So you want to learn Javascript?

With the increasing popularity of Codeacademy (http://www.codecademy.com), a free online javascript course, many people are signing up to learn Javascript. This popularity is stemming from the current state of the economy, leaders saying that everyone should learn to code, and where our future jobs are going.

I think this is awesome and I believe having an understanding of basic computer logic is a great skill to have. This is why I push software like Gamemaker, Squeak, Scratch, etc. which require one to understand basic programming logic.I also teach HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and Actionscript in my classes.

However, I do think people are jumping the gun a bit with Javascript. The reason why? Javascript by itself is rather useless. I would not tell someone to learn javascript unless they had a solid foundation in HTML and CSS first. You really cant do anything with javascript without HTML. Learning javascript without HTML/CSS is like learning to hold your breath, then being put into a deep swimming pool without knowing how to swim.

So while I believe learning Javascript is great and I think everyone should learn basic programming…at least the logic, I believe that you should understand HTML and CSS before jumping the gun and learning Javascript.

So for those who want to learn js, just take a few weeks and learn HTML and CSS first. They are both very easy to learn – the easiest languages. Then when you have that foundation learn javascript. Then when you understand js, start learning a database language like PHP or Ruby.

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