EducationNews

Treehouse launches jQuery project

New course teaches designers how to make sites interactive

Treehouse has launched a new jQuery course, which aims to walk designers and developers through the basics of jQuery and JavaScript. During the project, students learn how to add interactivity to a website, working with form validation, jQuery plug-ins and Google Maps.

On the reasoning behind the new course, Treehouse founder Ryan Carson told .net: "jQuery is one of the most popular ways to add interactivity to a website. We think it's important for everyone who's learning how to make websites to learn jQuery." Treehouse jQuery educator Andrew Chalkley added that teaching interactivity was also the "next logical step" in Treehouse's offering, given that it has been working through teaching how to build a site and make it responsive.

According to Chalkley, the decision to work with jQuery was down to it being "the first JavaScript framework that really 'got it'", which led to its ubiquity. "Web professionals have had it drilled into them that you should separate style from markup. That's why the <font> tag is dead on the web. jQuery made it so you'll never need to write the onclick attribute again," he added. However, Chalkley said those on the course also learn about JavaScript in more general terms: "Every new keyword is explained. jQuery offers a low barrier of entry to new JavaScript devs, and so we'll be easing people into JavaScript through jQuery, and in the latter stages of the course it'll be more JavaScript-heavy due to the nature of Google Maps."

In terms of the specifics taught on the course, Chalkley said the bulk of the jQuery core is covered, along with those things that are popular on websites, thereby giving students a strong grounding in essential website interactivity: "For example, form validation exposes students to the various text input events that can really improve user experience. Plug-ins save a lot of time, so designers and developers can focus on what matters to their projects and not get bogged down reinventing the wheel. Maps are an important way to visually communicate locations, and figuring out how to use and customise Google Maps is a great tool to have in your utility belt. The key to all of this is keeping the website responsive. We don't think anyone else is really bearing this in mind in their courses, but we are."

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