Coding Log — January 3rd, 2018 — Day 18

Coding Time: Full Day

Here’s what I did today:

Switched Up Tactics!

After reading Up & Going (the introductory book from the You Don’t Know JS series that introduces programming concepts in the context of JavaScript), I think it’s time to stop. I don’t know when I’m going to pick it back up, but I need to change tactics.

Last year, I made a goal to read every Shakespeare play. I was going to read the play first and then listen to a lecture about it after.

I did it wrong.

I felt this weird echoing of that as I was reading all of these JavaScript concepts. Then I remembered, learning concepts without knowing how they’re actually useful is as good as memorization. It’s useless. I’m glad I read this book #1, but I can’t continue with book #2 until I know how to use all of this.

This is not the right book for me. I don’t know how beginners go through with and actually go on to building stuff. I know vanilla JavaScript is important and I am going to do it, but I am going to go through a beginner’s course for beginners.

What does this mean and what am I going to do?

First of all, I’m going to try and watch Kyle Simpson’s 3 hour course that’s basically a video version of the book I just read. He has 8 courses on Frontend Masters, and 6 seem to correspond quite heavily with the 6 books in the series. This is to just solidify the concepts again.

If it’s as dense and unapplicable as the book is for me right now, I will skip it.

Second of all, I’m going to go through Watch and Code. It’s basically zero to functioning to-do list app. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. It seems to be very practical.

That should take me a few more days.

After that? I don’t know. I don’t think I should jump back into YDKJS yet. I just don’t know. I’m considering either following FreeCodeCamp to a tee with some complementary Mozilla Developer Network documentation or following The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele. I have to decide within 8 days because the Udemy course is on sale for $10.99 right now, which is basically the lowest it’s ever been.

I don’t know. I can’t force things when I obviously don’t understand them. I even feel like I don’t really know CSS now, since I can’t build something mobile-responsive without using a Framework. I want to go back and learn animations and CSS grid and actually build a website from real scratch, but I just feel like I don’t have time right now.

Continued Learning JavaScript

I read through most of Chapter 2 of Up & Going. See above? None of this matters. It feels like a waste of time to bang your head against the wall when I could come back to this in a month and understand it much better after actually having used it.

Started Watch & Code

I got through about 25% before I had to stop myself to re-evaluate my entire plan for how I was going to move forward. I could’ve done more, but it was so good that it made me rethink everything I thought about learning to program. I understood it so easily. It’s so much simpler, and more than that, clearer than You Don’t Know JS. This is not a slight on YDKJS, but this is a slight on everyone who says it’s a good introductory book. No.

It doesn’t have to be as hard as these difficult books make it seem.

W&C ends with making a fully-fledged to-do list. I think I’ll finish the course within the next 2-3 days if I go at it full-time. I’m excited to actually build something.

It’s reminiscent of the HTML & CSS book which I really enjoyed. Learn new concepts each lesson with the context of how it’ll fit into the website/app we’re building at the same time. I really love it. I’m surprised by how much I love it.

It’s too late for me to really be coherent about this. I’ll write more about why I love it tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s To-Do’s

Watch Introduction to JavaScript Programming.

Go through Watch & Code.

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