How to Learn JavaScript

Level up your JS skills with online and offline resources

When you are ready to dive into the world of web development and have mastered HTML and basic computer science topics, its time to learn JavaScript (JS). This computer programming language is used mostly to create and enhance the interactive aspects of websites.

There are plenty of free and paid options to learn JS online. All the free sites cost you is a little time, dedication, and willingness to learn. The paid sites are suitable for current or future professionals who want a more thorough structured introduction to the language. Whether the paid sites are worth the price depends entirely on your expectations and whether you are seeking a certification in JavaScript, which is a valuable addition to your resume.

You can also catch up with a few JavaScript tutorials while you are offline.

Learn JavaScript Online With Free Resources

Hackers working hackathon at laptops in workshop.
Hero Images/Getty Images


​If you have the time and self-discipline, you can learn JavaScript free. There is no shortage of no-cost JavaScript training opportunities online. Among them are:

  • Codecademy. If you've taught yourself to code, chances are you've already been on Codecademy. The platform has various tracks, including a JavaScript track. Codecademy is a great place for newbies to get started learning how to code.
  • "Eloquent JavaScript" is a free book that's available online, written by Marijn Haverbeke. It's broken down into three parts: language, browser, and node. While the book is completely free online, you can also purchase a paperback copy.  
  • Khan Academy is a massive player in the online learning space. It offers tons of learning material for people of all ages. Everything is free, so there's no need to worry about any upsells at the end. One of Khan Academy's signature JavaScript courses is Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation.
  • "JavaScript for Cats" is a free online book that is broken down into many sections. It comes with cat pics and all. It boasts that it's "so easy your human companion could do it, too!" How's that for encouraging.
  • Channel 9. This course, "JavaScript Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners," is a part of Microsoft Virtual Academy. The format is a video series, broken down into 21 videos.
  • offers a free JavaScript interactive learning experience where you read a lesson and then type your code into an editor. 
  • Code School is predominantly a paid platform, but it also offers some free courses. "JavaScript Road Trip Part I" is one of them. Learn more about Code School and its JavaScript paths.
  • JavaScript Garden is appropriate for developers who are a bit more advanced with coding and people who have already learned the JavaScript basics. It talks about common mistakes people make while writing JS and other quirks of the language. 
  • Mozilla Developer Network. If you're at the beginning of the learning curve and pretty new at development, Mozilla offers a beginner's JavaScript course to teach you the basics. Subsequent lessons increase in complexity from Beginner to Intermediate and Advanced tutorials.

Paid Resources for Learning JavaScript

Although there are plenty of free ways to learn JavaScript online, don't overlook the paid options. Typically, they go more in-depth on the subject, and several of them offer a certification in JavaScript.

  • Frontend Masters offers a "JavaScript and the Web" series of video classes featuring Douglas Crockford, author of "JavaScript: The Good Parts." The series includes the history of JavaScript, details of the language, and a focus on functions. The more than 11 hours of videos and challenges also cover how browsers and servers work and security. FrontEnd Masters offers several subscription plans beginning at $39/month for access to all the premium content on the site.
  • Udacity offers self-paced courses that are always available so you can take a course whenever you want and study at your own pace. Although the classes are free, the site's Nanodegree certification and tutoring program is costly, running approximately $200/month.
  • Code School. After you take the free "JavaScript Road Trip Part 1" course, you can continue with the paid courses that lead to a course completion badge that certifies you've learned JavaScript basics, syntax and how to use values, variables, and files. Courses include a combination of instructional videos and challenges. The cost is $29/month for unlimited access to 72 courses and 256 screencasts.
  • offers a JavaScript Developer Certificate that attests to fundamental knowledge of web development using JavaScript and the HTML DOM. A JavaScript Tutorial and JavaScript Quizzes are supplied for study purposes and then an online exam is taken over the internet. The cost of the certificate program is $95.
  • CIW's JavaScript Specialist course prepares individuals for the CIW JavaScript Specialist certification. Previous familiarity with using the internet, developing webpages, and configuring networks, along with knowledge of HTML code development, are necessary skills going into this intermediate course. The program costs $150.
  • The National Computer Science Academy offers online JavaScript training material and a certification exam. Unlimited access to the courses and certifications require a membership subscription, which start at a cost of $99.

Note: All prices listed are current as of early 2018.

Downloadable and Offline Resources for Learning JavaScript

When you want to get away from the computer for a while or are looking for some poolside light reading, buy or download one of these books and tutorials that cover various aspects of learning JavaScript.

"JavaScript: The Good Parts" is a short book by Douglas Crockford that covers the core features of JavaScript. The book can be confusing for beginners at times and is best suited for intermediate programmers.

"Professional JavaScript for Web Developers, 3rd Edition" by Nicholas C. Zakas is an electronic book you can download and study when you are offline. It contains a developer-level introduction and material on useful and advanced JavaScript features. The book is comprehensive and not for beginners. The 960-page book is also available in paperback form.

"The Modern JavaScript Tutorial" is an ePub or PDF downloadable tutorial that covers a vast series of JavaScript topics that include fundamentals, code quality, data types, advanced work with functions, objects, classes, inheritance and error handling. The tutorials range from rank beginner level to advanced concepts such as OOP. Price for the download is $18.

JavaScript Makes the Web Go Round

Technology isn't the future—it's now. Whether you want to start a new and exciting career without incurring student loans, or you just want to test the waters first before you invest in further education, these courses can provide you with invaluable tools to get started.