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Honeypot Cult Article: How to Learn JavaScript 2021

Posted on:September 2, 2021 at 05:57 PM (7 min read)

You’ve made the decision to learn JavaScript - one of the most popular and diverse programming languages in the world! Fantastic!

Now, where should you start? That’s exactly what we’re here to answer for you.

We want to provide the best way to learn JavaScript and we’re making no assumptions about what you know. Never programmed before? That’s no problem - think of this as the path for how to code for beginners with JavaScript! Know how to program, but not with JavaScript? Feel free to skip sections of the guide below.

We’re happy to help, but before diving right into JS, let’s talk about the recommended mindset when learning it.


Learning something new is hard. Point, blank, period. That also means it’s rewarding, the key is to enjoy the process! To do so, I recommend starting with “why”.

Your “Why”

Take a moment to define and write down the motivation you have for learning JavaScript. Is it because you want to create a new SaaS company using the web? Are you switching careers because you’ve caught the tech itch? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do, but never made time for?

Whatever your reason is - write it down, remember it, and have it readily available for the days you need that motivation.

Grit & Persistence

I mentioned in a previous article, Anyone Can be a Software Engineer, that my path to becoming a Software Engineer was not because I was smart, but because I kept pushing towards my goals.

When learning JavaScript, you will feel frustrated, irritated, and blame the computer when something isn’t working. I’ve known JavaScript for six years or so now, and that still happens to me. From bugs in Angular to a quirky JavaScript feature that is in small print, being a programmer means being a continuous learner.

When things go wrong, don’t work, or feel impossible - take a break, read your why, and get back in the learning game!


Having other people that keep you accountable or enable shared learning makes a huge difference when learning a new skill. I recommend finding that community and I have listed a few options to check out in the extra resources section at the end of this article.

The way that web devs support, innovate, and assist each other makes it the fantastic community it is today. Additionally, by writing and explaining what you learn to others (👋 the Feynman Learning Technique), you can identify and discover improvement areas.

This takes us into our next topic for the guide.

Learning Process

Taking on the task of learning a brand new skill is daunting without a plan of attack. The point of this section is to provide you with one. As mentioned before, I believe in the Feynman Technique for learning; you can see its influence below.

The high-level process looks like this for each study session / topic:

  1. Review a previously learned topic

  2. Learn a new topic through a tutorial

  3. Read through the official docs (MDN)

    1. Take notes and summarize your understanding
  4. Complete the tutorial without reading through it (testing your comprehension of the skill)

    1. If you must look back to get back on track, do so, but only for that one place your stuck, then continue on your own
    2. Add extra bells and whistles if possible
  5. Try using the learned topic in your own small project (can be anything you want)

  6. Write your own tutorial based on that project (this is where gaps would be noticed and re-learning encouraged)

    1. This can be in your own notebook, doesn’t have to be public if that isn’t comfortable for you
    2. Use the summarized notes you have as a guide

Note: one topic may take multiple study sessions. I didn’t learn of the benefits of this process until later in my career, but of course, taking notes and having tests on programming topics had its own flavor during my university days.

The main reason I recommend this approach has to do with the risk of something called “tutorial calamity” (aka Tutorial Hell).

Avoid Tutorial Calamity

Have you ever watched a how-to video on something, and it made you feel like accomplishing this task will be easy. As you follow along, doing exactly what the video says, and getting decent results, it can be easy to mistake this as your own skill level. Being guided and independently doing a task are two very different things.

What happens sometimes for web devs is the mistake of only doing tutorials when learning something new. You spend time learning React with tutorial after tutorial, only to find out when trying to create your own React app, you’re not sure what to do.

That event and feeling of not knowing what to do after working through many tutorials is the moment of Tutorial Calamity! Following the learning process above will help you avoid that once you’ve learned each topic!

Scheduling and Planning

It’s widely accepted these days that small habits over time are what makes a difference and drives the results you want in life.

“Learn JavaScript” truly breaks down into pieces like:

In other words - you don’t just learn JavaScript. You learn pieces of JavaScript every day for a while which leads you to become competent.

Because of that, I recommend scheduling time each day to study. During these sessions, give studying your full attention as you go step by step through each of the topics below.

These topics can be learned by finding tutorials for each one with a quick google search, finding a course on Udemy, following the FreeCodeCamp curriculum, or buying a course from a well-known teacher in our community. I’ve listed a few resources in the last section of the guide and hope they help you on this journey!

Lastly, I truly encourage you to be kind to yourself while going through this process. It’s ok if you miss a day or two, it’s ok if you get overwhelmed, and it’s ok if you have trouble learning.

It’s all part of the process!

The Topics

1 - Just Getting Started

History of JS and how it was created (optional)

Primitive Data Types

Reference Types

Expressions & Operators

Explain the difference between primitive and reference types in JS

Variables & Assignment

Code comments

JavaScript Date Objects

2- Heating Up

Logical operators statements

Switch statements


Array Methods

Object methods

String methods

String templates vs regular strings



Error handling

Destructuring Assignments


3 - All star

Spread and Rest operator

Data Types:




“This” in JS


ES Modules



Await and Async

Generator Functions



Bitwise operators (optional)

Extra Resources

Official Docs:

Recommended Courses:

Recommended Books

Recommended Communities: