A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. The new tech-assisted approach that requires half the effort

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. The new tech-assisted approach that requires half the effort
By Mark Myers

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Product Description

Learning JavaScript is hell because of two problems.
I remove the problems, and you start having fun.

The first problem is retention. You remember only ten or twenty percent of what you read. That spells failure. To become fluent in a computer language, you have to retain pretty much everything.

How can you retain everything? Only by constantly being asked to play everything back. That's why people use flashcards. But my system does flashcards one better. After reading a short chapter, you go to my website and complete twenty interactive exercises. Algorithms check your work to make sure you know what you think you know. When you stumble, you do the exercise again. You keep trying until you know the chapter cold. The exercises are free.

The second problem is comprehension. Many learners hit a wall when they try to understand advanced concepts like variable scope and prototypes. Unfortunately, they blame themselves. That's why the Dummies books sell so well. But the fault lies with the authors, coding virtuosos who lack teaching talent. I'm the opposite of the typical software book author. I'll never code fast enough to land a job at Google. But I can teach.

Anyway, most comprehension problems are just retention problems in disguise. If you get lost trying to understand variable scope, it's because you don't remember how functions work. Thanks to the interactive exercises on my website, you'll always understand and remember everything necessary to confidently tackle the next concept.

"I've signed up to a few sites like Udemy, Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, Lynda, YouTube videos, even searched on Coursera but nothing seemed to work for me. This book takes only 10 minutes each chapter and after that, you can exercise what you've just learned right away!" —Amazon reviewer Constanza Morales

Better than just reading. And more fun.

You'll spend two to three times as much time practicing as reading. It's how you wind up satisfied, confident, and proud, instead of confused, discouraged, and defeated. And since many people find doing things more enjoyable than reading things, it can be a pleasure to learn this way, quite apart from the impressive results you achieve.

"Very effective and fun." —Amazon reviewer A. Bergamini

Written especially for beginners.

I wrote the book and exercises especially for people who are new to programming. Making no assumptions about what you already know, I walk you through JavaScript slowly, patiently. I explain every little thing in sixth-grade English. I avoid unnecessary technical jargon like the plague. (Face it, fellow authors, it is the plague.)

"The layman syntax he uses...makes it much easier to suddenly realize a concept that seemed abstract and too hard to wrap your head around is suddenly not complicated at all." — Amazon reviewer IMHO

The exercises keep you focused, give you extra practice where you're shaky, and prepare you for each next step. Every lesson is built on top of a solid foundation that you and I have carefully constructed. Each individual step is small. But, as Amazon reviewer James Toban says, when you get to the end of the book, you've built "a tower of JavaScript."

If you're an accomplished programmer already, my book may be too elementary for you. (Do you really need to be told what a variable is?) But if you're new to programming, more than a thousand five-star reviews are pretty good evidence that my book may be just the one to get you coding JavaScript successfully.

"Mark Myers' method of getting what can be...difficult information into a format that makes it exponentially easier to consume, truly understand, and synthesize into real-world application is beyond anything I've encountered before." —Amazon reviewer Jason A. Ruby

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #15672 in Books
  • Brand: Myers Mark
  • Published on: 2014-03-20
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 10.00" h x .58" w x 7.00" l, 1.23 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 254 pages


  • A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript The New Approach That Uses Technology to Cut Your Effort in Half

Editorial Reviews

About the Author
A few years ago I set out to teach myself JavaScript by reading programming books. It was such a struggle that I decided I must have lost some learning ability over the years. Then it hit me... I wasn't a bad learner. The books were bad teachers! I fought my way through a dozen books, and by brute effort, learned JavaScript. But I had to design exercises for myself. Without practice, I couldn't retain anything. JavaScript, I learned, isn't that hard. The books make it hard. So I wrote a book that makes JavaScript easy. And, since exercises are the only way to make the knowledge stick, I programmed 1,750 of them for you. I'm a former lecturer in the Communications School of Boston University. I hold an A.B. from Harvard. My professional focus is on using technology to reduce the effort and tedium of learning, primarily through interactivity. I'm developing the "A Smarter Way to Learn" series on programming, a collection of instructional books paired with online interactive exercises. I run the website https://www.ASmarterWayToLearn.com. Along with my wife Judy and our two politically-active cats, I live in Taos, NM, where I cook under the ghostly supervision of Marcella Hazan, read extensively, play showboat frisbee once a week, and long for more episodes of "Breaking Bad."

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

133 of 138 people found the following review helpful.
5Wow, I can't believe you got me addicted to this. I have never experienced anything like this before when learning.
By Coder0585
I have tried udemy courses as well as tuts premium courses but somehow the teachers go straight into complicated stuff I don't quite get. This ebook is the perfect book for anyone wanting to learn javascript. As a matter of fact, most of those tutorials online don't go into the simple details like this ebook does. I finally know how to splice, slice, push, pop, shift and unshift an Array. It's also hard to forget this stuff when you right away get coding on Mark's website.

As part of my learning, I'm also taking another class by Jeff Escalante, it's called "Making Kittens fly with JavaScript", I'm learning so much already because his course actually involves building a project from scratch. I tried learning javascript before from the "Eloquent Javascript" book and it was more intermediate than beginners so hopefully once I'm done with a smarter way to learn javascript and the other class I'm taking, I'll be able to finally understand the content of that book.

And for those of you who want to take their javascript knowledge to the next level, I recommend you start with THINKFUL school, it's an online school that focuses on front end and also involves doing projects from scratch in pure javascript, jquery and ajax. I'm planning to enroll once I finish this ebook, my other class, and the eloquent javascript book.

I recommend this ebook in the meantime to understand javascript better as you start getting into more advanced stuff in other courses. This book will really push you to learn the javascript fundamentals at last.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5Excellent Exercises for the Newbie Coder
By David Michael Griffin
Some time ago I completed Head First Javascript and Javascript, The Missing Manual but haven't had much need for Javascript beyond adding some canned JQuery to web pages. Recently I started a project where I need to start understanding JS code and actually coding with it. I realized that I had forgotten much of what I learned and also made lots of mistakes with semi-colons, commas, brackets etc. I find that coding is hard to learn because there is so much to remember and the computer is so unforgiving when you get syntax, capitalization or punctuation wrong. Yet, one must code in order to learn to code. Sophocles said it best: "One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try."

The advantage of A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript is that it takes you through 1790 coding skill development lessons. The instant feedback quickly makes you learn when to use semi-colons, commas, parentheses, brackets, CamelCase, etc. You will be writing for (var i = 0; i < something; i++) in your dreams and, without even thinking about it, early on in your completion of the exercises.

A Smarter Way uses a technique called "Programmed Learning". Do an internet search for it. You'll see that it is a way of learning that originated with the behaviorist B. F. Skinner. It IS effective. It is VERY effective.

A Smarter Way also uses the color cycle technique that is part of Test-Driven Development. The Exercises turn red when you get the answer wrong. They turn green when you get them right. You keep cycling through the ones you've missed until they are all green. It simply feels great when they all turn green.

This book will not make you a JavaScript coder. It WILL give you the skills to consistently write JavaScript correctly in order to move to the next level and start coding with JavaScript, probably as JQuery.

It is a solid, superior first course in the basics of writing JavaScript.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
By Amazon Customer
The author is right, most of the books written about JavaScript are very difficult, especially for beginners. It' s enough to make you feel stupid. I've only just begun this book, but after several chapters, it's evident that this approach is effective, and gratifying. The lessons build on each other, and before long, you realize you actually know something about JS. I go to college for IT, with a specialization in Web Application Development. Although JS is not really taught formally in the curriculum, students are expected to utilize it at a fairly high level. I see this book as an important part of my studies. I'm very much looking forward to completing this book and seeing just how good I can get at JS. Thanks Mark!

See all 1413 customer reviews...

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