Jeff Kile

Videos for an introduction to modern full stack JavaScript web development

25 Jul 2015



This is a great first video to watch because its both funny and gives you an insight into why so many people get tripped up on JavaScript once they start seriously programming in it.

The thing with JavaScript is that it looks a lot like other languages, namely Java, and so lots of people who have experience with other languages think they know more about it than they do. Scoping, objects and functions are examples of things that have very different behavior than in Java but look very similar and so many people incorrectly assume they work in a certain way.

The typing system is another example of a JS language feature that works very differently than one might naively expect, which this video does a great job highlighting.

The answers to why this behavior occurs can be found over on Stack Overflow

Ryan Dahl’s original Node.js presentation

This is where it all started. If you’re going to be writing Node.js you should watch this video before you do anything else.

Ryan’s thesis that traditional web frameworks do I/O wrong is the core concept behind why people use Node.js. It is essential you understand the Ah-Hah moment this represented to the web development community back in 2009.

Douglas Crockford Yahoo UI talks

Douglas Crockford is the creator of JSLint and a prominent voice in the JavaScript community. All of his talks are excellent and his book is a must have for any serious JavaScript developer.

One of the things I find most interesting in this talk is the history of the language and how it was created and named. The way he describes prototypical object inheritance as differential inheritance (just inheriting the differences) is something I think is helpful in understanding JavaScripts inheritance pattern. Lastly I find this video especially enjoyable because he also shares a dislike of the new keyword which is one of my most hated parts of the language as well, precisely because I’ve been bitten badly by the bug he discusses.

In the next video he talks about functions which he describes as “the best part” of JavaScript, watch to find out why. Also pay attention to his definition and description of closure. I think its one of the harder parts of the language to articulate and he does it very succinctly. One last thing to note is where he talks about returning the keyword this, which is a very powerful trick of the language and can help you to understand how JS libraries like D3 and JQuery are able to do things like function chaining.

Flux and React

These next videos are designed to demonstrate some of the exciting new things going on with the UI element of web development. I chose to highlight React and Flux over other great frameworks like Angular or Backbone because I think the React/Flux paradigm feels closest aligned to the functional and event driven worlds that Douglas and Ryan talked about in the previous videos. I think they also have less under the hood magic going on when compared to something like Meteor.js, which makes it easier to understand.


Hopefully by now you are stoked about modern JavaScript development. The event loop, functional programming and one way data binding are all extremely powerful and interesting features that make this style of web development more fun and simpler than traditional web development.

As a bonus video I highly recommend watching Simple Made Easy which isn’t a talk about JavaScript but is instead about minimizing complexity in software development. In my opinion the concepts I’ve presented here are applications of the underlying theory presented in this talk.

Simple Made Easy

comments powered by Disqus