How Not To Boil The Ocean- The Dom 2


I recently asked a mentor from Twitter about what a new developer should learn to land a job at a Twitter-like company.
I was told that HTML/CSS, Javascript and The DOM would get me pretty far

To me, the DOM (Document Object Model) is simple in theory yet complicated in process. As I started to learn more about the DOM in the last year, I realized that although I already knew what it was, sort of, I had little to no idea why it was important. I asked myself, “yeah but isn’t that the stuff that the little elves that live in my computer need to worry about? I’m just writing some pretty CSS and playing around with functions in Javascript, what do I care if the browser can’t understand it?” And, there in lies the million dollar question.

To be an excellent developer, you need to make sure that you are writing code that is easily readable and clean and that is not only reusable by your team, but that the browser understands. It’s important to me as a front end developer because in it’s most basic terms, the DOM is the way your HTML is read by a browser and parses it back to the end user.
Also, a long time ago (2000’s), there was this thing called the “Browser Wars” that made the DOM a more fluid discussion. No discussion needed here about the “Browser Wars”  but it’s history is important on why the DOM exists.

I know my definition of the DOM is super, duper basic however, at the end of the day, it speaks to a clear need to code clean.
To those of you more advanced in the knowledge of the DOM and parsers, compilers, lexers etc. this may seem like a throw away description of the DOM. For me personally, as the DOM relates to my dream job, this is the most logical explanation behind the DOM in relevance to front end web development.

Resources:

Eloquent Javascript Chapter 13 The Document Object Model (2nd Edition) 
This is not a short read and for future reference, any Eloquent Javascript resources I give you are going to be longer reads. With that said, EJ is one of the best resources for theory of all things Javascript related and really understanding it in a linear way.
lynda.com 3 Minute Video


This video clearly explains, at the end, why the DOM is an important concept to grasp when you write code. I love lynda.com for it’s short, simple videos. They get straight to the point in an easily to understand lessons. lynda.com has subscription fees that can run as little as $19.99/mo
css-tricks.com
If you like info graphs and a fun way to learn, this article is for you. It too clearly defines the DOM as it relates to single page web applications.

I hope this was helpful information and as always, please add any resources in the comments section. Stay tuned for the next in the series How Not To Boil The Ocean-Know Your Tools.


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