Advanced search

To ask if you know JavaScript how long should it take to learn?

(20 Posts)
Dead2me Sun 10-May-20 21:14:32

I’ve thrown myself into learn to code, I’ve completed Codecademy’s HTML and CSS course in the 2 weeks and have a good grasp of it, lots still to learn of course. It’s now moved onto JavaScript and it’s just not going in at all! It seems far to technical and brackets everywhere! If you learnt JavaScript, is it harder for most people? How long should I expect to get a basic grasp and more importantly, should I get myself proficient with HTML and CSS first, perhaps I’m trying to move too fast.

OP’s posts: |
digbee Sun 10-May-20 21:21:33

Your first programming language is the hardest! I'd probably recommend learning some other programming language (like Python perhaps) first. Then picking up JavaScript will be much easier.

brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Sun 10-May-20 21:25:00

have you got an ipad or apple mac ?

If so, give Swift Playgrounds a try - do the first basic module. A lot of what you learn is applicable to JS too - concepts such as loops, functions etc. Then return to JS and see if it makes more sense.

JS is fairly good to learn with but it has a few confusing quirks too.

Dead2me Sun 10-May-20 21:38:54

I don’t unfortunately, I’m using windows and have downloaded visual studio code to complete the projects. It moved onto JavaScript automatically as part of the programme but I do have the option of changing paths to something like python, so that might help 😊

OP’s posts: |
ArkAtEee Sun 10-May-20 22:13:51

Fairly straightforward to learn. Takes a long time to actually be any good though grin

What is your aim, do you want to be a software developer or is it for a personal project? JavaScript is quite hard to debug and that makes it harder, I think.

Dead2me Sun 10-May-20 22:19:50

I work in e-commerce currently, mainly with Wordpress and making changes through the ux builder but I’d like to have the knowledge to make changes out with what the theme allows.
Ideally I’d like to learn front end development and eventually full stack and look at starting my own business. I’m determined enough but not sure I have the brains to follow it through

OP’s posts: |
ZombieFan Sun 10-May-20 22:23:47

It really depends on your basic understanding of coding. It you have a good basic knowledge then approx 3 weeks to learn JavaScript for the average person.

If you dont have a good grasp of coding then it would be beneficial to learn python first (approx 1 week). If you do have a good understanding how coding works then its of little benefit to learn python first.

chomalungma Sun 10-May-20 22:26:08

then approx 3 weeks to learn JavaScript for the average perso

How would you define 'learn'?

What level of knowledge would you say that 3 weeks would get you?

ZombieFan Sun 10-May-20 22:30:40

chomalungma Giving my opinion from the time it took me and several people I now to learn it.

"What level of knowledge would you say that 3 weeks would get you?"
A basic working knowledge.

chomalungma Sun 10-May-20 22:40:37

A basic working knowledge




snowybean Sun 10-May-20 23:19:14

Hooray! Sounds like a great choice you're making there smile

I did a very similar thing to you. I taught myself HTML, CSS and basic JavaScript + PHP and made WordPress themes. I got frustrated at not understanding a lot of JS so I did a coding bootcamp. Since then I got myself a job as a junior developer at a startup and two years ago moved to Deliveroo and am a mid level developer.

Learning from others around you makes you level up very quickly, so I'd totally recommend joining a team even as an intern. Once you get your foot in the door, etc etc

snowybean Sun 10-May-20 23:23:48

As for how long it takes to learn... You'll never learn it all 😄 Four years on and there's still tonnes of things that baffle me. But a good six months working full time made me think I was proficient.

NotGenerationAlpha Sun 10-May-20 23:25:25

Depends on your background! If it’s code academy level, then no time at all. I don’t write JavaScript but I can knock up something just looking at the Mozilla and jquery online reference. I can easily go through code club examples with Dd. I can’t get my head around JavaScript closure though and struggles through angular or react code. No one would hire me as a JavaScript developer.

NotGenerationAlpha Sun 10-May-20 23:28:54

And yes to anyone saying javascript is horrid to debug and the constantly changing framework of the day.

PhilCornwall1 Mon 11-May-20 05:17:35

How long to learn it? You'll never fully learn it. One of the most important things to learn is how to structure your code correctly and also structure your applications correctly too (design pattern usage). There is nothing worse than spaghetti code.

As an example, if you are going to use an Object Oriented language, apart from the language syntax, you also need to get your head around OO concepts, which may sound hard but its actually very logical and a very natural way to work (it can be done badly though).

Namenic Mon 11-May-20 06:56:08

I don’t know specifically about native JavaScript, but many people use frameworks - like react, vue, angular. I don’t know if it is any easier to use these?

I found hacker rank website very useful - it sets challenges in lots of different languages (I think including JavaScript) and you can check your code against test samples. It was helpful for coding test I had to do for job.

GarlicMonkey Mon 11-May-20 08:16:56

Drupal developer here (professional until recent career change, getting too old to be bothered with the constant training now), we use a lot of JavaScript for modules. 'Borrow' & edit. That's how I learned. Then again, I started out on Pascal & COBOL so we're taking a lot of years of experience.

Yes, HTML et al is foundation knowledge that everyone should have. Not having that would be akin to driving a car & not knowing it needed petrol or ran on 4 wheels.

I agree with the poster who suggested Python. It's a great first project & all of my sons started out on that. They picked up PHP effortlessly after Python & I'd personally say that's trickier than JS.

ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings Mon 11-May-20 08:58:35

Hey op, I started where you are about a year ago by doing code academy tutorials. I did exactly what you did and said "OK I've done html and css, now let's do js" and I got in a total muddle because actually the codacademy tutorials are very limited and give you a basic over view at best. They also suffer imo from presenting each language in isolation, so the JS course is all done in the console, rather than being mixed in with html and css like it would be in real life. This makes it harder to learn as you're not understanding it in context. So if I were you I'd start by stepping away from codacademy.

I use vscode too and think it's great. Be sure to check out the guide on keyboard shortcuts as they'll make sure life much easier, and look up a "top 10" guide on the best extensions to add. If I were you I'd go to and have a look at their css and html tutorials and reference guides. Download Adobe XD and do a design prototype for a fake website and have a go at actually coding it. Just focus on getting the html and css right as some things like grid/flex box seem easier in theory than they are in practise. When you feel confident that you can take a design concept and make it a reality using just css/html then start looking into js from a practical point of view. Look at what functionality your mock website would actually need, such as making your menu drop down dynamically when an icon is clicked, then learn how to do it. It's easier to understand JS if you see it working in practice rather than theory.

Look up "how to" videos on YouTube and code along (just make sure they're recent or you may find that things have changed). "Traversy media" is a good channel to check out. is a great resource as well because whatever question you have someone probably already asked it there. Also join the "Women in web development" Facebook group as its full of good advice and support.

I've been learning in my spare time for about a year and a half now and just took on my first project editing someone's shopify website. Good luck and pm me if you want to chat more about it smile

Dead2me Thu 14-May-20 19:42:22

Thank you for all the helpful and encouraging comments

It’s great to hear someone else who started like I have.
I have put JS on the back burner for now and went back over the sections on code academy for HTML and CSS, I’ve also had a look at khan academy and w3 schools. It’s frustrating that I follow all the sections and challenges easily but when I try to create something alone as it advises my brain goes blank! I’m quite good with the HTML but on the CSS not so much...
Also is it the correct practice to write the HTML first and then style it with css or sort of do both as you go?

OP’s posts: |
digbee Thu 14-May-20 20:05:36

I'd recommend starting small, getting that looking right, and then making it incrementally bigger. This is so much easier than trying to debug a huge thing with no idea which pieces work and which don't.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »