Seven Main Books for a Javascript Developer

Seven Main Books for a Javascript Developer

Evgeny Kozak

Frontend Developer, ex-Senior Software Engineer at Samsung Pay, ex-Software Engineer at Kaiser Permanente

In eight years of programming, I have read dozens of books on JavaScript. One is enough for someone, but my approach to learning involves analyzing each aspect from different points of view. In addition, learning programming can be a very exciting thing if you have a well-written material at hand.

I repeat, everyone should understand for himself how to better assimilate the material. Someone prefers visual presentation in videos, others study articles on websites. I read books while riding in the subway, and after that I stayed up late at home with textbooks.

In this collection, many will find familiar names and covers. It is impossible to ignore Douglas Crockford, David Flanagan, if we talk about Javascript. However, I hope that in the list you will find new material for yourself. The list is arranged according to the degree of complexity of the textbook. If you start learning the language from the first, then I recommend getting to the seventh book to consolidate your knowledge.

The cover of the book

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The New Tech-Assisted Approach that Requires Half the Effort, Mark Myers

The author of the book, Michael Myers, argues that understanding and retaining information are the two main problems when studying JS. Based on this, the textbook format is based on the constant consolidation of theoretical knowledge through solving everyday tasks. Therefore, Myers’ book can be found on the shelves of both beginners and pros. With a small volume of the textbook, the author managed to maintain a balance between the fundamental concepts and the practical part.

The book was published in 2014 and, unfortunately, has not been updated. Some of the information is unlikely to be useful to you in practice, but for familiarization, I advise you to read the textbook in its entirety.

Dignities:

  • just for understanding;
  • a lot of practical information.

Disadvantages:

  • the book is available only in English;
  • a small part of the material is already outdated.

The cover of the book

JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development (JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Website Development), John Duckett

Duckett’s big book is great for getting to know the jQuery language and library for the first time. The textbook eliminates the fear of starting to study thanks to the abundance of clear examples and images. The content is well systematized, and the feed is accessible.

The book examines the basic concepts of programming in JS, an introduction to jQuery and simplifying code using the library. The book will teach you how to make websites more interactive.

Dignities:

  • clear presentation of the material;
  • lots of practical examples.

Disadvantages:

  • errors in translation, it is better to read the original source;
  • in the book, much attention is paid to the jQuery library, which is no longer so relevant in the work.

The cover of the book

JavaScript The good parts (“JavaScript: Strengths”), Douglas Crockford

Crockford’s book is one of the most popular in web development. The author analyzes many successful and erroneous examples and explains how to avoid popular mistakes. In the tutorial, the author will tell JS and how to write structured code.

The book is constantly updated, so it is important to keep track of the year of release. The volume of the material is small, but well structured. The tutorial explains how to work with the exchange syntax, functions, methods, and regular expressions.

Dignities:

  • succinct information;
  • there are many examples.

Disadvantages:

  • errors in translation in Russian;
  • some of the outdated information in the books is “older” by issue.

The cover of the book

JavaScript The Definitive Guide («JavaScript. A Detailed Guide”), by David Flanagan

Classics and one of the detailed manuals on JS. It covers the basics and solutions to complex problems, so it is suitable for beginners and experienced developers. However, I would warn very beginners to take up the study of JS with Flanagan. Just the sight of a textbook with a thousand pages can scare you away! However, if you overcome the fear, then you will open one of the best books for frontend development.

The manual provides examples of working with arrays, objects, functions, integrators and everything you need in the work. In addition to practical information, the author tells how JS has changed over the years. After studying the tutorial, you will be able to create complex web applications, understand the API features and language concepts.

Dignities:

  • a consistent narrative that articulates an understanding of JS even complex content.

Disadvantages:

  • the book is designed for a long and consistent study — do not expect quick answers, as in the reference book.

The cover of the book

You don’t know JavaScript (“You don’t know JavaScript”: a series of six books), by Kyle Simpson

The series is structurally divided into six small books: from the basics to the analysis of complex tasks: “Start and Improve”; “Scope, Visibility and Closures”; “This and Object Prototypes”; “Types and Syntax”; “Asynchrony and Performance”; “ES6 and more”.

Textbooks are devoid of water and form a correct understanding of JS. After reading the entire series, you will not only structure your knowledge of the language, but also form the concept of meta-programming. The tasks in the books will introduce you to the technical aspects of JS, iterators, generators, classes.

Dignities:

  • consistent structure, each book is written for a certain level of knowledge;
  • these tasks are similar to those that have to be solved when applying for a job.

Disadvantages:

  • the textbook is available only in English;
  • basic knowledge of JS is needed.

Cover of the book

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript), David Herman

Anyone familiar with JS should refer to Herman’s textbook. After studying it, you will improve your approach to meta-programming, as well as the code and the type of writing programs in general. The book is full of examples from the author’s personal practice and recommendations for creating large and small applications. I believe that after reading it, you will definitely become a better programmer than you were before. The book will teach the subtleties of solutions for working with arrays and objects, how to use OOP programming, explain the functions of JS and the semantics of variables in practice.

Dignities:

  • the book does not bother and even captures attention, like a good story;
  • lots of examples will improve your code.

Disadvantages:

  • not suitable for beginners.

The cover of the book

Eloquent JavaScript 3rd Edition (“Expressive JavaScript”), Marein Haverbeck

The book consists of three parts: the basics of JS, the first days of JS and a detailed discussion of the code in terms of speed. Thanks to the clearly structured and numerous chapters, the textbook can be used as a desktop language book. Lots of examples and exercises will help you learn the syntax and use DOM effectively.

Dignities:

  • convenient structure;
  • lots of examples and tasks;
  • it is in the public domain.

Disadvantages:

  • inaccuracy of translation;
  • you must have at least an average level of JS knowledge.

In conclusion, I will add that many textbooks on programming languages are being published today. Unfortunately, many books copy each other’s information without offering anything new, or cannot explain to readers the essence of what is described. The textbooks used in the list are written not only by practitioners, but also by excellent teachers. The material is not only useful and unique, but also presented conveniently and clearly.

When studying textbooks, take your time. Study consistently, analyzing each example and exercise. As Mark Myers said, “the main thing is to understand and retain information.” After reading it, I’m sure JS will be more understandable for you.

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