How to Be A JavaScript Developer – Ken Rogers – Medium

How to Be A JavaScript Developer  #meteor #javascript #webdevelopment #react #reactjs

  • But I’ve always found that the best way to learn web development is to just build things.Meteor is a great way to get started just building things.It’s become a little more complex since its early days, but with the right setup and direction, it can still be a great way to bootstrap reactive applications.I think it’s a fantastic way to get started learning JavaScript development, or branch out into a new framework if you’ve already been using JavaScript for a while.So I wanted to put together this little guide that will serve as a potential path to learning web development with Meteor and React.All of these are resources that I have personally used and have served me well in learning.
  • Learn ES2015This free walkthrough of ES2015 does a great job of introducing you to the basics and walking you through how to use all of the new shiny things.Step 2 — Learn MeteorAlright, now that you’re familiar with JavaScript and its new syntax and capabilities, it’s time to dive in to Meteor.The Meteor TutorialThe official tutorial from Meteor.
  • The Meteor GuideAfter you’ve been introduced to Meteor with the tutorial, dive in to the guide to learn how to structure your project, and to get some more in depth knowledge on the finer points of MeteorStep 3 — Learn ReactSo you’ve got a decent handle on Meteor, not let’s dive into React.The React DocsThe official React docs do a good job of introducing you to the concepts and how to think in a React-ish way.2.
  • It also comes with GitHub source code so you can use it as an example.Phase 2 — BuildStep 1 — Experiment with BaseNow that you’ve got a good grasp on how to develop using Meteor and React, it’s time to start building things.Base is a Meteor boilerplate project to help you bootstrap your Meteor projects.It’s built with React and also uses React Router.In my opinion, downloading Base and digging into it, hacking on it, and using to as the starting point for your own project is one of the best ways to learn development with Meteor.By digging into Base, you’ll get an idea of best practices when building things with Meteor and React, and you’ll be able to use it as a template for building projects.Using the books and courses from the Learn phase as your foundation, you’ll be able to understand how Base is put together and how it all works.Really take the time to dig into every different component and figure out how everything is working.
  • Resist the urge to bounce around from framework to framework, constantly switching to whatever seems coolest.Instead, find problems that need to be solved, figure out a way to solve them with web applications, and then find the proper tool for the job.One of the most important skills for a professional developer is being able to build usable applications that solve real problems for real people.If you can find examples of those out in the wild, and build up a portfolio of yourself solving those with web apps, you’ll be indispensable.So now that you know the basics of JavaScript development with Meteor and React, I want you to get out there and start using that knowledge to solve real problems.Share that knowledge and those solutions with others.

A few years ago, I stumbled on a video of somebody making a responsive, real-time web app using something called Meteor. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend giving it a watch. It was pretty…

@ReactDOM: How to Be A JavaScript Developer #meteor #javascript #webdevelopment #react #reactjs

A few years ago, I stumbled on a video of somebody making a responsive, real-time web app using something called Meteor.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend giving it a watch. It was pretty amazing and exciting at the time, and sparked a new interest in learning this framework.

At the time I was a PHP developer. I used jQuery in my projects, but I was never serious about JavaScript development. That video changed that and I decided I wanted to branch out and learn JavaScript as well.

So I got started by reading Discover Meteor and building a few apps for fun.

Then Meteor started changing. It opened up to using React and Angular as the front end, rather than the default Blaze template engine.

It also is on its way to becoming a part of the npm ecosystem, and has adopted support of npm packages.

Most recently, the team also switched to using the import system prevalent in ES2015 applications.

Why Learn Meteor?

Meteor has come a long way since its beginnings. But I still think it is a great framework to begin building JavaScript applications. Sure, it has its limitations, like any other framework.

But overall it is a great way to build some pretty cool things.

However, one challenge is that it keeps changing very rapidly, and very drastically, and it can be hard to keep track of which method of development is correct, and which tutorials are accurate.

This is actually one of my main issues with Meteor. The fact that there are so many different ways to develop on it can make it hard to get started.

Meteor is by no means the only way to become a JavaScript developer, and I’m sure many people will tell you it’s not a great way. But I’ve always found that the best way to learn web development is to just build things.

Meteor is a great way to get started just building things.

It’s become a little more complex since its early days, but with the right setup and direction, it can still be a great way to bootstrap reactive applications.

I think it’s a fantastic way to get started learning JavaScript development, or branch out into a new framework if you’ve already been using JavaScript for a while.

So I wanted to put together this little guide that will serve as a potential path to learning web development with Meteor and React.

All of these are resources that I have personally used and have served me well in learning. I’m still learning a lot, and this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it is a great foundation and can be a good place to start if you are feeling lost.

It’s a mixture of free and paid resources, but if you are strapped for cash, you can get by on just the free resources. Especially if you are building things on your own and experimenting, which you should be doing anyway.

I’ve broken the guide up into three phases:

The ‘Learn’ phase will focus on reading through some books and tutorials, so you can build a great foundation.

The ‘Build’ phase is where you’ll do a bulk of your learning. You can only learn so much from following along with books and tutorials.

They are fantastic for getting familiar with the basics and getting ideas, but the real learning will happen when you build your own projects and struggle through the problems.

Finally, the ‘Grow’ phase is where we’ll talk about where to go next and how to continue your growth as a Meteor and JavaScript developer.

Phase 1 — Learn

Step 1 — Learn ES2015

If you aren’t already familiar with it, you should start by learning ES2015. There are many new changes that not only make development with JavaScript easier, but that Meteor and React utilize heavily.

If you want to be a good Meteor/React developer, you need to understand ES2015. Here are my recommended sources for learning it:

Wes Bos is one of my favorite instructors. Everything he makes solidifies concepts for me. This course is no different. If you have a bit of money to spend, I highly recommend going through his course.

2. CodeSchool ES2015

Another paid resource, this video series by CodeSchool does a great job of walking through the new syntax and functions, and communicates how and when to use them.

3. Learn ES2015

This free walkthrough of ES2015 does a great job of introducing you to the basics and walking you through how to use all of the new shiny things.

Step 2 — Learn Meteor

Alright, now that you’re familiar with JavaScript and its new syntax and capabilities, it’s time to dive in to Meteor.

The official tutorial from Meteor. If you are planning on using React (which I recommend) you can go through the React-specific version of the tutorial.

2. The Meteor Guide

After you’ve been introduced to Meteor with the tutorial, dive in to the guide to learn how to structure your project, and to get some more in depth knowledge on the finer points of Meteor

Step 3 — Learn React

So you’ve got a decent handle on Meteor, not let’s dive into React.

The official React docs do a good job of introducing you to the concepts and how to think in a React-ish way.

2. React for People Who Know jQuery

This was the first react tutorial I ever read, and it really helped solidify some of the concepts and how to use them. Keep in mind this tutorial is a bit dated now, but should still be a good place to grasp some of the fundmentals.

3. Egghead React Course

This free course is a fantastic introduction to how to use React to build applications.

4. React for Beginners

Another Wes Bos course, this one walks you through the process of using React to build an application. Like his other courses, this one does a great job of bringing everything together and showing how you might use React in a realistic way.

If I could only recommend one React course it would be this one.

Step 4 — Put Them Together

Now that you’ve got a grasp of how Meteor and React work, let’s put them together by building a real app.

This is my in-progress book. It’s about halfway done right now, and you can read the HTML version online for free.

For the PDF version and screencasts, it’s in pre-order mode right now, so you can get a discount off of the full price if you want to buy before everything is released.

This book walks you through the process of building an application from start to finish using Meteor and React.

It focuses on how to integrate Meteor and React together to build a complete application. It also comes with GitHub source code so you can use it as an example.

Phase 2 — Build

Step 1 — Experiment with Base

Now that you’ve got a good grasp on how to develop using Meteor and React, it’s time to start building things.

Base is a Meteor boilerplate project to help you bootstrap your Meteor projects.

It’s built with React and also uses React Router.

In my opinion, downloading Base and digging into it, hacking on it, and using to as the starting point for your own project is one of the best ways to learn development with Meteor.

By digging into Base, you’ll get an idea of best practices when building things with Meteor and React, and you’ll be able to use it as a template for building projects.

Using the books and courses from the Learn phase as your foundation, you’ll be able to understand how Base is put together and how it all works.

Really take the time to dig into every different component and figure out how everything is working. Then, add your own features to it, replicating the same methodology Base uses.

Step 2 — Build Something On Your Own

After you’ve become familiar with how it’s set up, use it to build your own project.

What should you build?

This was always what I had trouble deciding.

Try and start thinking about problems or annoyances you or people close to you have.

For example, two of the first things I ever built were a simple budgeting app and an Impossible List.

Those were two things that I needed software for, and couldn’t find anything adequate to accomplish it in the way I wanted. I built them myself, and they sucked.

But that’s not the point. The point is I learned a lot and used those experiences to start building better stuff.

So get started building something, work on it publicly.

If you don’t want to write about your experience building it, at least put it on GitHub so you have a record of what you have been building.

Phase 3 — Grow

Now that you’ve started building things on your own, you’re ready to start expanding your skills and growing as a developer.

The best way to do this is to keep learning and keep building things. A prerequisite of developers is to be obsessed with learning.

Our industry moves fast, and you have to be willing to move with it. That doesn’t mean jumping from one cool, shiny framework to the next, but it does mean keeping up to date with emerging trends and best practices.

As we learn and grow together, the web becomes more powerful and more capable of delivering amazing experiences to end users.

Keep building things.

Keep learning.

If you’re just a hobbyist, looking to program for fun, you can pretty much continue to do this.

But if you want to program professionally, either working for a company or working for yourself, you’ll need to continue to grow your skills.

Try and focus on building things that solve problems. Resist the urge to bounce around from framework to framework, constantly switching to whatever seems coolest.

Instead, find problems that need to be solved, figure out a way to solve them with web applications, and then find the proper tool for the job.

One of the most important skills for a professional developer is being able to build usable applications that solve real problems for real people.

If you can find examples of those out in the wild, and build up a portfolio of yourself solving those with web apps, you’ll be indispensable.

So now that you know the basics of JavaScript development with Meteor and React, I want you to get out there and start using that knowledge to solve real problems.

Share that knowledge and those solutions with others. Work publicly. Teach everything you know. These are the best ways to slowly but surely build a name and career for yourself.

Now get out there and build something amazing.

Call to Action

If you’re interested in learning how to build web apps using Meteor and React, may I suggest my book, Meteor and React.

It walks you through the process of building an app from start to finish, and has a free HTML version that you can read anytime.

If you’re interested in going further, you can pre-order the PDF version and the screencasts that accompany the book.

Check out Meteor and React here.

How to Be A JavaScript Developer – Ken Rogers – Medium