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Evaluating jQuery Learning Material

96270e4c3e5e9806cf7245475c00b275?s=47 Addy Osmani
October 29, 2011

Evaluating jQuery Learning Material

There's a lot of great educational content on jQuery out there - some would say enough to get lost in. To help evaluate the good from the bad, I've put together what (in my opinion) are the important factors to consider when selecting your learning material in this talk.


Addy Osmani

October 29, 2011


  1. None
  2. Who is this for? • Beginners • Intermediate developers unsure

    of how to evaluate ‘stale’ learning material • Lecturers unsure of how to identify up-to- date resources for students
  3. Factors to consider • Date • jQuery version • Accuracy

    • Popularity • Medium • Credibility
  4. Date

  5. Date Developers in 2011 are still sharing learning resources from

    2007 (bad)
  6. Date Majority of blogs no longer update content a few

    months after the publish date
  7. Date (Old) Fundamentals stay the same, but best practices change

    over time
  8. Date • Keep an eye out for author notes pointing

    to newer versions of material • Focus on learning resources that are recent • Avoid posts/screencasts older than 3 years • Favour resources that keep their content up-to-date
  9. Version

  10. Version Number jQuery has significantly changed since 1.3.x

  11. Version Number Resources using older versions may not cite newer

    (potentially) better ways of accomplishing same tasks
  12. Version Number • Try sticking to resources using jQuery 1.4.2

    • 1.3.2 resources are fine for basic selection related reference • Ideally use resources citing 1.5.x - this came with a major rewrite of $.ajax() including support for Deferreds
  13. Accuracy

  14. Accuracy Writers/content creators aren’t perfect (we all make the occasional

  15. Accuracy Be sure to check the comments for obvious errors

    or omissions
  16. Accuracy Favour resources willing to admit issues, make corrections or

    apply code fixes
  17. Popularity

  18. Popularity Anyone can create a top 30 list with a

    gazillion re-tweets. This doesn’t mean a resource is high in quality.
  19. Popularity Base decisions to use on content quality rather than

  20. Popularity Use resources for inspiration, the Official API documentation for

  21. Credibility

  22. Credibility Is the author of the resource considered trustworthy and

  23. Credibility Is the resource a ‘content-farm’ or there for educational

    purposes? Unique, well-researched content can be favourable.
  24. Credibility Does the author practice what they preach in their

    projects or material?
  25. Credibility • Evaluate content on its merits rather than the

    author’s popularity or name • Be wary of resources that write a lot but say very little • Make sure the authors you rely on for educational content know what they’re talking about
  26. Medium

  27. Medium Screencasts, talks and blogs are excellent but can have

    a finite shelf-life if not updated
  28. Medium Regularly updated content (eg. The jQuery Fundamentals book) can

    be preferable
  29. Medium Live training (eg. Bocoup) can offer comprehensive, up-to- date

    learning if an option.
  30. Conclusions Use due diligence when selecting your jQuery learning material.

    Have fun learning!
  31. More from me: • @addyosmani • •