Learning and Teaching JavaScript

Kyle Coberly

www.kylecoberly.com

I'm Kyle!

  • ~10 combined years in classroom, individual, and corporate education
  • ~4 degrees (ugh)
  • ~7 years in development
  • ~2 kids
  • Run the Ember meetup

How Do You Learn JavaScript?

1. Pick a Resource, Any Resource

1. Pick a Resource, Any Resource

2. Try To Make Something

1. Pick a Resource, Any Resource

2. Try To Make Something

3. Look Up What You Don't Know

1. Pick a Resource, Any Resource

2. Try To Make Something

3. Look Up What You Don't Know

4. Pick Another Resource

(Try another introductory resource!)

  1. Pick a Resource, Any Resource
  2. Try To Make Something
  3. Look Up What You Don't Know
  4. Pick Another Resource

Repeat for the rest of your career.

Always be uncomfortable...

...sooner or later someone will pay you for it.

Document what you learn and share it!

  • Write a blog post
  • Do a presentation
  • Fix documentation
  • Tweet about it
  • Talk about it on Slack

That kinda sounds like teaching.

Teaching is a part of learning.

"Hey, I'm no expert..."

  • No one is
  • Do it for you, not them
  • Don't take on the full weight of someone else's journey

Some Education Concepts

Just Enough Information

  1. Learn the steps
  2. Learn the concepts
  3. Learn how it fits in

These should occur in order. Which one are you teaching?

Do equal parts this:

And This:

Something you don't use is something you will forget.

(Teaching counts as using)

"It's important to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals before you start."

"Listen kid...

I know you want to start talking right away, but it's important to be clear on parts of speech, sentence structure, some best practices and a couple of the more common traps you might run into. You'll thank me later."

Don't be afraid of little lies

People who were lied to

"This would have been so much easier and I would have been so much less confused if it had just been explained to me correctly the first time."

People who were told the truth

Couldn't be reached for comment, gave up

Not knowing something is OK

  • A lot of things aren't worth memorizing
  • You can't have run into every scenario
  • Teach how you find something out
  • The cost of being wrong is rarely very high

A Couple of JavaScript Specific Things

  • Don't hate on jQuery
  • STFU about what a terrible language it is
  • Feel free to mention basic stuff (==, var, good naming)
  • ...but leave people out of the religious wars (tabs vs. spaces, style guides, immutability)

How To Get Started Teaching

Write a Blog Post

  • Medium
  • WordPress / Drupal
  • Jekyll
  • GH Pages

Do A Talk

  • They're fun!
  • There are a ton of opportunities to do them
  • People are nice and want to help you
  • Beginners often give great talks

Slack

  • join.denverdevs.com
  • ~400 people and dozens of channels
  • There's pretty much always someone to talk to

Mentoring

  • Some places have a formal mentoring program
  • The Slack channel has #topic-mentor
  • You know people who want to learn some coding

Takeaways

  • Learn, do, get stuck, learn
  • Teaching is learning
  • Teaching and learning are messy
  • You don't need to be an expert to teach
  • Teaching can take a lot of forms

Questions?

Thank you!

www.kylecoberly.com

Learning & Teaching JavaScript

By Kyle Coberly

Learning & Teaching JavaScript

How to learn and teach JavaScript

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