7 Resources Every JavaScript Developer Should Know

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A web developer today is expected to be an expert in every aspect of their craft and JavaScript is no exception.  Years ago JavaScript seemed to be more of an annoyance, producing those trailers at the bottom of the browser.  This has changed and JavaScript is a first-class citizen as a functional programming language and what seems like an unlimited number of resources covering the language.

I have been doing more and more JavaScript lately, both on the front-end and some node.js on the back end.  I wanted to share some great resources I use for what’s new with regards to JavaScript libraries, projects and general reference.

1. JavaScript Jabber

I am a fan of listening to good podcasts when I take a daily hike.  It gives me a chance to find information about new projects or libraries of code.  I ran into JavaScript Jabber by accident.

This podcast is put together by the same creator of Ruby Rogues, another great podcast but instead talking about Ruby.

Each episode covers a particular topic and goes into detail about the pros and cons of using the technology.  Recent episodes include Backbone.js (Jeremy Ashkenas) and co-hosted by Yehuda Katz (ember.js) and include some lively discussion between the two about Backbone.js vs. Ember.js and some design decisions made by the two frameworks.

Other episodes cover topics such as JavaScript Objects and Asynchronous Programming.  Every episode to date has been filled with great bits of information and a wealth of other things to checkout.  Be sure to check out the show notes from each show with links to things mentioned on the show.

2. The JavaScript Show

The JavaScript Show is a podcast which runs down the weekly happenings in the JavaScript community, similar to JavaScript Weekly but in obvious audio format.  Lots of news and opinion here from hosts Jason Seifer and Peter Cooper.

This show is varies from JavaScript Jabber as it focuses more on new projects, updates to existing projects and all-around what’s happening this week in JavaScript land.

If you want to get the “Nightly News” version of what’s happening with JavaScript, this is your source.

3. JavaScript Weekly

This is a weekly newsletter put out by Peter Cooper.  JavaScript Weekly is a nice collection of what is going on in the JavaScript community; new projects, updated projects, news, videos, podcasts and conference information.  It probably overlaps a bit with The JavaScript Show since Peter Cooper does both but probably enough different to make it worth it.  If you aren’t into podcasts then this one is definitely a good resource.

There is also a Twitter account where various other updates are published.

If you don’t have time to scour the web for JavaScript news, this weekly delivery to your inbox can help sort it out and keep you up-to-date.

4. Mozilla JavaScript Reference

Mozilla is THE place for information regarding JavaScript.   There is so much detail on the site it is easy to get overwhelmed, so #4 is really 4 picks in one.

Re-introduction to JavaScript is a resource for those developers who may have some exposure to the language but maybe where not steered down the right path or just don’t remember the basics.

The Mozilla master index of their JavaScript resources is a great place to bookmark and return to later.  This includes links to what is new in JavaScript versions, language guide, mailing lists and tools.

The master list includes the JavaScript Guide, which is a how-to manual about the JavaScript language itself.  Great for just starting out or referring back when you’re just not sure.

The AJAX Tutorial takes a look at how to get started with AJAX requests, what they are and the various places to use them.  This is one of the best introductions I have seen as it just refers to JavaScript and a bit of HTML with no other language mixed in to add to the confusion.

UPDATE: Reader Don Smith points out by including “mdn” (no quotes) when searching Google for JavaScript reference information, you will get the best results from the Mozilla resources.  I tried several searches and he is right, the good stuff comes to the top.  Also remember you can limit the searches to this site specifically by preceding searches with “mdn:”.

5. Douglas Crockford’s JavaScript Resources

When I think of JavaScript, Douglas Crockford is one the names that immediately comes to mind.  If you haven’t heard of him, you may have heard of his book – JavaScript : The Good Parts.   His web site dedicated to JavaScript is a nice list of resources to his work as well as others.

6. Advanced Topics in Web Development – Fall 2011

For those who may want a bit more classroom type training but can’t get away, iTunes University has a free course covering lots of great stuff about advanced web development which equates to JavaScript.  It looks like there are 19 sessions up and possibly some more coming since #19 is jQuery, part 1.  Even if there are only the 19 episodes, there is lots of great content.

7. Essential JavaScript Design Patterns For Beginners

Essential JavaScript Design Patterns For Beginners is a book about JavaScript patterns, it has beginners in its title but most beginning developers don’t know what a pattern is.  Heck, most experienced developers haven’t studied them enough to be fluent in pattern speak.  This is a great book for anyone to better understand patterns and has the JavaScript twist to them.

Finally

I hope people find this list useful.  I tried to keep my narration to a minimum since you can go to the sites to read the real details.  I just wanted to share some useful links I use and found after filtering through tons of Google searches.