I wasn’t able to attend WordCamp US (cue jealousy rage! :), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many of the blog posts that I’ve read about the conference.

It’s easy to be proud of the software and to continue wanting to work with it, isn’t it?

With all the chatter around Calypso, React, and JavaScript, there’s a lot to cover. If you’re a web developer, this is something that may be overwhelming to take in. For some, this is a natural progression of their career.

Regardless, JavaScript is going to be playing a major role in both WordPress and the web in general. This is holding true to Atwood’s Law:

Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.

Say you’re a WordPress Developer, but you’re just now getting a hold on jQuery. How are you – or we – supposed to pick up on all the new technologies

JavaScript and WordPress

Calypso has spurred conversation around JavaScript and related technologies. It’s awesome, but there’s no need for me to reiterate any of it.

JavaScript in WordPress

No, not that kind of Java. Come on, people.

There have been great reviews and discussions about it all on some of these articles:

And there was a lot said during the State of the Word perhaps the most significant from Matt himself:

Learn JavaScript, Deeply.

Of course, that means it’s time for those who are familiar wth JavaScript and related tools to come out of the woodwork and help the rest, right?

Right.

To that end, I thought I’d share the resources that I’ve found to be useful when learning JavaScript. First, I’ve written a post about some of my favorite books. These still stand.

But if you’re looking for resources on the web, be sure to check out (and bookmark):

And if you’ve got more to add, don’t hesitate to link them up in the comments.

About This Java and JavaScript Business

I also wanted to add a short comment about this confusion that happens for people new to JavaScript.

Specifically, those new to JavaScript often confuse it with Java. Totally understandable (and there’s a history behind this, but that’s for another post).

The short of it is this: JavaScript is not Java. Perhaps it’s best illustrated with this little gem:

Java is to JavaScript as ham is to hamster.

On top of that, there are a lot of tools that are now available that utilities the JavaScript language but are more-or-less built on top of it.

For example:

So there’s a lot of sifting through the various tools, frameworks, and libraries that are available. And some people will claim you need to learn vanilla JavaScript first and then move on to other tools. Others will argue the opposite.

I’m not taking a position on that in this post, but I hope the resources linked above provide a great starting point for your JavaScript homework.

It’s exciting to see this play out and I’m looking forward to picking up a few new things myself (that is, React).

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Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Thanks for your posts Tom! I really enjoy them and always learn something. I’m learning JS in Team Tree House and this links will help me to learn even more. Thanks!

  2. WP moving to JS is a conceit and may actually lead to less WP use over time.

    I say that because the more WP exposes itself as simply a backend to a JS frontend the more developers will realise that ANY backend can be used, not simply WP.

    Until now, the WP templating system has been a dominant factor, but a JS frontend essentially removes that imperative. So the question becomes, do I need WP for my backend?

    The best answer is yes since the WP admin is so very nice to use. But it’s not perfect and without that you have no reason to continue with it.

    Yes, you have the underlying codebase that lets you easily create content, but perhaps that won’t be enough going forward, That is except that you have a great number of developers who already use WP code to create content.

    So, with JS fully involved on the frontend WP simply becomes a data source… and there are lots of data stores available. But most of them don’t have that tasty admin.

    My summation is that WP can only survive if the admin keeps getting better. That’s all WP is going forward: a nice admin.

    • WP moving to JS is a conceit and may actually lead to less WP use over time.

      I respectfully disagree.

      PHP isn’t really going anywhere, but with the introduction of the REST API we’re going to be able to do more and more with JavaScript than we have previously.

      I also think it’s fair to say that JavaScript, if anything, has been on the rise over the last decade or say in the web. More and more things are being written using JavaScript so WordPress beginning to [finally] embrace it like this is a welcome change.

      But, just as you see it, this is my take on it. Nothing more :).

      I say that because the more WP exposes itself as simply a backend to a JS frontend the more developers will realise that ANY backend can be used, not simply WP.

      That’s okay, though! I think having choice is fine — we’ve always had it, to a degree, and there are those of us who deliberately choose WordPress over other backends because of some of the features that it offers.

      Sure, there are always complaints about aspects of the data model or the database schema or things like that, but there are also fantastic features out of the box and things that we can easily improve through plugins, custom tables, etc.

      So, with JS fully involved on the frontend WP simply becomes a data source… and there are lots of data stores available. But most of them don’t have that tasty admin.

      This depends on the end-user, I think. I like the admin just fine, but I don’t think it’s altogether great nor do I think it’s altogether bad. I see it as something that’s definitely gotten better over time, but I think it also exposes a lot of options for the average user some of which are too technical.

      My summation is that WP can only survive if the admin keeps getting better. That’s all WP is going forward: a nice admin.

      This is an interesting take. Where you see WordPress’ survival being based on the quality of the admin, I see it being based on what all we can do with the backend as its developed.

      It’s going to be fun to see it play out, if nothing else! :)

  3. Thank you very much for this eye opener. Really appreciate it. Keep up the good work

  4. Tom, Thanks for always keeping us abreast on everything good for developing.

    The resources you provide are helping me grow from an advanced “implementer of WordPress” to a WordPress Developer.

    It’s awesome to literally learn something new every single day.

    Thanks for all of your help.

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