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Sunday, January 28, 2024

Top 5 Books to Learn JavaScript in depth - Best of Lot, Must Read

JavaScript is the most popular programming language in Web, way ahead of popular ones like Perl, Ruby, and Python. It is also one of the essential skills for any Web developer. It is even true for Java developers. If you have JavaScript in your resume or LinkedIn profile, you will likely receive many Job opportunities. Everybody wants polyglots, programmers who know multiple programming languages because most of the real-world projects are developed with multiple technologies, you will always found some component is written in Java, some in C++, then you have JSP, Server, jQuery, JavaScript, etc. for web pages and so on. In short, it's essential to learn JavaScript in today's competitive world.

There are tons of books available to learn JavaScript in the market, you can even find a lot of free ebooks, PDFs that claim to teach JavaScript, but many of them are either not up-to-date or just contain necessary information without focusing on essential concepts required for developing modern websites.

In this article, I am going to share some of the best books you can read to learn JavaScript. The list includes books for both beginners and new programmers who have just started learning JavaScript as well as experienced JavaScript developers, who have a couple of years of professional JavaScript experience under their belt.

In recent years, online courses have also become a good way to learn JavaScript in a very short time. I generally start with a course and then pick a book to learn the concepts in depth. If you also follow similar routine, you can also check out The Complete JavaScript course 2024: Build Real Projects course by Jonas on Udemy. This is a real gem and you will learn a lot by doing projects and applying  JavaScript concepts you have learned.

8 Books to Learn JavaScript for Beginners in 2024

Here is my curated list of books to learn and master JavaScript. The list contains books for both beginners and experienced programmers like Head First JavaScript is an excellent book to starts with JavaScript, and "JavaScript: The Good Part" is an excellent book once you have some JavaScript knowledge under your belt.

The best way to learn JavaScript is to pick one book and read it at least once before you move to a more advanced book like pick the Head First JavaScript, read it from the first page to the last page, do all the exercises, build projects and once you have done all this, read more advanced JavaScript book like "JavaScript: The Good Part" or "Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja." This way, you will learn advanced concepts quicker and better.

1. Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition by  Marijn Haverbeke

The "Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition" by Marijn Haverbeke is one of the highly regarded and extensively revised guide that serves as a modern introduction to programming with a focus on JavaScript.

JavaScript is a pivotal language in contemporary web development, and this edition addresses its complexity by delving into the intricacies of writing real applications. Updated to reflect the latest state of JavaScript and web browsers, the book introduces new features such as class notation, arrow functions, iterators, async functions, template strings, and block scope.

Marijn Haverbeke employs a hands-on approach, immersing readers in code from the start and providing exercises and projects to reinforce learning. The book covers fundamental programming elements, including syntax, control, and data, and progresses to advanced topics like object-oriented and functional programming techniques, asynchronous programming, and web browser scripting.

Projects such as an artificial life simulation, a programming language, a paint program, and a skill-sharing website offer practical insights.

In short, "Eloquent JavaScript" is a comprehensive resource that not only imparts essential programming skills but also guides readers through the process of building meaningful applications, making it an indispensable companion for those aspiring to become fluent in the language of the web and if you need a course, you can also combine this with the The Complete 2024 Web Development Bootcamp by Angela Yu to not just learn JavaScript but also other webdev technologies. 

best book to learn JavaScript from scrach

2. Head First JavaScript Programming

I am a big fan of Head First series, having read many of their books like Head First design patterns, Head First Java, Head First jQuery, Head First SQL, etc. This is another gem from the Head First series, which will teach you JavaScript in the head first style, I mean, a lot of interactive reading and exercises.

The book is excellent for anyone who wants to learn JavaScript, a must-read for any JavaScript beginner. You will learn all fundamental concepts of JavaScript very quickly, like data types, function, how to write JavaScript code, how to run them, and how to test them. 

It also explains key concepts like DOM structure, handling events, and developing interactive, cross-browser websites using JavaScript.

In short, this is one of the best JavaScript books that every JS developer should read ... and read it multiple times. It's fun reading Head First series book. If you want to combine this book with a course, I suggest you pick The Complete JavaScript course 2024: Build Real Projects, a hands-on, project-based course. 

Best JavaScript book for beginners

3. JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett

The "JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development 1st Edition" by Jon Duckett is another highly acclaimed guide, boasting a 4.6 out of 5-star rating from 2,234 reviews. In this book, the best-selling author provides expert techniques to elevate the interactivity and engagement of websites. 

Jon Duckett introduces fundamental programming concepts, assuming no prior knowledge beyond the ability to create a web page using HTML and CSS.

The book guides readers through core elements of the JavaScript language, enabling them to write scripts from scratch. jQuery is introduced later in the book, simplifying the script-writing process for those with a solid understanding of JavaScript.

The chapters are structured to break down subjects into easily digestible chunks, each page dedicated to a new topic. Clear descriptions of syntax, accompanied by illustrative code samples, make complex concepts accessible, with the aid of diagrams and photography for visual clarification. Readers learn to recreate popular web techniques such as sliders, content filters, form validation, Ajax content updates, and more.

By the end of the book, readers not only gain the ability to utilize freely available scripts, JavaScript APIs, and jQuery plugins but also to customize and create their own scripts from scratch. "JavaScript and jQuery" stands as an invaluable resource for those seeking to enhance the interactive elements of their websites, providing practical insights and skills for front-end web development. 

And, if you are an active learner like me then you can also combine this with the JavaScript - The Complete Guide 2024 (Beginner + Advanced) course by Maximilian Schwarzmuller to learn JavaScript better. 

best books to learn JavaScript and jQuery

4. Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja

You might have heard the John Resig name before, if you don't, let me remind you that he is the author of jQuery, one of the most popular JavaScript framework, which really helped JavaScript to become the #1 programming language for web development.

The Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja 1st Edition by John Resig and Bear Bibeault is not for beginners but for developers who are familiar with JavaScript. It's a brilliant book that clearly explains WHY JavaScript has become the first choice for developing web applications on both client and server.

It not only explains the fundamentals of JavaScript like functions, closure, recursion, regular expression, etc. but also teaches you how to write the right JavaScript code. 

The best part of this book is that every bit of theory is explained with some real code examples from popular JavaScript libraries like jQuery and Prototype. Having John Resig as an author of the book really helps there.

Even though the book is targeted for intermediate JavaScript developers, even a relatively new JavaScript programmer can benefit by catching concepts that are ignored in other JavaScript books. In short, a must-read JavaScript book for any web developer, and if you need a course, JavaScript Basics for Beginners by Mosh Hamedani is a nice one. 

Top 5 Books to learn JavaScript Programming language

5. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan 

The "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Master the World's Most-Used Programming Language 7th Edition" by David Flanagan stands as an authoritative and indispensable resource for both aspiring and experienced JavaScript programmers. With a remarkable rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from 1,445 reviews, this book has been the go-to guide for JavaScript developers for nearly 25 years.

Recognizing JavaScript as the programming language of the web, Flanagan ensures that the seventh edition remains fully updated to cover the 2020 version of JavaScript. This edition introduces new chapters on crucial topics like classes, modules, iterators, generators, Promises, async/await, and metaprogramming, providing readers with insights into the latest advancements in the language.

The book caters to a broad audience, including programmers looking to learn JavaScript from the ground up and web developers aiming to enhance their understanding and mastery. It begins with an in-depth exploration of the JavaScript language, covering types, values, variables, expressions, operators, and more.

The content then expands to encompass the web platform and Node.js, offering a comprehensive understanding of the language's applications. Topics covered include functions, classes, modules, JavaScript's standard library, the web platform, and Node.js, along with tools and language extensions used by professional JavaScript developers.

Throughout the book, readers benefit from illuminating and engaging example code that reinforces learning and understanding. "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide" serves as an invaluable companion for anyone seeking to navigate the intricacies of the world's most-used programming language.

And, if you need a course to go along with this book, Brad Traversy's updated Modern JavaScript From The Beginning 2.0 course on Udemy is a nice one. More than 112,000 people have already joined this course. 

6. The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript

One of the many reasons for JavaScript's success is its object-oriented capabilities, but when I first started learning JavaScript, it looks to me like a scripting language because there was no notion of classes, and you don't need to define any objects in order to write code. I was naive at that time.

The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas completely changes my understanding of JavaScript. It explores JavaScript's object-oriented nature and reveals a unique implementation of inheritance and other key characteristics.

The best part of the book is its concise nature and the way it explains concepts. This book is both for beginners and experienced Javascript developers, but you must know OOP basics to get most of the book. The book will primarily teach you how objects work in JavaScript. Even if you know object-oriented JavaScript, you learn a thing or two by reading this book.

You can also combine this book with the ES6 Javascript: The Complete Developer's Guide course to learn Modern syntax of JavaScript and improved OOP features for better development.

Best JavaScript books

7. JavaScript Patterns

This is another excellent book for experienced JavaScript programmers. This book will teach you some of the best ways to develop real-world JavaScript applications by teaching you numerous JavaScript coding patterns and best practices.

The "JavaScript Patterns: Build Better Applications with Coding and Design Patterns" by Stoyan Stefanov effectively complements the "JavaScript: The Good Part" by avoiding bad practices such as using global variables, using single var declarations and more.

You will learn why literal notation patterns are simpler alternatives to constructor functions and different ways to define a function in JavaScript. More importantly, you will learn different options available for code reuse and inheritance in JavaScript.

If you need an online course to go along this book then you can also combine this with the Design Patterns in JavaScript course by Dmitri Nestruk on Udemy. I have attended his despgattern course and its really nice. 

5 JavaScript books for experienced developers

8. JavaScript: The Good Parts

This is another excellent JavaScript book in the market. As the name suggests, it focuses on teaching you only the good parts of JavaScript; hence it's quite small. If you compare this book with "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide," a comprehensive Java book, you will find why this is a great book.

This book is aimed at intermediate JavaScript developers and expects that you have a basic understanding of JavaScript, and you know how to write JS code and run them.

In this book, author Douglas Crockford shares his experience with JavaScript to teach you all the best practices and ways to write effective JavaScript code. It focuses on good ideas that make JavaScript an excellent object-oriented programming language like arrays, functions, loose typing, and an expressive object literal notation.

When I first time read this book, I was surprised by the knowledge I got, even though I had some experience in JavaScript. In short, an excellent JavaScript book that every web developer should read at least once and better understand sooner than later.

There is also a JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts course on Udemy, which effectively complements this book. If you are interested, you can also checkout how tricky JavaScript can be sometimes.

5 Must read JavaScript books

That's all about some of the best books to learn JavaScript. This list contains books for both JavaScript beginners and experienced programmers. It also includes a variety of books to help you understand JavaScript from different angles and become an expert JavaScript developer.

To start with, you can pick up the Head First JavaScript and then slowly move to advanced JavaScript books like "JavaScript: The Good Part" and "JavaScript Ninja." The books are ideal for any Java, Dot NET, or C++ programmer who wants to learn JavaScript for his new projects.

Other recommended books for Java and Web Developers:
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Thanks for reading this article if you like it, then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have questions, feedback, or suggestion, or any JavaScript book which you would like to suggest to us, then please feel free to drop a comment.

P. S. - If you are new to JavaScript and frontend development and looking for some free tutorials, online courses, and books to kick-start your web development journey then you can also check out this list of free JavaScript tutorials on Medium.


Anonymous said...

I personally like “Head First JavaScript Programming: A Brain-Friendly Guide”. This book is easy to follow.

Unknown said...

I think you forgot to include You don’t know JS series by Kyle Simpson. A masterpiece to really understand JS.

Stig said...

Totally agree on You don’t know JS (Yet) series by Kyle Simpson.

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