Looking Back

by Nick Jensen on December 1, 2013

As I have stated in earlier blogs, much of John Pollock’s  book JavaScript: A Beginner’s Guide contains chapters which basically expand on concepts from previous chapters. While I do believe that every programmer should take their time to learn each chapter, blogs cannot replicate the learning experiences found within Pollack’s book. Creating these blogs thus far has taught me a vital lesson about software: never assume that learning one tool will be straightforward simply because it’s similar to another tool you have learned in the past. Appearances can be deceiving. JavaScript may be similar to HTML, but by no means is it as simple (especially for greenhorn programmers such as myself). Still, I am glad that I took the time to learn about JavaScript. While the learning experience wasn’t as smooth as previous projects, I feel confident that I can identify and understand the rudimentary concepts of JavaScript. For now, I am done with it.

Everyone keeps telling me to learn Dreamweaver. From what I hear, most people work with HTML and JavaScript using Dreamweaver. Even my father. He’s shown me the work he’s done for his own website using Dreamweaver, and I must admit that it looks impressive. Going back to Adobe would make a nice change. Computer languages are frustrating to learn and JavaScript is no exception. Adobe products, on the other hand, are more user friendly. In the past, I have worked with Photoshop, RoboHelp, and Acrobat Pro. Learning RoboHelp proved to be a smooth and fun experience. It gave me a sense of order that I have never experienced with other programs such as Microsoft Word. RoboHelp comes loaded with so many different features, that it’s hard to take in at first, but learning those features provides you an impressive measure of control over your content. Of course, I’m not saying that MS Word is a lousy program, far from it. In fact, I’m using it right now to create these blogs. But, in terms of scale and versatility, Word falls short when compared to RoboHelp. Creating documentation with word is very straightforward, as long as you keep the content relatively short.

Photoshop proved to be an intuitive learning experience. I know that last sentence looks strange, but I’m serious. All of Photoshop’s tools and toolbars are laid out in a logical pattern, making it easier for me to remember which feature does what. Then, of course, there’s Adobe Acrobat. Let me be honest, I love Acrobat. As with Photoshop and Dreamweaver, learning Acrobat Pro is very straightforward and intuitive. Just ask Jeff, our president. He uses it all the time. If only I knew about these programs a year ago. Most (if not all) technical communicators have suggested that I learn Adobe products. Being a novice in the field, I’m afraid to disagree with their software assessments. To be honest, I decided to learn HTML and JavaScript first just so I could have an easier time learning Dreamweaver. Let’s hope that knowledge pays off.

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