Contact List using JavaScript

I’m in the process of completing the JavaScript course on Codecademy and am on the Contact List exercise.

This is the code I finished with to list contacts:

var friends = {
    bill: {
        firstName: "Bill",
        lastName: "Gates",
        number: "212-234-2532",
        address: ["One Microsoft Way", "Redmond", "WA", "93843"]
    steve: {
        firstName: "Steve",
        lastName: "Jobs",
        number: "(765)-756-5676",
        address: ["Three Apple Creek", "San Francisco", "CA", "90210"]

var list = function (friends) {
    for (var key in friends) {

var search = function(name) {
    for (var key in friends) {
        if(friends[key].firstName === name) {
            return friends[key];

The last step in the Contact List exercise asks you to

Try calling both your functions, adding additional friends, changing the fields you include for each friend, and more to customize your new object.

We did some basic logging of your contact list to the console, but we could have made it look even nicer. How might you format the output to look like this?

First Name: Steve
Last Name: Jobs
Number: (408) 555-5555
Address: 1 Infinite Loop
         Cupertino, CA 95014

This is a solution posted in the forum that I’ll have to dissect and study:

var format = function(obj){
    var str = "";
    if (obj.length){
        str = "\nThe name, "+obj+", was not found.";
    } else {
        str += "\nName:    "+obj.firstName+" "+obj.lastName;
        str += "\nNumber:  "+obj.number;
        str += "\nAddress: "+obj.address.join(', ');

This is known as an escape sequence that tells console.log() to insert a newline character. This is what gives each entry its own line on the display.

if (obj)
In a conditional, a plain object, {} will cast to a Boolean true. This is what is known as a true value, even though it is actually not a value. The main thing is that if obj is not an object, then it is undefined, so false, as in a false value.

if (obj.length)
A plain object does not have a length property. Only strings and arrays do. Since a not found return value will be a string, it passes. An object does not.

array.join(', ')
As we can see, the join() method is a property of the Array object that converts an array to a string. The argument, (‘, ‘) supplies the separator, in this case, comma space.

Free Code Camp

A friend recommended a new free coding resource for learning full-stack development called Free Code Camp. I’ve been trying out their lessons the past two days to see how they are. I’m very impressed with their community, network, organization, and support. They don’t teach Ruby and Ruby on Rails, which is what I’ve been learning the past few months. Instead they focus more on JavaScript and Node.js.

This is what their curriculum looks like:

800 Hours of Practice:

    800 Hours of  Real World Work Experience:

  • 100-hour Nonprofit Project
  • 200-hour Nonprofit Project #1
  • 200-hour Nonprofit Project #2
  • 300-hour Nonprofit Project

I really love the idea that you can work on some real-world non-profit projects after you complete their lessons. It’s great to get real experience and add a project to your portfolio. I don’t know any other free or paid coding school that gives you such a great opportunity.

Their HTML and CSS portion was fairly easy to go through and it was a great review since I had learned it earlier in the year. Their jQuery and JavaScript lessons use Codecademy, so you will still need to go between the two websites. I’m currently going through the Free Code Camp JavaScript so we’ll see how their subsequent lessons fair.

Free Code Camp is also on LinkedIn as an education institute and they encourage you to add them to your LinkedIn profile. Also check out Free Code Camp on Github. They are also on Facebook. I joined the Atlanta chapter.