JavaScript at last

After seeing hints of JavaScript for several sections, FreeCodeCamp finally gets down to the business of teaching the JavaScript programming language in the Basic JavaScript section.  It estimates the lessons will take you 10 hours to get through, and that is probably right for someone just learning programming.  I was able to get through the lessons in about half that time.

If this is your first go-round at learning a programming language, get ready for a mind-bending experience.  There are dozens of concepts you’ll need to digest (the coverage here includes 97 Waypoints, and 8 additional Checkpoints), and coming away with a solid understanding of the concepts will be hard.  Take your time, and try to understand everything that’s presented.

For those of you who have already learned a C-like language, which would include, C, C++, Java, C#, JavaScript (somewhere else), and even languages like Python and Perl, this will mostly be a review.  Things like variables, functions, control structures (if, else, switch, for and while looks, etc.), and the like, will all be familiar.  I still recommend going through it all, and making sure there isn’t something new.

For me, the Checkpoints, which are small, open-ended programming assignments that provide a significant amount of support, were the most time consuming part of this section.  The actual tasks weren’t all that difficult, but as is the case anytime you’re programming, the devil is in the details, and I lost several minutes to debugging typos (which JavaScript doesn’t make as obvious as other languages).

Other things that were new or interesting for me:

  • Variables which are defined without the var keyword are automatically created in the global scope.
  • Strict equality (===) and inequality (!==)
  • Use the delete operator to remove a property from an object.
  • Regular expressions as first-class language objects.

FreeCodeCamp section: Basic JavaScript
Time estimate: 10h
Actual time: 5h
Waypoints covered: 97
Checkpoints: 8



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