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September 20, 2023 - 5 minutes

Games and Javascript: Making Learning Better

Discover how to learn JavaScript-while having fun!

Juliette Carreiro - Tech Writer

You know this, but let’s make sure it’s incredibly clear: learning any skill takes practice, time, and dedication. This may seem boring and we get it: it’s hard to motivate yourself to take on an entirely new ability. But when we talk about programming, we believe we don't have to follow the traditional, boring, and highly technical path.

A great example of this is learning the JavaScript language, which is frequently used to build browser applications. Nowadays, it is also used for backend applications (the active part of applications), but it remains the first choice when creating both simple institutional websites or complex web applications.

Before we dive into how we can make learning JavaScript (and other technical tools!) fun, let’s explain exactly what JavaScript is. 

What is JavaScript? 

JavaScript is a programming language used for web development, expanding the capabilities of HTML and CSS to include new and dynamic elements. Thanks to JavaScript, websites can be more dynamic and users can interact with different features:

  • HTML is the structure of the web page and its content

  • CSS offers styles for the content of the web page

  • JavaScript allows you to add a specific style, link to external content, include images, and personalize the user experience. 

As one of the world’s most popular coding languages, practically every developer you meet will have at least some experience with JavaScript. Why? Well:

  • JavaScript is fast: no one wants to be continuously delayed by slow loading speeds or server connections; because it’s an interpreted language that runs on the client side, it requires less time to secure a server connection, making the program faster. 

  • JavaScript runs on the client side: because JavaScript runs on the client side, the server is free from this added weight and can handle other tasks. 

  • JavaScript is easy to use: as one of the most widely-known programming languages worldwide, JavaScript is easier to learn because you’ll have a lot of online or peer help if you run into any issues.

  • JavaScript is versatile: JavaScript can be used on both the front and back ends and can be integrated with other tools like Node.js to finish the website. 

  • JavaScript is widespread: because the vast majority of developers, on both the front and back end, use JavaScript, it’s widely accepted by browsers and compatible with lots of other languages. 

  • JavaScript has lots of features: despite its simple learning curve and widespread knowledge of it, JavaScript boasts lots of added features to enhance your web development project. 

However, just like anything else, JavaScript does it have its limitations. Let’s take a look:

  • JavaScript can be hacked: because anyone can see the JavaScript script of a website, it could be misused. And because JavaScript knowledge is so widespread, someone could change the code of the website and put the security of client data in danger. 

  • JavaScript is harder to debug: compared to other programming languages, it’s harder to see bugs on JavaScript and determine the source. 

  • JavaScript is seen differently on each browser: because JavaScript can run on multiple browsers, it must be tested on all to make sure it’s presenting similarly. 

  • JavaScript reflects coding errors: one mistake in the code can bring down an entire website, interrupting business functions.

Learning JavaScript

There are several ways to practice the acquired knowledge of JavaScript. The most obvious way is to create a simple web application, a portfolio website, a resume, or perhaps the classic application to manage everyday tasks; these are the most common examples.

But how can we make the learning process more dynamic, especially for those who want to learn to program and don’t have a technical background?

As a Web Development instructor, one of Miguel Braga’s goals is to simplify and streamline the JavaScript learning process; he believes that we only learn by applying all knowledge in practice. In the first module of the Ironhack’s Web Development Bootcamp, the course kicks off with a project developed completely by the students:

  • This project consists of creating a game where students can conceptualize, develop, and release a game they created in just three weeks.

  • The knowledge they absorb in the first module gives them access to the necessary tools for creating game dynamics, allowing them to replicate platforms, collisions, gravity, speed and dynamic rendering of images, always using JavaScript.

​​Since 2019, when Ironhack’s inaugural Web Development Bootcamp in Lisbon took place, we have witnessed the creation of strategy, RPG, adventure, platform, and many more games:

  • Game development instead of the typical web application was chosen because this method gives a playful aspect to the project development and substantially increases its complexity. 

  • Making a game from scratch is not easy, but we believe that by exposing students to this challenge, they further develop their skills and it’s always gratifying to see the students' creativity and innovative ideas at the end of each first module. 

  • After the presentations, students play the games designed by the students, which brings a practical and immediate purpose to the project.

Learning JavaScript with Games at Ironhack

Learning to program doesn't have to be boring and repetitive; innovation in education is possible and combining technical skills and creativity can considerably boost the learning and acquisition of technical skills. And people with or without training in the area can enter the job market as web developers much faster with the methodology of learning by doing.

As you can see, learning to program from scratch in just three weeks is possible. Are you ready to learn JavaScript by creating your own game? Check out our Web Development Bootcamp and apply today.

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