Front end development: where to start?

I'm very sorry if that question has been asked already, couldn't find anything closely related though.

By now I've pretty much learned HTML/HTML5, CSS/3, learned using JQuery (not saying there's nowhere to improve, obviously there is). I really want to start learning front-end dev (client MVC, etc). I've started learning backbone.js, but it turns out i'm having difficulties learning it. Am I missing something? I've read "JS: Good Parts" and Javascript Garden is basically my go-to source yet I still get confused.

I'd appreciate any recommendations as to what I should learn/practice first, thanks :)


My favorite answer for that is always - start your own side-project.

Pickup any simple existing application, ToDo list, issue tracker, blog platform, what ever and spend energy to make it done. Host sources on github, search for similar applications to inspire.

You would not believe how many actual questions you would have, by just trying the things out. If you already have good skills with HTML/CSS and JS you'll be able to build something really valuable and learn a lot.

Backbone.js is good, but could be really difficult to start with. Do, some learning curve - implement same simple app in jQuery, then Backbone, then Angular.js. It will give you great client MVC overview.

Two things

  1. Don't quit.
  2. Stackoverflow.

You can read all you want and it will definitely help, but in the end, you'll just have to start, work through it and finish something. Finishing is very important, so I would recommend starting simple, for example, build your own todo with an example on the side and work from there.

Different people have different learning styles, so not all answers you will get will work for you (except GijsJanB's "Don't quit"). Personally, once I am through a tutorial or other documentation, I like to study a real-world system of substantial size. Two that I've looked at and might match your interests are:

  • Brackets: a Javascript/HTML/CSS editor written entirely in Javascript. Written and maintained by Adobe, open source and available on Github via this link.
  • Travis-web: the front-end of the Travis-CI continuous integration framework, based on the Ember framework. Written largely in CoffeeScript, not JavaScript proper.

I'd suggest AngularJS ( Why? Because it has a pretty good tutorial section, good documentation AND it's backed by a large company (Google).

But unfortunately, the learning is still up to you ;-)

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