• Zero to Tessel: Teach Yourself Node

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    12/10/2013— Kelsey Breseman

    At this point, I consider myself a connoisseur of online learning programs. Coursera, edX, Boundless, Codecademy, Khan Academy– I’ve tried them all. Because I’ve tested out many of these paths, I now feel qualified to offer you a three-step plan to JavaScript and Node.JS fluency– whether or not you plan to use these skills to work with Tessel. There are no prerequisites.

    (image via nodeschool.io)

    1. Codecademy [~3 hours] for JavaScript syntax. If you’ve never coded in JS before (or even never coded at all), head over to Codecademy and spend a few hours in the JavaScript lessons. You need to know about if statements, for loops, how to make a function. If you’re new to JS but not to code, you could probably skip this step and just google things like “JavaScript function”, but it’s nice to get in a bit of practice so you can recognize bad grammar in your code.

    2. Nodeschool: learnyounode [~2 days] is a nice transition. Nodeschool is an all-offline set of courses, where each lesson is a puzzle to complete in your terminal. Learnyounode will take you from a “Hello World” to parsing information from multiple websites asynchronously. If you focused, you could complete Learnyounode in two days. By the end of this, you’ll know how to use Node and npm, and you’ll be more than prepared to start hacking on Tessel.

    3. Olin.JS [~8 weeks] is a class Tim and Jia created and taught last semester at Olin. All the lessons are here on github, so you (like me) can work through them at your own pace. It will take your newfound knowledge of JS and Node and show you what it can really do. It’s designed to take eight weeks, and will introduce you to git, Heroku, Express, JQuery, AJAX and many other useful tools: essentially, it’s zero to hireable for Node. I recommend this course because you’ll make a lot of cool projects, because you’ll become a legit web programmer, and because Jia’s writing is entertaining.

    You don’t need to do step 3 in order to hack on Tessel. Really, you could just use example code to get it working, and by the time we release we’ll have all the necessary information up on a start page. But to unleash its full potential, you’ll probably want the full arsenal of web programming tools at your beck and call.

    Happy coding!

    Kelsey Breseman


    Enjoy this post? Based on this blog post, I’m curating a similarly styled but more detailed pathway for learning to code over at my website ifoundthemeaningoflife.com/learntocode. Check it out! It contains everything from this post, plus a bit more.

    #kelsey breseman #tessel #technical machine #learn to code #programming #node.js #nodeschool #olin.js #olin #hourofcode

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