Curriculum: first day

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On the first day, our goal is to learn enough JavaScript to be dangerous, and to get a good feel for the natural habitat (web, browser, HTML) of JavaScript programs.


We will be using the Google Chrome browser as our development environment for the course, because of the excellent developer tools it provides. If you have a strong, passionate affinity for some other browser (please let it not be Internet Explorer), you are also free to try and use that—most modern browsers have decent developer tools—but the text on these pages will describe the Chrome functionality.

If you don't already have Chrome installed, get it here:

Beyond a browser, no desktop software will be necessary. We will be writing and trying out JavaScript programs directly inside of the browser.


The first few hours will be spent working with trivial pieces of programs, in order to get a feel for the language. Despair not, for these are simply a gateway to bigger, greater things and there will also be colors and animations.

This document will provide you with step-by-step guidance for exploring the browser and its JavaScript environment, and for writing your first few programs.

Each step will be marked with a goal (why are we doing this), a precise, dry, guideline on what to do, and an explanation of how and why the thing you are doing works. For example:

Example step


See what a step looks like.


Read this text carefully.


The goal always comes first. Without goal, there is no action. The instructions are written in a way that is unambiguous and plain, but don't provide background. They are followed by an explanation that, hopefully, makes it clear how and why they work.


It is a good idea to keep this cheat sheet open in a tab in your browser, and use it to look up the precise notation for something whenever you forget. Don't worry about it looking like gibberish for now. It is only intended to look up things after they have been explained by the course material.

Our coaches are also always happy to answer questions. If at any point you feel confused or stuck, get our attention, and we will do our very best to un-confuse you.

Let's go

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