Dear Duolingo: Consider adding JavaScript

This week I realized that I have begun learning a new language. Reflecting on my past language-learning experiences, as well as my former brushes with code and query languages, will help me set realistic goals and expectations for this new challenge.

One thing stands out to me as being immediately familiar to my past experiences: I know what the code supposed to look like, but I still have trouble constructing the right syntax on my own. The end-of-unit quizzes highlighted this tendency. I usually got the syntax questions right on the first try (just because they looked right), but I struggled with the questions designed to explain why something is done. That is to say, I’m better at reading the code than I am at writing it.

This week’s lesson with the JavaScript console also reminded me of Data Reporting, where we learned the basics of MySQL query language. I remember when I started learning about MySQL that the process of writing pseudo code was critical in the writing/development of more complex queries. It’s also a great mental/emotional strategy when you get frustrated with writing code, because it’s pretty hard to get it wrong, and it helps you organize your thoughts. I’ll definitely be taking the extra time to write pseudo code and add comments to my code as it grows, just to save myself some aggravation.

Goals for the Future

If “getting better at JavaScript” is too broad a goal, I’d like to prioritize getting better at reading the error messages. When I was learning how to use MySQL, the error messages were immensely helpful at identifying syntax and other input issues. In the Java console, however, I’m still at a loss. Luckily, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice reading the error messages, because I anticipate I’ll be generating a lot of them in the weeks ahead.

Is there a Duolingo option for JavaScript?

A Question I’m Afraid to Ask…

It’s clear that so far we’ve been creating variables and functions, and then defining them within the code (i.e. the user’s name is “Cole” so let userName = ‘Cole’. But when we interact with web pages in the wild, that name field picks up data from our user profile. What does the code look like that pulls data from another source and into the field we’re using?

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