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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member CodeHarder's Avatar
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    How much JavaScript/jQuery should a junior front-end developer know and what to know?

    I'm a self-taught aspiring front-end web developer and want to apply for junior web developer jobs. How much JavaScript and jQuery should I know and what should I know for an interview? I've done mostly HTML5 and CSS3 work and haven't really had the need to use much JavaScript. If a need arised that required some JavaScript I would just look up code and figure out how to implement it on my project. I have also been taking JavaScript and jQuery courses online but I don't quite feel confident enough yet to say I know it with a straight face.

    So far I've had a few interviews but whenever the JavaScript question comes up I'm always up front and say that I understand JavaScript code and can modify the code to get it to work for a project but I'm not a JavaScript programmer and can't code from scratch just yet. My gut tells me this isn't what they want to hear. So does anyone have any advice on what I can do to boost my confidence with JavaScript / jQuery for interviews and make me more marketable? Or maybe I'm just looking at it the wrong way?

  2. #2
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Probably not what you're hoping to hear, but going by the majority of sites I've seen you're going to need to know what javascript libraries to use, and how to use them. And to do that you're going to need to know javascript.

    I don't imagine most shops are going to want to pay you for time spent learning, so what to do?
    Look at sites, see what they're doing, then try to write something similar yourself. This could take some time.
    Maybe you could get some kind of "internship" arrangement. i.e. you work for free in exchange for the learning experience.

    IMHO it would be best to be honest about your skill level, it won't do much good to get a job only to lose it if you can't meet their expectations.
    If you're good with HTML5, CSS3, (responsive web design too?) show them some of your work as that could help you get your foot in the door.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member CodeHarder's Avatar
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    Well I did mention my skill level I'm aiming for. How much should a junior level developer know? From the sound of your reply I should be expert level with my JavaScript and jQuery...

  4. #4
    Gre aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say expert, but a sound working knowledge of the language should be your aim.

    Start by following a course or reading a book and build from there.
    In addition to the above, I can also paticularly recommend Eloquent JavaScript

    After mastering the basics of the language start to look at the various libraries that are available (such as jQuery), as well as the frameworks (Angular or Ember).

    I wouldn't recommend learning the frameworks inside out, but a rough idea of which framework is good for what, will help.

    A final tip would be to hang around SitePoint and answer questions as you learn. Teaching others is a fantastic way to cement your knowledge.

  5. #5
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Good point about not needing to be an expert. From what I've heard elsewhere it is common to assign a task to a potential employee not to see if they already know how to do it, but more importantly if they know how to solve it.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member CodeHarder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    I wouldn't say expert, but a sound working knowledge of the language should be your aim.

    Start by following a course or reading a book and build from there.
    In addition to the above, I can also paticularly recommend Eloquent JavaScript

    After mastering the basics of the language start to look at the various libraries that are available (such as jQuery), as well as the frameworks (Angular or Ember).

    I wouldn't recommend learning the frameworks inside out, but a rough idea of which framework is good for what, will help.

    A final tip would be to hang around SitePoint and answer questions as you learn. Teaching others is a fantastic way to cement your knowledge.
    Thanks Pullo! Can you suggest any good projects I can do to show employers that I know my stuff?

  7. #7
    Patience... bronze trophy solidcodes's Avatar
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    @Pullo ;

    I'm super agree --> "Teaching others is a fantastic way to cement your knowledge."

    Do that if your skills is intermediate level in JS. Else don't to avoid mistakes.

    To master JavaScript you need to Love it and get Addicted with it.

    And practice, practice, practice and read more and more JS books.
    Quality codes are optimized and tested...
    Click here for inspiration..

  8. #8
    Patience... bronze trophy solidcodes's Avatar
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    Off topic.

    @Pullo ;
    Congrats for the JS award, you really deserved it dude. ^__^
    Quality codes are optimized and tested...
    Click here for inspiration..

  9. #9
    Gre aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodeHarder View Post
    Thanks Pullo! Can you suggest any good projects I can do to show employers that I know my stuff?
    My first question would be, what are you interested in?
    It is important to do something that is relevant to you.

    If you really have no idea, then why not make an AJAX powered currency converter?
    Make it using jQuery, then as a second step, translate the jQuery to plain JS.
    Also, make sure to validate the user's input on the client and on the server side (displaying error messages where applicable).

    @solidcodes ; Thanks, dude!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member CodeHarder's Avatar
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    Pullo, honestly right now I'm interested in getting a job to get more experience. I'm not sure where I want to go with JavaScript/jQuery just yet. I guess anything related to responsive and mobile sites.

  11. #11
    Gre aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodeHarder View Post
    Pullo, honestly right now I'm interested in getting a job to get more experience. I'm not sure where I want to go with JavaScript/jQuery just yet. I guess anything related to responsive and mobile sites.
    Responsive sites don't have much to do with JS, as they are controlled via media queries.
    However, mobile app development might be a nice avenue to explore.
    What about this: Creating a Mobile HTML5 Application with App Framework

  12. #12
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    I'm in the exact same boat, unfortunately nothing online I see tells you exactly how to use some of these javascript tools except to do math. That's about it. Really frustrating, I would like some real world examples and not just lists. Also no one online starts out easy.


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