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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(1479 customer reviews)

Product Description

The ultimate learn-by-doing approach

Written for beginners, useful for experienced developers who want to sharpen their skills and don't mind covering some ground they already know. (Feel free to skip early chapters that cover elementary topics like alerts, variables, and strings). Step-by-step, you learn the fundamentals of JavaScript as well as some advanced concepts including constructors and prototypes.

The book is extremely user-friendly. It assumes no programming experience. Chapters cover only as much as the average learner can absorb in ten minutes, so you're never asked to eat an elephant. Explanations are in plain, nontechnical English that people of all backgrounds can readily understand. With ample coding examples and illustrations.

The most important part: free, online, interactive exercises paired with each chapter. Cognitive research shows that retention increases 400 percent when learners are challenged to retrieve the information they just read. You'll spend two to three times as long practicing as reading. When you code incorrectly, you'll get as many do-overs as you need, until you know it cold.

Testing showed that books and courses load up the reader with far too much information at a time. So I divide up the information into little chunks that won't overwhelm you.

A book on coding doesn't have to be written in impenetrable legalese. It can actually be human-readable. My book is.

People often learn best through examples, so I provide plenty of them.

Most important, before you have a chance to forget what you've read in the book, I ask you to fire up your desktop or laptop (not your mobile device) and head over to my website, where you run a set of interactive exercises, practicing everything you've learned—until you're sure you've mastered it.

Readers tell me they often start the exercises thinking they've learned the latest lesson, and quickly find out they're still a little shaky on it. The automated exercise manager protects you against this common learner delusion. It keeps you at it until your overconfidence becomes real confidence—confidence that's based on your excellent performance. There are 1,750 exercises in all. They're all interactive, with an automated answer-checker that corrects your missteps and points you in the right direction when you stumble. And they're all free.

Thousands of readers have filled out feedback forms telling me that the combination of the book and interactive exercises is involving, fun, frustration-free, addictive, confidence-building, and...well, read the reviews.


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #8703 in Books
  • Published on: 2014-03-20
  • 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

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 http://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

115 of 120 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.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
4Good but a couple of omissions
By Running Bill
I've been coding websites since the 90s and went through this book as sort of a refresher and it was perfect for that. Short, straightforward chapters that get to the point and are very clear. Too many instructional books try to cram extra "gotchas" in the examples they're trying to illustrating and while I appreciate authors wanting to pass along their experience it often ends up muddling the main reason for the example. So here the author did a fantastic job of keeping the examples short, sweet, and to the point. And when there were real-world examples of potential issues, illustrated those separately. I wasn't a fan of the online quizzes because as he stated at the start of the book, he's very strict with how he wants you to enter the code. I'm a huge fan of teaching people to code cleanly but when you tell me I have to type "onMouseover" instead of "onmouseover" I'm out.

The major omissions for me were Object.create (although he showed the alternate way of creating objects) and setInterval, setTimeout, and as a bonus, requestAnimationFrame. I know a lot of designers will be wondering where those are. Other than that, I think he did a great job covering a lot of ground and the chapters on Objects, their properties and methods, and using "prototype" were the best explanations I've ever seen. If you're new to Javascript this book will get you up and running quickly, but you'll have to look up some animation elsewhere. If you're just trying to stay sharp like me, this is perfect commute reading.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
5Finally, a new approach to learning
By Les Platz
My bookshelf is full of "learn javascript" books I've purchased over the years. My success with each has been limited at best. One of the primary reasons is that none of these books engage me throughout the learning process. Each seem to follow the same basic recipe for laying out the building blocks for learning javascript. The approach requires the reader to regularlly dedicate both time and focus on chapters that typically all start out simple, but build quickly on the previous material. My issue with this style of learning is that it does not fit my learning style or lifestyle which prevents me from scheduling anything non-esential to my business on a regular daily basis.

The magic of this book is that is delivers the subject matter in quick to read, bite size portions. This is further reinforced by working through the exercises on the website after completeing each chapter. Say I've been away from the material for a week, no problem, I rewind through a prevous chapter as a quick refresh to reboot my memory and then move forward through new material.

If you want to learn Javascript but have limited chunks of time to pursue that goal, I suggest you try the genious approach Mark Myers has developed for guys like me. At last after years of failed starts, I finally feel I am going to succeed in learning Javascript.

See all 1479 customer reviews...

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