Whether you have your heart set on becoming a web developer or simply want to expand your skills in this widely growing niche, taking an introductory course to JavaScript might be a smart choice for you.

One of the most common and most versatile programming languages, JavaScript is the perfect introduction to the discipline. Once you’ve mastered JavaScript, the options are endless – you could code on the client-side or on the server-side, depending on which additional technologies you master.

You could even create and manage mobile and desktop apps using programs like React and Electron – or you might get involved in machine learning.

Simply put, learning JavaScript is a smart way to make yourself more marketable for today’s job market.

Many people assume that they have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on college courses to become proficient in this versatile language, but the reality is that you can learn the basics of JavaScript from home (and in just over an hour!) at your own computer.

You can also do it for free by taking the Introduction to JavaScript course through the Udemy course platform.

Intrigued? Here’s my honest, in-depth review of this class, taught by Robin Haney.

 

What is JavaScript?

 

What is JavaScript

 

New to programming? Don’t worry – JavaScript is not rocket science.

It is simply a scripting language used to control and create dynamic website content (in other words, anything that refreshes, moves, or changes on your screen without you having to do anything at all, like reloading a web page).

Everything from animated graphics to interactive forms or even autocomplete text suggestions utilize JavaScript. If you think about the most common web features you use on a daily basis – and probably take for granted  – such as automatic Facebook timeline updates or Google search suggestions, JavaScript is probably responsible.

That sounds simple, but at its core, JavaScript is slightly more complicated. It’s used to automate and animate, but it also adds interactivity to websites, can be used to develop mobile applications and games, and can even be used for back end web development.

In short, it is a versatile language that is absolutely essential for the web as we know it today.

Learning JavaScript is beneficial for so many reasons. Compared to other common programming languages, JavaScript is one of the most beginner-friendly languages when you’re first getting into coding. It can be installed on just about any modern web browser so you don’t need to set up a full development environment to get started. You’ll be able to begin right away.

When you learn JavaScript, you’ll also get instant and reliable feedback. There’s minimal JavaScript code so you’ll see results quickly. Since it’s one of the most popular programming languages, there are plenty of resources and community support services available online, too.

JavaScript is friendly to beginners and will provide you with transferable skills that can be used in other programming environments. It supports imperative, functional, and object-oriented styles of programming, which can also be used in C++, Java, and Python.

The best way to learn JavaScript is to get hands-on – which you’ll be able to do by taking the Introduction to JavaScript course by Robin Haney. This web development course will acquaint you with the basics so you have a good working knowledge before you head out to experiment on your own.

 

What Kinds of Content Does the Course Cover?

The Introductory to JavaScript course is a basic, entry-level class that will acquaint you with all the elementary principles of web development.

You’ll learn the syntax and flow of JavaScript along with the foundational skills you need to start programming and working in JavaScript right away. You’ll also be trained in variables, strings, and numbers so that you can integrate this training into your practice almost immediately.

Introduction to JavaScript

In the first section of the course, you’ll go through nine separate modules. These include:

  • What You Will Be Learning Throughout This Course
  • Creating Your Very First JavaScript Program
  • What is JavaScript and Some Live Examples of It on the Web
  • How to Access the External Files for Each Lesson of This Course
  • How to Link an External JavaSCript File from an HTML Document
  • What is the JavaScript Console?
  • JavaScript Console Challenge: Can You Debug This Program
  • The Solution to the Problem
  • How to Ask for Help

As you can see, some of these are very much “housekeeping” type c modules to cover the logistics of taking the class. In others, you’ll get hands-on examples that can help you navigate JavaScript (one particularly helpful resource was the file that included examples of good text editors for coding – this was a handy resource to have on hand later on).

Using Variables and Storing Information

In the second section of the class, you’ll learn more about what variables are and why they are important in JavaScript. You’ll learn how they can make your programs more advanced, too. Course modules for this section include:

  • What is a Variable?
  • How To Assign Names to Your Variables
  • An Introduction to Strings and Numbers
  • How To Capture Input From a Visitor
  • Combining Strings Together
  • Working With Strings In Further Details
  • The Variable Coding Challenge
  • The solution to The Variable Coding Challenge

When you’re done with this section, you’ll be prompted to take a short quiz. It’s only four questions long, and honestly, if you didn’t want to take it, you could just skip right over it. You don’t have to work in order, so there’s no way the quiz can be mandatory.

However, I took the quiz and found it to be a good way to review which pieces I got wrong. The quiz will tell you where to go back and find correct answers if you want to review areas of misunderstanding, too.

Working With Numbers in JavaScript

 

Working With Numbers in JavaScript

 

The final section is the shortest at only sixteen minutes long. It includes these modules:

  • What Are Numbers?
  • How We Do Math In JavaScript
  • Numbers and Calculations
  • Working With The Math Object
  • The Numbers Challenge
  • Solution To The Numbers Challenge

There is no culminating quiz, but there is a quick three-question review. In my opinion, that review was just as beneficial as the quiz from the previous section.

 

The Udemy Course Platform

This is only the second course I’ve taken on Udemy (the first being the AWS Concepts Course by Linux Academy) and I continue to be impressed by its features.

Udemy hasn’t been around for that long (only since 2010), but in its short existence, has expanded to become a massive course platform with more than 295 million course enrollments and students from nearly 200 different countries.

Taking a class through Udemy isn’t the same as taking a class at a college or university – and that’s definitely not a bad thing. These classes are designed specifically to improve job-related skills, with some giving you credit toward technical certification and others geared more toward “just for fun” kind of goals.

Udemy offers classes in other niches. You can learn anything from woodworking to programming with this platform. Of course, paid classes almost always offer users more features than free ones, but even the free courses (like the Introduction to JavaScript course I’m reviewing) offer a ton of excellent features and instructions.

I love how easy the platform is to navigate. When you take a class, you’ll get a blend of written, audio, and video instruction, great for people with diverse learning needs. You can see how each class is organized and broken down before you even start taking it.

For me, this was a major benefit of taking a class with Udemy. I like to know what to expect, and seeing how the course was outlined was a great way to get my head in gear and plan ahead. I knew exactly what to expect from each course module, as it had its own helpful description and even a timestamp so I could see how long it would take me to move through that content.

One other fun feature of Udemy to note is that you can take digital notes while you move through the course content. This is super helpful, as you don’t have to remember to have a pen and notepad near you the entire time while you are taking the class.

Udemy is a great course platform because it allows you to jump around, too. That’s something that I would have taken for granted if I hadn’t taken classes with other online course providers. I’ve taken numerous online classes in the past in which navigating to individual sections was not possible – you had to sit through the whole thing to get to the parts you wanted.

There’s none of that with this class, and I love that.

Related: Udemy Review 

 

Major Benefits of Taking This Course

 

Major Benefits of Taking This Course - Introduction-to-JavaScript-Development - Udemy

Approachable and Easy to Understand

Right from the very beginning, the instructor sets us up with a good working knowledge of JavaScript. One of the things I liked best about the class is that he didn’t assume any prerequisite knowledge – he just assumed everybody was starting at zero and then worked from there to boost our knowledge.

It’s a very basic class, but it’s supposed to be – it’s designed to be a straightforward introduction exclusively for beginners.

If you’re familiar with JavaScript and want to take a refresher, I’d recommend this class, too. Since it’s a quick class, it provides a brief overview or reminder of what you already know so that you can make the most of your time and get right back at it.

The instructor goes through all of the basics slowly and takes his time to make sure the students know and understand how many of the functions work.

Solid Instruction

Essentially, if you can understand the English language, you can understand the content in this course. You’ll likely find that, once your studies are complete, you not only understood the information that was presented but you retained it, too, and can use it in your daily practice.

Despite his very young age, Haney is a best-selling author on Amazon and has designed and created numerous websites. He offers clear, concise instruction that is easy to follow. One of the things I liked best about the course is how approachable Honey is in his instruction. Although he teaches at a very slow pace and a very basic level, none of his instruction seems “dumbed down” or as though he is speaking down to his students.

Robin Haney is a freelance web developer and a web developer instructor. He teaches numerous classes on Udemy to help others improve their knowledge of web development. He also wrote and sells a variety of books, including “Learn How to Become a JavaScript developer” and “JavaScript for Beginners: Learn the Fundamentals and basics of the JavaScript Programming Language.”

Haney teaches three other courses on Udemy, too:

  • JavaScript for Beginners – Learn JavaScript from Scratch
  • The Complete MailChimp Email Marketing Course for Beginners
  • Python for Beginners – Learn Python Completely from Scratch

Each of these courses has a 4.3 or higher star rating on Udemy, indicating their quality and Haney’s extensive expertise in programming and web development.

Offered Entirely Online

This entire class is offered exclusively online. You don’t need to download any course supplements or visit any external links while you’re taking the class (although the instructor does occasionally encourage you to check out other resources to help bolster your knowledge).

No-Risk Approach

Taking this class as a total beginner, I liked that it was offered with Udemy’s usual course guarantee. Each course on Udemy is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is awesome if you aren’t quite sure what to expect while taking a class.

Access to Web Development Facebook Group

After you take this class, you’ll be prompted to join Robin Haney’s web development group on Facebook.

Of course, this is totally optional, but it’s a helpful resource if you want to continue learning more about JavaScript and have access to an in-touch community of other like-minded professionals when you’re done with the class. I recommend checking it out if you want more information or training, as it’s totally free and convenient to use.

 

Complaints About the Course

I didn’t have many complaints about the course itself. As a very minor issue, I did notice several typos and grammatical problems in the content. This isn’t a major problem and doesn’t speak to the validity of the class, but it was a bit distracting.

There are a few sections where the course content seems unfinished, too. For example, a section on conditional statements is suggested at but never actually addressed. There’s another section where it seems the instructor is going to give more information on arrays but then never does.

I think I could have done without the two-minute prelude into what the course contains, too. Since the course is already outlined for you before you begin, I really don’t think it’s necessary. I would have preferred just to jump right into the content – but that’s a matter of personal preference, of course. This repetition might work well for other people.

For the most part, the course is easy to understand and contains approachable language. It would be nice if it were a bit longer and provided a few more practical examples. Although there are plenty to fall back on, JavaScript is a huge topic – this course barely skims the surface.

Nevertheless, it provides the framework necessary to give you a good working knowledge of JavaScript before you delve deeper into the language. This is a very basic course, moving slowly and steadily through the material, so don’t take it if you expect to learn everything there is to know about JavaScript in just an hour.

That’s simply not logistically possible, and not necessarily a shortfall of this class in particular. It would be nice if the class offered a few more exercises that you could complete either as part of the course or as a supplement, in the end – but I expect that’s something you would receive if you chose to take a longer, more in-depth class, anyway.

If you read the reviews at the end of the course – or before taking it – you will notice a few other common complaints. For instance, there is no certificate provided at the end of the class. There are also no support features. You can’t direct messages with the instructor, nor are there any question and answer sessions.

This can be frustrating if you expected to have access to those features, which can be helpful when you’re taking an online class. However, if you read the fine print on the Udemy website, you’ll quickly learn that those features are reserved for paid versions of the class – you don’t get access to them in the free version.

I personally did not mind that. I didn’t take the class to get any kind of certificate or credential, to begin with  – I just took it for fun. There isn’t necessarily a governing body when it comes to working with JavaScript, either. It’s not like other professions where you need to be licensed or certified in order to work.

A course completion certificate would really just be for show, so I Didn’t mind not having that. Instructor direct message and Q&A would have been nice, though again not entirely necessary. I tend to be more of an independent learner so I wouldn’t have relied heavily on these features. There were a few sections where I would have wanted a bit more clarification on some of the vocabulary, though.

Since I only took the course for fun – and not to improve my career – I didn’t put the extra effort in to find the answers to my questions. However, if I were in need of further guidance, I do think I would take advantage of the Facebook group access that Haney mentioned repeatedly in the course. That seems to be a good resource for getting more information and support.

 

Does the Introduction to JavaScript Class Prepare You for a Certification?

As I mentioned, there is not one single universally recommended JavaScript certification that you need to have to work in this field.

However, there are some certifications that can help you stand out from the competition when you are applying to jobs. These include:

  • JavaScript Developer Certificate
  • Certified JavaScript Developer Certificate
  • Microsoft Technology Associate
  • CIW JavaScript Specialist

To sit for these exams, you just need to be adequately prepared by a course of your own choosing. While you would want to move on to a more advanced class after taking this one by Robin Haney, it serves as a good introduction when you’re just getting started.

 

Who is the Introductory to JavaScript Course by Robin Haney Best For?

If you plan on becoming a front-end developer, being proficient in JavaScript is a prerequisite you’ll need to have mastered. That said, once you’ve mastered JavaScript, you’ll open up hundreds of other doors, too. You could work in game development, full-stack development, machine learning, information security software engineering, artificial intelligence, and many other fields.

JavaScript experts in web development are in-demand and paid well for their skills. Nearly 50% of all employers around the world need developers who have skills in JavaScript, yet the percentage of developers who are proficient in JavaScript is much smaller than that.

According to the course description, this class is ideal for anyone who:

  • Wants to learn the JavaScript programming language
  • Wants to work as an online web developer
  • Wants to create their own interactive web applications

Frankly, if you want to pursue or advance in a career in engineering or development, you have to be proficient in JavaScript. For the busy learner, though, this isn’t always easy – who has the time to sit through hours of coursework just to learn the skill?

That’s who this class is best for. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands yet still want to gain the insights and skills necessary to be proficient in JavaScript, the Introductory to JavaScript course by Robin Haney is the way to go.

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Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell is a freelance technology journalist. He reviews educational software and writes in-depth online course reviews from popular e-learning platforms. You can reach Anthony at anthony@learnacourseonline.com

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