Practical JavaScript from

Learn JS from a former Google engineer! For beginners with 0 coding experience. In this free 8.5 hour course, you'll learn JavaScript while building a todo list app.

Created by: Gordon Zhu

Produced in 2018

What you will learn

  • The core essentials of Javascript programming.
  • JS fundamentals like variables, the console, loops, conditionals, etc.
  • How to build actual applications with real-world usage in JavaScript.
  • How to think like a programmer.
  • Why certain solutions in JS are better than others.
  • Common pitfalls of new javascript developers
  • How to use the debugger and refactor code.
  • Much, Much more!

Quality Score

Content Quality
Video Quality
Qualified Instructor
Course Pace
Course Depth & Coverage

Overall Score : 92 / 100

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Course Description

Mastering the building blocks of programming (such as functions, objects, and conditional logic) is your most important task as a beginning programmer. That's because fluency with these core areas is absolutely crucial for everything you'll do in any programming language, not just JavaScript. Frameworks, tools, and even languages come and go, but the fundamentals never change.



    • Taught by a former Google Engineer.
    • Hyper passionate instructor puts a ton of work into teaching each concept thoughtfully and clearly.
    • A practical course that prioritizes the parts of JavaScript that you will encounter most frequently in the real world.
    • Covers common mistakes students make while learning JS.
    • Makes good usage of analogies and diagrams to explain concepts in a way that's easy to understand and internalize.
    • Teaches ES5 and does not cover the new features added in ES6 or ES7.
    • Lacks exercises throughout the course to reinforce the concepts being learned.
    • Uses an online tool called Plunker as the development environment and it can be cumbersome to use.

Instructor Details

Gordon Zhu

Before starting in 2014, Gordon was at Google, where he developed AngularJS applications for the engineering education team. During his four years at Google, He also worked as a product manager on Maps and did marketing for AdWords and TalkBin (a YCombinator company Google acquired in 2011).



25 total reviews

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By Jeremy Mouzin on 10/28/2018

I really enjoyed the format of this course: straight to the point short videos with 1 key concept and a quick recap at the end. Each video breaks down a concept into bit-sized pieces of information.In this course youll start to code right away and I love that approach! Youll start coding the first version of a todo app directly from the Chrome console. In this todo app, youll add one feature at a time: adding an item, removing an item, updating an item, marking an item completed or not, displaying the todo list etc.Each lesson is built upon the previous one, this is extremely well designed as you always use what you already know in the next lesson. This helps you memorize the previous material and use it in a concrete program.In the process of building the todo app, youll learn functions, parameters and arguments, youll review all primitives of Javascript, numbers, strings, booleans, null, undefined and more advanced values like objects and arrays.Gordon will explain variables scopes thanks to a great visual analogy (with circle and arrows) that Ive never seen elsewhere and that works very well. Youll gradually use more complex concepts to reimplement and evolve the todo app until a point where you dont need the console anymore. Indeed, youll slowly move from the console to a webpage with buttons and live interactions. What a pleasant journey!

By boomer1204 on 9/16/2016

Gordon Zhu is the teacher and former Google employee who breaks down javascript better than any other resource I have found.The big take aways for why I think his resource is worth while is because he doesnt just throw you to the wolves. He breaks down why the code is doing what it is doing along with showing you how to read code, debug and really teach yourself

By JohnL3 on 9/16/2016

just completed his free course and found it really really good. And even though i knew 95% of what was covered it was worth doing plus i picked up some new stuff

By Todd Cullum on 10/12/2016

I dont often write reviews like this, but I know a gold mine when I see one, and I am now a proud student of Gordon Zhus Having the experience that I do with the other languages, having learned and implemented unit testing and design patterns such as repository, unit of work, dependency injection, etc in C#, I am very impressed with and am learning a ton from Mr. Zhu both in terms of general software engineering as well as JavaScript language-specifics and I highly recommend his course, you wont be sorry.

By SpKaladze on 9/28/2018

Gordon's practical Javascript is a great start for a beginner. I found he sets up a solid foundation for a beginner such as gets you asking questions, breaks down every aspect in the code well and keeps you motivated throughout - although, simply completing the course is not enough and you'll find there is a huge rabbit hole to go down into learning the language.

By mwiseman_3wmlyv on 3/15/2017

I rave about WatchandCode because Gordon Zhu teaches you coding in a very practical way! You dont start out building completely out of context objects like you do with other programs. Many programs, for example, will teach you about objects with animal examples. What the heck? We arent likely going to build code with animals. We need to understand in a real-world context. Gordon takes you through building a To-do app with plain javascript

By Code Girl on 8/12/2017

You will enjoy and be successful with Watch and Codes Practical JavaScript, where you learn by creating a ToDo application. Luckily, Practical JavaScript is free.

By Nero Adaware on 1/22/2019

This is a video tutorial that walks you through building a todo application(yes another TODO app). This is one of the best free Javascript video tutorial out there. The instructor Gordon Zhu covers the building blocks of Javascript that you will encounter a lot as a professional developer. He covers functions, arrays, objects, loops while building a todo application. The best thing is that its not all about code, he also gives tips on refactoring, how to approach a problem as a beginner and how to debug.When you finish this course you should be ready to pick any Javascript framework( React) and continue your learning.

By jd0909 on 5/1/2018

I've been going through the Practical JavaScript course at Watch and Code. I'm almost 50% done it.The whole course is him building a To Do list app. This is his way of teaching:He explains what something is (for example, an array)He types it out in a code editorHe runs the code and shows the resultRepeatI'm going along, watching what he's typing and typing it out myself.. but I don't learn anything. Nothing is being absorbed. Nothing is sticking.I'm just typing out what he's showing me.Don't get me wrong, I've learned a ton of concepts from him. Variables, arrays, for loops, if statements, and a bit more.. but I can wholeheartedly say that if you asked me do what he's taught so far, without looking back at notes, I would fail miserably.

By 0kcool on 12/15/2017

I recently finished Gordon Zhu's Practical JavaScript course. I really liked it and found it extremely useful

By Sodima on 12/25/2017

Before I started Watch and Code I tried countless resources with no success for almost two years straight, now I feel a lot more confident in my coding ability. The premium content will lead you to not have to rely on tutorials to learn to code anymore but instead, you'll learn all about reading source code, testing, debugging, understanding documentation, and many other fundamentals

By everek123 on 1/1/2019

watch and code is a free series of short video tutorials on javascript. It is aimed at complete beginners with no prior coding experience. What makes it really stand out is the fact that during the course you learn everything by building a todo-app. This is very good as it perfectly shows you how to apply the code to build something.