Keeping Your JavaScript Skills Sharp

August 23, 2016

Many of you have asked us to create courses in and around JavaScript. Frankly, we're just not JavaScript experts. But we know people who are! And we're always happy when we can find a course (or two) that we feel comfortable recommending.

Learn React By Building An App

First up, many of you are already familiar with Wes Bos' popular React for Beginners course. React is a very popular JavaScript library for building dynamic user interfaces. This 5-hour, 29-video course is an excellent way to learn React by incrementally building an application from scratch.

Learn Modern JavaScript

Wes has a brand new course: ES6 For Everyone. ES6 is not only a major update to JavaScript, but it also comes with a bunch of new features. This 6.5-hour, 66-video course offers an enjoyable and fast-paced way to discover what's new and what has changed.

Wes offers two different course packages as well as team licenses. We think the special launch price of $69 for the master package (a $70 savings!) is a fantastic value!

We hope these two courses help you move ahead with the latest happenings in JavaScript.


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Summer Sale: 25% Off

August 02, 2016

Update (August 11, 2016): We've wrapped up our summer sale (thanks everyone!), but you can still get 25% off with the alumni discount! Enjoy!

Top off your summer by saving 25% on all Pragmatic Studio courses. It's a great opportunity to advance to the next level!

Now through the end of day Wednesday, August 10, save 25% off all our courses:

Everyone saves during this sale!

  • If you’ve never taken one of our acclaimed online courses, here’s your chance to pull up a lawn chair and pick up a course at an amazing low price. 
  • If you're already a Studio alum, you'll save an additional 25% on top of your alumni discount!
  • And if you've already taken all our courses, consider sharing the news of this sale with your friends and co-workers so they too can level up their skills.

No coupon code necessary—the prices are already slashed.

Enjoy, and happy summer!

Rails 5 Course Updates

June 06, 2016

Rails 5 Ready!

Rails 5 is coming and we've got you covered with FREE course updates!

Course Updates

We've made the following updates to both our Rails Level I and Rails Level II courses for the upcoming release of Rails 5:

  • The videos now have callouts where there are (minor) syntax changes.
  • The exercises have been updated with explanations of these changes so you can confidently build your apps using either Rails 4 or 5.
  • All the code in the code bundle has been upgraded to Rails 5.
  • The cheat sheets have been revised to reflect both Rails 4 and 5 syntax.

How Does This Impact Me?

If you’re currently working through the Rails course, simply carry on! Continue with the course using Rails 4 and the code bundle you’ve already downloaded.

If you've already completed the course (or once you complete the course, if you're partway through), check out the "Rails 5 Changes" in the Rails course "Extras" section.

Rails 5 Changes

As it pertains to the topics we teach in our Rails courses, the changes for Rails 5 are fairly inconsequential. Most of what's new in Rails revolves around more advanced features that are outside the scope of our courses. At a high-level, there are three primary changes: ...

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Give the Gift of Learning

December 15, 2015

Got a developer on your gift-giving list? Give them a gift that lasts well after the holiday decorations have come down: the gift of practical can-do know-how.

Our online training courses make awesome holiday and thank you gifts and we'll even do the wrapping for you.

It's quick and easy to gift our courses. Just head on over to our course catalog, toss an online course or two into your cart, and enter the name and e-mail of the person to whom you're gifting the course.

Once the order is placed, our Ruby-powered elves will send your special developer an e-mail with instructions for accessing their online course(s). It's a great way for you to play secret Santa!

Know someone who wants to upgrade their JavaScript skills in the New Year? The new React for Beginners course is an excellent way to learn React by incrementally building an application from scratch.

To gift this course, simply make your purchase and then drop Santa (aka Wes) a note with the name and email of your gift recipient. He'll transfer it to the sleigh for Christmas delivery.

Hope you find these ideas helpful when loading up your sleigh this season.

Merry Christmas to all!

React For Beginners Course

December 09, 2015

Many of you have asked us to create courses on various JavaScript libraries. We are always humbled to hear that you'd like to learn more from us in the Studio format. At the same time, we recognize we can't be experts on every technology. JavaScript in particular falls outside our current area of expertise. So we went looking for a course we felt comfortable recommending to you...

We found Wes Bos' new course React for Beginners to be an excellent way to learn React by incrementally building an application from scratch.

Learn React, Pragmatically

We like this course because it closely aligns with the format we strive for in our own Pragmatic Studio courses:

  • The course takes a project-based approach where topics are introduced as needed to build a complete app from scratch.
  • The step-by-step format allows you to follow along with the videos and see how everything fits together.
  • You get expert instruction from someone who has spent significant time in the development trenches and has the ability to effectively teach.

And equally important, this course is a lot of fun! It's very thorough and yet the pacing feels just right. Wes has a great teaching style that makes going through the course enjoyable!

Special Launch Price

Wes offers two different course packages as well as team licenses. We think the master package for $59 (special launch price) is the best value! ...

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Fill Up On The Good Stuff: 25% Off

November 23, 2015

Update (December 1, 2015): We've wrapped up our Thanksgiving sale (thanks everyone!), but you can still pick up our popular courses at everyday great prices! We'd be delighted to have you in the Studio!

Fill up on the good stuff this Thanksgiving with 25% off all our courses! It's ok to have seconds (or even thirds) of this sale. You can feast on our confidence-filling courses without any extra calories.

No coupon code necessary. Prices are already slashed now through end of day Monday, November 30, 2015.

  • If you've never taken an online course in our Studio, here’s your chance to pull up a seat and get your fill of courses for an amazingly low price.
  • If you're already a Pragmatic Studio alum, you'll save an additional 25% on Ruby and Rails courses.
  • And if you've feasted on all our courses, we are especially thankful for your support! Would you consider sharing the news of this sale with your friends and co-workers?

Bon Appétit!

Courses Updated For Elm 0.16

November 20, 2015

Elm 0.16 Released!

Yesterday Elm 0.16 was released. This is an exciting step forward for Elm and we’ve got you covered!

Course Updates

We’ve made the following updates to both our Elm: Building Reactive Web Apps and Elm: Signals, Mailboxes, & Ports courses:

  • The videos now have callouts where the syntax has changed (It’s minor. See notes below.)
  • The course notes have been updated with explanations of the changes.
  • All the code in the code bundle has been upgraded to be compatible with Elm 0.16.
  • The cheat sheets have all been revised to reflect the new syntax.

How Does This Impact Me?

If you’re currently working through the Elm course, you have two options:

  1. You can simply continue on with the course using 0.15 and the code bundle you’ve already downloaded. After the course, you’ll want to check out the syntax changes summarized below before writing your own Elm app.
  2. Or you can pause the course, upgrade to 0.16 (see the updated notes in the course setup instructions), download a new code bundle, review the Elm syntax changes noted below, and then carry on with the course!

Elm 0.16 Updates

As it pertains to the topics we teach in our current Elm courses, there are three changes necessary to be compatible with Elm 0.16: ...

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Is Learning Elm Worth Your Time? 4 Ways To Know

October 22, 2015

They say time is money, but we all know that you’re giving up more than money when you allocate your time to something. Investing your time also comes with an opportunity cost. Should you learn language A, framework B, or library C next? And what kind of return will you get on that investment? It seems the good developers have a heuristic for narrowing down where best to spend their time.

So, how do you gauge if learning the Elm language is worth your precious time? We think it's worth it if you're one of the following kinds of developers:

1. Curious about FP

First, if you're simply curious about functional programming or you’ve struggled with FP concepts in another language, then you'll find Elm relatively straight-forward to learn.

For me, Elm has been the easiest way into functional programming because it combines all things FP with (and this is the most important part) the ability to create something, for example a reactive web page. Elm goes beyond the theoretical. Its syntax is clean and readable, and you can build practical stuff with it quickly.

2. Front-end Programmers

If you're a front-end programmer who is weary of JavaScript, then you absolutely owe it to yourself to check out Elm as an alternative. With Elm, I find my code is more reliable, stays well-factored, and is easier to maintain as the application grows. And I've yet to get a runtime exception!

If you’re one of the rare front-end programmers who likes JavaScript, then you’ll love hearing that you can use your favorite JavaScript library in Elm apps. You can send messages from Elm to JavaScript and vice versa using ports. In fact, interop with JavaScript is embraced by Elm.

3. Language Nuts...

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New Elm Signals, Mailboxes & Ports Tutorial

September 10, 2015

Signals are the foundation of every reactive Elm app, whether it's a canvas-based game or a web application. To react to any type of user input, you apply a function to a signal. To maintain application state, you create a past-dependent signal. Communicating with JavaScript via ports? You use signals! It's no surprise then that to be effective with Elm you need to master signals.

In our new Elm: Signals, Mailboxes & Ports tutorial, you'll learn not just how these Elm features work but, equally important, when and where to use them effectively in your own projects.

What's an Elm Signal?

In Elm, a signal is a value that changes over time. But that definition can feel fairly abstract until you see signals in action. So we loaded up this course with lots of practical examples and use cases of signals in various scenarios.

What will I learn in this tutorial?

You'll learn how to transform signals to react to a variety of inputs in specialized ways. We'll create both a simple game that responds to multiple user inputs as well as a reactive HTML app with JavaScript interop. Check out the full course outline.

Am I Ready?

If you enjoyed our Elm: Building Reactive Web Apps tutorial, this course is your next step!

We hope you'll join us in The Studio for this fun, new course!

What is Elm? Q&A

July 23, 2015

Thanks to everyone who has picked up a copy of our brand new Elm video tutorial! Since releasing it we've received a bunch of questions and thought we'd roll them all together and answer them here.

Q: What is Elm, in under 144 characters?

A: Elm is a functional programming language that compiles to JavaScript and runs in the browser.

Q: What makes it a functional programming language?

A: In simplest terms, Elm programs are a collection of functions. For example, here's a cheery Elm function that transforms one string into another:

greet name =
  "Howdy, " ++ name ++ "!"

Q: OK, but isn't this just like a method in my object-oriented language?

A: The important difference is Elm functions don't run in the context of an object where they share state with other functions. An Elm function is stateless: it simply transforms its inputs into its output, with no side effects. Given the same inputs, a function always returns the same output.

Q: And that's important because... ?

Well, for starters, it means refactoring is easier because you can move code around without worrying about stuff outside the function. And the code is easier to understand in general. With a stateless function, what you see is what you get.

Q: I heard immutability was also an important part of functional programming. What's Elm got to say about that? ...

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