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Free JavaScript Learning Tools

Free JavaScript Learning Tools
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So the day has come, and you want to, need to, or have to learn JavaScript.

Luckily for you, we have compiled and reviewed some of the most popular resources so you can jump-start your JavaScript skills. And did we mention that all of these resources are free?

Our top pick:

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial

Best in a pinch:

JavaScript Programming — Full Course

Good for beginners

JavaScript — Dynamic client-side scripting

Before you get started:

While these courses are a great place to start learning JavaScript, they do assume that you have the programming fundamentals down and knowledge in CSS and HTML.

If you are an absolute programming beginner, consider starting with some foundational resources, such as the course Learn Programming or “Getting Started With the Web” from MDN Docs. Scrimba also offers a CSS and HTML crash course for those new to web development.

For your code editing needs, we recommend an IDE or code editor. If you can’t decide on an IDE, take a look at our top list for 2021. But as long as you have a computer and the motivation to tackle the omnipresent language of web development, you’re already a step ahead.

The Lineup:

JavaScript Programming – Full Course

Per Harald Borgen’s 7 hour JavaScript course is available on Youtube for free. You can choose to watch the video and follow along, or also join in with the interactive introduction course on Scrimba. This course includes in-depth tutorials and over a hundred different exercises.

Pros:

  • Borgen takes each lesson slowly and is a pleasant lecturer
  • One of the most compact courses on this list
  • Has been updated as of June 2021
  • Following the course on Youtube does not require making an account 
  • The video has English subtitles
  • The exercises focus more on learning concepts through creation, rather than studying isolated concepts

Cons:

  • The video can be overwhelming to navigate, even with the timestamps
  • The course is only offered in English
  • Scrimba, the interactive platform for the course, only offers beginner courses for free
  • Not a lot of written references to refer to or study with
  • The Youtube course does not record progress or milestones, so it can be hard to stay motivated

JavaScript — Dynamic client-side scripting

MDN Web Docs’ JavaScript course is organized and straightforward. It covers both JavaScript fundamentals and more advanced concepts. Unlike other courses in this list, it focuses on the practical issues that come with web development, and how to handle them when using JavaScript. And as an added plus, the interface is very clean and distraction-free.

Pros:

  • An all out guide, with multiple course sections that give you a strong foundation in JavaScript
  • Highly structured, starting with the absolute fundamentals and basic applications
  • Goes beyond other courses by also explaining practical skills, such as handling user data, accessibility, and testing
  • Available in 10 different languages
  • Its written format with examples makes it easy to follow at your own pace
  • Clear learning paths, outlines, and milestones
  • You can easily copy and paste the exercises into your code editor

Cons:

  • Its simple text and example design can be less engaging than other formats or interfaces
  • There is not an integrated exercise feature on the website, so it lacks the feedback that other platforms with built-in exercises have
  • Doesn’t include a downloadable version to use offline
  • Can be a bit dense at times

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial is often hailed as one of the best resources out there. Like other tutorials, you can follow the order, but each section is also easily searchable, so you can skip around or search for a specific concept to review. It’s a powerful tool for building a solid foundation in JavaScript, filling in any knowledge gaps, or just brushing up on your skills.

Pros:

  • Structured so you can pick and choose sections you want to focus on
  • You can purchase a pdf or epub of the course for easy reference offline
  • Includes basic and more advanced tutorials
  • There are Interactive exercises in Plunker
  • Available in 10 different languages, and accepting community translations in new languages
  • Open-source, updated regularly, and responsive to community suggestions

Cons:

  • There are activities, but you have to leave the page to work on them, which can disturb the workflow for some
  • The course can be a bit of a whirlwind for beginners, it breezes through many concepts quickly
  • Some languages are still in progress, and have less content

JavaScript Tutorial (w3schools.com)

w3 School’s JavaScript tutorial is a whirlwind to say the least. Its mission is to teach you JavaScript efficiently, and its clear, linear lesson plan does just that. Its lessons are highly compact and its explanations may seem lacking, but it makes up for it with its extensive use of examples and exercises. This course makes a great foundation for someone who is ready to plow through a JavaScript course, and learns more by doing rather than reading.

Pros:

  • Its simplicity and compact presentation prioritizes learning efficiency above all else
  • Straightforward course that anyone with programming experience can work through quickly, especially good for people who prefer less reading and more exercises
  • Each lesson has interactive exercises that you can work through and receive feedback on in their website’s code editor
  • Has a more example heavy teaching style, for those that prefer seeing the code rather than it being explained (examples can also toggle to dark code)

Cons:

  • There are some distracting ads on the page
  • Explanations and information are a bit bare bones in some places
  • Focuses on individual concepts and less on big picture applications, making each lesson kind of isolated
  • The tutorials can be “translated” into other languagesー with google translate
  • Not as beginner friendly as some of the other tutorials on this list
  • No offline version

Learn JavaScript

Jad Joubran’s Learn JavaScript online course is one of the most feature-rich courses on this list. It offers full, interactive projects, flashcards, note-taking features, mobile features, and more. While this course may not have the same flexibility as the others, it gives learners a clear direction of study, so they do not have to be overwhelmed by where to start.

Pros:

  • A highly engaging format that helps keep learners motivated
  • Full access to the course offers lessons from beginner to advanced
  • Includes flashcards and other tools for study and review
  • Organized and focused: forces you to take things one step at a time so it is not overwhelming

Cons:

  • You can do 1 lesson for free, but then you have to make an account with github to access the rest of the free lessons and the flashcards
  • Chapters 1-7 are free, and then you have to pay for 5 year access to the full course
  • Not designed for skipping around; you have to complete the lessons and exercises in order, and have to complete the exercises to go further

Beginning your JavaScript Journey

Regardless of which tools you decide to use, the most important part is getting started and finding the tutorial that works best for you. After all, it is difficult to finish the tutorial if you feel working through it is only an uphill battle. We hope that this list gives you a good start, but feel free to shop around to find the best fit for you. Best of luck in taking the next step in your programming journey!