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8 great reads for aspiring JavaScript devs đź“š

Divya, Emma, and I had a gab session on BOOKS during the final segment of JS Party #73.

The list of recommended reads from that convo was too good to only exist buried in the episode’s show notes, so here they are: some must-read books for aspiring JS devs!


8 great book covers

1. Refactoring UI

The pitch:

Learn how to design beautiful user interfaces by yourself using specific tactics explained from a developer’s point-of-view.

Emma recommends. Divya adds her +1, saying:

It’s excellent. For people who don’t consider themselves designer, but want to learn more. It’s sooo good.

2. The Pragmatic Programmer

An absolute classic by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas. The pitch:

Straight from the programming trenches, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master cuts through the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development to examine the core process—what do you do, as an individual and as a team, if you want to create software that’s easy to work with and good for your users.

What Jerod says about it:

A spectacular book that every developer would do well to read.

3. The Mythical Man-Month

The pitch:

A book on software engineering and project management by Fred Brooks first published in 1975… Its central theme is that “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”. This idea is known as Brooks’ law, and is presented along with the second-system effect and advocacy of prototyping.

Jerod says:

It can be summarized in a single sentence. “9 pregnant women can’t have a baby in 1 month.” Take that sentence and apply it to software development.

4. You Don’t Know JS

The pitch:

A book series exploring the parts of JavaScript that we all think we understand but don’t REALLY know.

Emma says:

Kyle Simpson is one of the most prolific teachers I’ve found.. all of his books are free, which is incredible… it wasn’t until he explained closures that I understood it.

5. Professional JavaScript for Web Developers

The pitch:

This book provides a developer-level introduction along with more advanced and useful features of JavaScript.

Emma says:

This is quite a BIG book. I pieced through it, and enjoyed it.

6. Learn JavaScript & jQuery

The pitch:

We understand that all kinds of people build websites these days (and that they don’t all have a degree in computer science). So, if you want to use JavaScript to make your web pages more interactive, interesting, and usable, we can help. Even if you have never done any programming.

Emma says:

This one is more for beginners… I only read the JavaScript portion. They use these beautiful graphics to explain concepts like scope and event delegation. It’s extremely beginner friendly.

7. Code Complete

The pitch:

A software development book, written by Steve McConnell and published in 1993 encouraging developers to continue past code-and-fix programming and the big design up front and waterfall models. It is also a compendium of software construction techniques, which include techniques from naming variables to deciding when to write a subroutine.

Divya says:

One of the books that I always come back to when I think about the overarching philosophy of decisions I make. It’s a long read, but is available online for free.

8. Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

The pitch:

Design patterns are reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems in software design. They are both exciting and a fascinating topic to explore in any programming language… In this book we will explore applying both classical and modern design patterns to the JavaScript programming language.

Emma says:

Highly recommend if you want to learn more about designing code in effective ways.

Divya adds:

That was my goto Bible, so to speak, when I wasn’t using frameworks. I was just doing things vanilla style… that book helped me understand what a singleton is.


There’s your rundown. ✊

Interested in the people behind these recommendations? Want to know how to talk about books that you haven’t read? Curious how Jerod made it through half a dozen books in two-weeks time? Listen to the entire episode right here 👇

Of course, if you dig this show you’ll probably like all of our podcasts. Check out our Master feed where you can get every episode we publish (including exclusive master-only content). 💚


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