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Free Outlets for Beginners to Learn Programming: Web Development 102 (jQuery)

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In the previous post, free outlets to learn HTML/CSS were presented. This post will continue with web development and will provide free outlets for beginners to learn jQuery. jQuery is used to bring websites to life (create animations, accordion like menus, etc.). To simplify jQuery for beginners let’s consider it as blocks of JavaScript code that are bundled together to do a certain task, and if you’re wondering how would you learn jQuery before JavaScript if jQuery is Based on JavaScript? The answer is simple, jQuery is based on JavaScript but coding in it doesn’t require prior knowledge to JavaScript. jQuery is very simple and interesting to learn, you can do a lot with it and it’s a must for any web developer. Please note that this post is written with the assumption that you’ve not read the previous post entitled “Free Outlets to Learn Programming: Web Development 101”, so you might find some repeated parts from the previous post if you’ve read it.

The aim of this post is to provide a road map for beginners to learn jQuery, so you won’t find millions of links leading to a million website that has just an article about jQuery. All of the sources stated here are structured courses that you can follow along as a beginner.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn jQuery) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

How to Learn jQuery for Free

Codecademy

Codecademy will be our first free source to learn jQuery. It’s an online outlet where you can learn many programming languages and jQuery is among them. Joining Codecademy is pretty simple; just register using your email and you’re ready to go.

Structure: The course on Codecademy is divided into sections and each section is divided into lessons. At the end of each lesson there’s a small quiz that you’ve to solve in order to proceed to the next lesson “don’t worry; there are helpful tips that’ll guide you”.

Interface: The user interface on Codecademy is quite simple; the page is divided into 4 sections:

  1. Lesson body section (explanation).
  2. Quiz section, you shall find the tips just under it.
  3. Body section; where you type your code.
  4. Your code output section (how your code would appear in the browser in real life).

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You’re awarded with badges for the lessons you finish, which is really encouraging. Now to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured and the explanation is straight forward which is very helpful especially for beginners.
  3. Badges are really encouraging.

Cons

  1. The course is only suitable for beginners. There are no advanced or intermediate courses.
  2. They don’t provide any reference material that you might use to advance in your studies.

Verdict: It’s the go to place for a beginner; you should definitely start your jQuery training there.

Try jQuery

Try jQuery is a free online outlet where you can learn jQuery. Registration isn’t required to start their video tutorial, just open the website and you’re ready to go. The jQuery course on try jQuery is a well-structured for beginners.

Structure: The course on try jQuery is divided into chapters and each chapter is divided into lessons. After each video tutorial there would be a challenge where you can test your understanding of the lesson and earn points and badges.

Interface: The user interface on try jQuery is very simple, just click on the chapter on the left hand side menu and you’re ready to go.

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Now to the bottom line of this service and its pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well structured and it’s very helpful especially for beginners.
  3. Badges are really encouraging.
  4. You can download the course slides for future reference.

Cons

  1. The course is only suitable for beginners. There are no advanced or intermediate courses.

Verdict: The course is excellent, and it’s highly recommended for jQuery beginners.

Tuts+

tuts+ is one of the online outlets where you can learn jQuery, some of the courses on tuts+ are free and others are paid. Joining tuts+ is easy you just register using your email and you’re ready to start. After you finish the registration process, you go to the search bar and type what you want to learn in our case jQuery, and the available courses will appear to you as shown below.

Tuts+ jQuery Course, learn jQuery online, learn jQuery free, how learn jQuery, jQuery tutorialsAs you can see, you shall find thousands of courses. I’d recommend one entitled “30 Days to Learn jQuery“. The course is well structured for beginners.

Structure: The course is divided into weeks (sections), each week has a group of lessons that you should study during that week.

Interface: The interface is very simple, the lessons are stacked under each other, you click on the lesson and the explanatory video will start.

Now, to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course’s well-structured.
  3. Suitable for people who prefer video tutorials.

Cons

  1. They’ve the same problem of Codecademy of not providing any reference material that you might use to advance in your studies.

Verdict: It’s a valuable source for someone who prefers video tutorials, and you’ll need it after finishing your Codecademy course.

W3Schools

W3Schools is one of the online outlets where you can learn jQuery for free. W3Schools doesn’t require any registration, just open the web site and you’re ready to go. W3Schools is more suitable to see examples or revise something but not very suitable to learn from it.

Structure: The course is divided into lessons; each lesson covers a certain topic in jQuery.

Interface: The interface is simple as seen below, you click on the lesson and you’re ready to go.

W3Schools jQuery Course, learn jQuery online, learn jQuery free, how learn jQuery, jQuery tutorialsNow, to the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. It covers the majority of the topics in jQuery.
  3. Good source to revisit certain topics, and can be used as a future reference.

Cons

  1. Not interactive as Codecademy.
  2. You should note that at the footer of the W3Schools website the following is written “W3Schools is optimized for learning, testing, and training. Examples might be simplified to improve reading and basic understanding. Tutorials, references, and examples are constantly reviewed to avoid errors, but we cannot warrant full correctness of all content”.

Verdict: W3Schools is very suitable for someone who has previous experience in programming. You can’t start learning from it if you don’t have any prior programming experience.

Udemy

Udemy is one of the outlets where you can learn jQuery; you can learn literally anything on Udemy for free or for a fee (depending on the course provider). To join Udemy just register using your email. Go to the search bar and type what you want to learn (jQuery in our case); of course you should choose the free courses and at the time of writing this post the following were available:

Udemy jQuery Course, learn jQuery online, learn jQuery free, how learn jQuery, jQuery tutorialsYou click on the course and start it. Each course is divided into lessons (depending on the instructor); there’s only one free course suitable for beginners at the time of writing this post (Learn JavaScript & jQuery from Scratch). Of course if you want to proceed with more levels in jQuery for instance you’ll have to pay or just search for another course that’s free, but after all it’ll be inconvenient as there would be no consistency in your learning curve. The following are the pros and cons of Udemy.

Pros

  1. There is some good material for beginners.
  2. Many of the free courses are more suitable for someone who wants to get an idea about jQuerry.

Cons

  1. You’ll have to pay per course to proceed with your learning journey.
  2. It’s a trial and error process for both the free and paid courses as it depends on the instructor (stars aren’t that convenient as the instructor might be new that’s why he/she has no stars).

Verdict: It’s a trial and error experience; so it’s better to try another free outlet from the ones stated in this post.

Paid only Sources

Lynda: Lynda is somehow similar to Udemy as you can nearly learn anything there through videos made by professional instructors. Lynda is a monthly subscription service (I shall provide a promo code that will make you eligible for a free 7 days trial). The difference between Udemy and Lynda is that Lynda is a monthly subscription service so overall it’ll be cheaper (25$/month is better than 25-100$/course on Udemy). Lynda promo code is: Lynda.com/gizwiz (courtesy of the GizWiz show on the TWiT network, just click on “Lynda” stated at the beginning and you’ll be directed to it).

After registering (I’ve to warn you that even with the above promo code you’re required to input your credit card info) you can search for the course you want to study, which is jQuery in our case then you’ve to select the level (e.g. Beginner, intermediate, Expert). If you want to be more specific you can type (e.g. creating a thumb up button using jQuery) and you shall see courses about it.

Verdict: You can learn jQuery for free from the other sources stated here in this post, so save the promo code for other programming languages with limited free outlets to learn from.

Tip: You can always create a virtual credit card to register. if you don’t want to give your credit card information.

Bottom Line

  1. Start with Codecademy.
  2. Exercise more at try jQuery.
  3. There are other sources to learn jQuery like P2PU, the code player, jQuery for designers, jQuery fundamentals, etc. but I’ve not included them in the post as I couldn’t find a well-structured course suitable for beginners at the time of writing this post.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in jQuery.

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