Same here. I wouldn't even consider myself a web developer either. Only really dabbled with HTML/CSS and bit of PHP, but don't have any commercial experience.
I developed my JS/jQuery skills by building sort of a site builder ( widgets, drag&drop, interactive stuff, etc).
You should try this.
What about creating a card game like Blackjack as a learning project?
How about picking some functionalities from a JS framework like jQuery and try to replicate them? Or the Sizzl engine, that should prove a real challenge to get it fast across all browsers
Wonder if it would be cool to have some kind of JS challenge here on the forums. The wizards would do something teh awesome, and the rest of us can pick apart their code at the end when all the code is published.
For me this also helped getting my current job.
And, in my opinion, focus on the people that hire. Normaly they appreciate something visible and interactive much more then a short code written perfectly.
Sure, there are lots out there already, but since this is a learning exercise...
If you have no interest in that, why don't you create a MUD game server using node.js and try to do the back-end completely in mongoDB.
Why not create a list of things, for beginners and for more advanced people? I think we have that for the books section.
As a constant beginner, even thinking about rich editing... omidog I'd run to contenteditable in a heartbeat then! But it would be good for someone already good at basic web applications.
speak for yourself
john resig's simple psuedo class... check
tibco pagebus 2.0... check
A book on design patterns and you are ready to rock. You can do some amazing things with prototype-based inheritance especially when you abstract a class-like inheritance methodology on top of it.
using .hasOwnProperty(), for(in) and _.each() gives you some amazing introspection that opens the world to your imagination and gives you a maintainable codebase to boot. The only downside is that you have some hard dependencies.