You can implement jQuery plugins without really learning jQuery, but to get full use of this powerful client-side library, try these six suggestions to get started in your jQuery education:
Follow the tutorials on jQuery site. The list is quite extensive, seems to get updated, and includes events, Ajax, images, CSS and plugin development.
Learning jQuery: http://www.learningjquery.com/
This is a site dedicated to teaching jQuery, from beginner to advanced. One can keep up with the site by subscribing to the RSS feed.
Read jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault And Yehuda Katz
The book teaches important jQuery concepts such as the document ready handler, utility functions, filters and wrapped sets, understanding events and chaining.
Read a review of this book.
Read Learning jQuery 1.3 by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg
This book is packed with examples of jQuery such as column highlighting, an image carousel, and enhanced forms. You will learn about the journey of an event and inserting new elements. There is a nice section in the back of sample plugins.
Follow this tutorial: jQuery for Absolute Beginners: The Complete Series – as the series is labeled, it really is for beginners. So if you are an experienced programmer, you may want to delve into the jQuery in Action book instead to learn how jQuery is unique.
Take a jQuery plugin and modify one or two parts of it.
Many of the jQuery posts on the web are lists of plugins that you can implement on a site without knowing much jQuery. To learn more, so you can write your own useful code, take an example from one of these posts and modify it slightly:
If you have your own suggestion for learning jQuery, feel free to leave your method in the comments.