(+) Best Online Courses #11

JavaScript: Getting Started on Pluralsight by Mark Zamoyta

There are countless intro courses on JavaScript available from a wide variety of platforms, which can make it extremely difficult to decide which one to do, especially if you’re a beginner just starting out and trying to learn web development with no previous knowledge of programming. Udemy alone has more than several courses on JavaScript that all claim to be for beginners, but as I’ve said before about Udemy, the instructors on the platform are wildly inconsistent and most are best avoided.

With that said, I’ll have to provide a disclaimer that I haven’t done all of the introductory JavaScript courses that exist everywhere of course, but I have done a fair number through a variety of platforms including on Udemy, Lynda, Pluralsight, Upskill, Laracasts, and others. And out of all of the courses that I’ve done, there’s one that easily rises to the top as being the most accessible introduction to JavaScript that I would unequivocally recommend for beginners everywhere, which is this one.

Zamoyta’s course on Pluralsight is perfect for anyone coming to JavaScript with no previous knowledge of programming from another language. He assumes the least amount of knowledge that I’ve seen from a JavaScript course anywhere and starts explaining all of the essential programming concepts like variables, types, operators, conditional logic, and loops from scratch. It further helps that the course is up to date with modern JavaScript syntax from ES6/ES2015, covers the all-important topic of the DOM, and combines PowerPoint-like slides with a screencast that shows a code-along project that you can follow along to. For the screencast, Zamoyta uses the online code editor environment Plnkr, which simulates real-world coding tools and workflow better than similar tools like CodePen and JSBin (which are both decent tools, but don’t do an effective job of allowing you to create files and write code like you might for a real-world project).

Conclusion: If you’re looking for a “first” course on JavaScript, this is the one that I would recommend over anything else, and one that I would recommend doing prior to any other learning resources, including freeCodeCamp’s curriculum, Colt Steele’s The Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy, or Morten Rand-Henriksen’s JavaScript Essential Training on Lynda (which I’ll review in a future post and is a very good course, but more advanced).

Because this course is on Pluralsight, I highly recommend taking advantage of their 10-day trial period to complete it if you need to. It’s certainly short enough that 10 days is more than enough time to complete it, and although Pluralsight isn’t a totally consistent platform, it does an effective job at showing the average level of course quality on Pluralsight’s platform as well.

Rating: 5 out of 5