Starting JavaScript!


This week, you will start learning JavaScript, the programming language that lets us add interactivity and more to web pages and apps. This is a handy list of resources:

JavaScript has been around since 1995, and random Googling by a beginner is likely to end in tears. There are so many old tutorials and so much outdated advice! You most definitely can learn to use JavaScript, but keep your focus on what is taught in this course and what is asked of you in the assignments. I have tried to streamline it for you.

Note: If you use JSHint, make sure you click “Configure” at the top of the page and select “New JavaScript features (ES6).” Otherwise you will get an error every time you use the let keyword, or any template literal.

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A Web design example

I just came across this nicely designed, responsive page: U.S. Web Design Standards

Point 1: Design standards are important, and the U.S. government is starting to realize that too!

Point 2: The page reflects many of the principles of good, standards-compliant We design in 2015.

Point 3: If you click “View the Standards,” you’ll find all kinds of good advice about usability and accessibility for Web and mobile content. It doesn’t matter if you are never going to design a site for the U.S. government — these are simply good, solid design practices that serve the audience well.

Code for journalism students

There’s a movement afoot that says everyone should learn to code. Programming should be taught in the elementary schools and high schools as a regular required subject. Why do people think this? Because learning to code is a process that makes you a better problem-solver in all kinds of situations.

Learning to code does not mean you want to become a computer programmer. I know you signed up for a major in the College of Journalism and Communications because you were good at writing, or maybe good at visual storytelling, and probably you did not like your math classes. Guess what? Neither did I.

Check out the About page and the Course Schedule and see whether you think you’re up to the challenge. Learn to code.