About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

All posts for Feb 2012

Speaking at Boston PHP

If you're going to be in or around Boston tomorrow (Wednesday) night, I hope you'll join me at the Microsoft NERD Center, where I'll be giving my first talk in more than a year and a half.

I'm going to be speaking about the science of human behavior and why perception matters, even if all you care about is something like security. This talk is a lot of fun, because I mostly just talk about stuff that I find really interesting. There are more videos than bullets, and more science than code.

After the talk, I have it on good authority that we'll be enjoying stimulating conversation and drinking good beer.

Click here to RSVP.

Learning JavaScript

One of my goals this year is to acquire new skills, so I've decided to start by learning JavaScript. As was the case when I learned HTML and CSS, it's a tricky endeavor, because I'm not exactly a beginner, and most stuff is geared toward beginners, which can make learning so inefficient that I lose my motivation.

I've decided to treat this effort just like I treat exercise, which is to focus on rhythm and consistency above all else. Don't break the chain. My days are packed, but I'm setting aside at least half an hour each day to do something related to learning JavaScript. As long as I hold myself to that and continue making progress, I'll be happy.

Why am I telling you this? One reason is to put myself on the hook, and another reason is so that I can share what I'm doing to learn JavaScript, in case you want to join me. (This also means those of you who have already been down this path can offer your sage advice.)

Since I've just started, I'm currently only using two sources:

Eloquent JavaScript
This not only seems like a good introduction, but it also offers interactive exercises, which I think is going to make a big difference.
As you can see, I've already gone through some of the courses on Codecademy. The quality seems to be hit or miss, but I like the concept and the platform, and it allows me to dedicate very little time and still feel like I've made some progress.

I also have a copy of JavaScript: The Good Parts that O'Reilly sent me back when they wanted Sean and I to write a similar book for PHP. I'm not sure if it's best used as a guide or a reference, though.

If you're a developer and don't already consider yourself a JavaScript expert, won't you join me?