Check out a free preview of the full JavaScript: From First Steps to Professional course

The "Introduction" Lesson is part of the full, JavaScript: From First Steps to Professional course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Anjana Vakil introduces the course by providing some personal background and answering a student's questions regarding how Anjana discovered JavaScript and why they like it.


Transcript from the "Introduction" Lesson

>> Welcome, my name is Anjana Vakil. And hopefully you are in the right place, if you're here to talk about JavaScript. So this course is JavaScript First Steps. We are here at the amazing FrontendMasters HQ in Minneapolis. And some of us are dialing in from all over the place, and some of us are tuning in to the video course at home.

So welcome, everybody, wherever you are joining us from. As I said, my name is Anjana, and you can find the materials for this course online at So that is where you will find all of the examples and the slides, if you'd like to follow along. One of the aims of this course is to provide a really solid foundation, whether you're coming from other languages or whether you're brand new to programming, which I want this also be accessible to.

This course should hopefully stand you in good stead to go on and keep digging deeper in other courses on the rest of Frontend Masters and whatever other platforms you learn on. So this course, it's called JavaScript First Steps, and that indicates that this is not going to teach you everything that has ever existed in JavaScript.

This is not going to be an experience where after this time together, we are done learning JavaScript. That's not the case. Learning JavaScript, as with learning anything, is really an infinite process. This is a lifelong thing. And that is true of JavaScript in particular, because JavaScript is a living language.

JavaScript, just like English or whatever other languages we speak in the human natural language world, JavaScript evolves, JavaScript is always developing. Just like we have new slang dropping every year, JavaScript also has new features coming out, changes to the way the language works. So by the time you would be done learning JavaScript, it would already be different.

So this is really intended to be kind of a jumping off point. What we're gonna try to do is lay some foundations, set some really solid principles and kind of mental models in our minds, that can help us then go on and continue this infinite lifelong learning journey.

The way that we're going to try to focus our attention in this course is through a few projects, because I think that is the way often we can really understand how to apply our knowledge. And that brings up a distinction in learning that I just wanted to mention quickly.

Which is that sometimes in classrooms, we have to learn things, facts about the world that we just have to memorize, just in case we ever need that fact. Like we're on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and somebody asks, what year France invaded England, William the Conqueror or something.

But I learned that in school, and no one has ever asked me that. I've never actually needed that piece of information. So instead, what we're probably going to focus more time on in this course is what you could call just-in-time learning. So when we're trying to do something and we wanna learn what we need at that point in time in order to do that thing.

There's gonna be a little bit of a mix of both, but we're going to be trying to focus on the practical needs that we have, and learning things as we need them. Yeah?
>> Someone in chat wants to know how Anjana discovered JavaScript and why you liked it.

>> How did I discover JavaScript and why do I like it? That is a great question, thank you for asking. I discovered JavaScript, so a little bit about me, I don't have a traditional computer science education. I studied philosophy and linguistics and things like that before I got into computers.

And I got into the software industry, now I work as a software developer and developer advocate. I got into the industry through a really great community called the Recurse Center, in New York. Is a website I love, where you can read all about this place. It is a community and programming retreat, kind of like a writer's retreat but for programmers.

And so when I was there in 2015, I decided, because I saw a bunch of my batchmates, my co-participants, doing cool things with JavaScript, I decided I really wanted to dig in. And so that is where I kind of got exposed to JavaScript. And then I also found out about this thing called functional programming, which you might have seen.

I also have a course on Frontend Masters called Functional Programming First Steps. And I found that JavaScript actually worked really nicely with the functional programming paradigm, which I also learned from some of my co-participants and facilitators at the Recurse Center. And so that's how I kind of fell in love with JavaScript, because I found it through kind of a functional programming lens.

So we're not gonna talk a ton about functional programming, or much at all, really, in this course, but it is, I think, a really great partner for JavaScript, is the functional programming paradigm. And so one of the hopes of this course is that you also, by the end of this course, will have the tools you need to go on and start learning functional programming and related technologies.

Things like frameworks like React, which are very inspired by functional programming principles, and other technologies like TypeScript, for example. So I think that that is sort of what inspired me to get into JavaScript. And I hope that after this course, you all might be interested in going on and learning more about that side of things as well.

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