I plan on developing mostly browser-based applications. I'll go to lower-level non-scripting languages when I need server-based utilities.
JQuery is the best place to start. For fancy stuff, look to css3/html5. If you want to get really fancy, check out d3.js
- it uses a jQuery-like syntax.
Just keep nibbling at it, playing with demos and example code. Think of something you want to make and just try to build it.
is a great online-book for getting familiar with design patterns. It just got a substantial update the other day. There's a chapter on how to use design patterns with jQuery.backbone.js
Remember, jQuery makes it easy to lots of things, but it doesn't provide a framework for structuring an app - which will be the challenge you face after getting past the basics.
Don't worry much about MVC and design patterns for now (you will later if your app gets complex enough). Take a look at the source code for bitcoinmonitor.com - its completely unobfuscated: http://bitcoinmonitor.com/static/heartbeat.js
. He doesn't use any fancy design patterns, but his code is well-structured. But if you read the code in the libraries he uses (flot code
), fancier design patterns are used.