Udacity’s Intro to JavaScript course

One of my goals for this year is to finish at least two courses via Udacity.  I specifically went with them because they have a range of courses of relevancy to my work and particular areas of focus, it has a good reputation for its content, and it has a lot of free course offerings.  Free is good when money is tight.  Now, sure, I could probably ask at work to have them paid for, but I wanted to dip my toe into courses, so free is also a better option for that.

I ended up starting with their Intro to JavaScript course. Yes, yes, I know I already know JavaScript.  Why on earth would I do an intro course?  Two reasons, really.  One, I figured I could easily test the quality of the courses by doing the first on a topic I was familiar with, and two, my JavaScript education is all self-taught, as needed, so I figured I could potentially learn something from it too.

The Udacity interfaces are nice! Clean, slick, professional, and they just work.  I never had to reload or deal with crappy non-working video or the like, they kept it simple.  And while the course is free, it seems to be treated with the same quality I presume the paid courses have, with clear, well-written text, quizzes that include both multiple choice and coding quizzes that are checked by the machine.  I have no idea what awesome programming is behind the checker, but it generally will catch mistakes and give you enough info to help you fix them.  I only had one place where I finally gave up on trying to fix the issue to its preferences because the error message wasn’t helpful about what I was doing wrong.

Overall I’d say the course was a good one and certainly would recommend it for someone wanting to learn the fundamentals of JavaScript.  Even with my 20+ years of web development experience, I did in fact learn some stuff, including being able to code in the web dev console (never occurred to me to try!), about hoisting which I was only unconsciously aware of, and I got a firmer grasp of objects in JavaScript which we haven’t used much in our work (but probably will be soon!).

Now I can’t speak for the paid courses, as I haven’t taken any, but if you are looking for good free courses on programming, I’m tentatively giving Udacity the thumbs up.  I have a few more courses in my queue and I’ll certainly be posting if I find the others don’t match the quality of this one.