond that.

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