EPAM Anywhere: Shortlist of the Best JavaScript Books for Every Skill Level
Career & Education / 4 min

Shortlist of the Best JavaScript Books for Every Skill Level

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Modern-day is full of excellent and accessible sources for learning any skill, programming language, or technology that you want. All of us are acquainted with Coursera, Educative, and Pluralsight platforms, most of us have a phone or a Kindle in our pocket that offers access to more books than you would find in a medium-sized city library. Isn’t that amazing? 

The other side of the accessibility coin is that because the number of materials on the Internet is enormous, it can cause problems for those looking for the best information. To save you time and trouble, let’s take a close look at the best JavaScript books to help you to learn JavaScript in the right way and in the right order.

A prerequisite for relying on books is to know some programming essentials first. I would definitely recommend getting through CS50 by Harvard University before you transition to learning from books.

Best book to learn Javascript from scratch: Eloquent JavaScript, A Modern Introduction to Programming 

By Marijn Haverbeke

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This is a free book that will give an overview of JavaScript itself. It is one of the best javascript books for beginners since the author covers the basics of the language and opens the world of browser and Node.JS. Some people may say that it is a bit challenging for beginners, but I would suggest that you not try to understand each phrase during your first time through the book, instead, use it for developing a familiarity with the basics and learning the widely-used buzz words. If you’re in the market for high-quality javascript books for beginners - this is certainly the one you should pay attention to.

The rating of the book is 4.9/5 on Google, 4.6/5 on Amazon and my personal score is 4.2/5.

Website: https://eloquentjavascript.net/

You do not know JS

By Kyle Simpson

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The next recommendation and the best series of books for learning JavaScript is the “You don’t know JS” series, which consists of six books.

Kyle Simpson, the author of the series is a guy who likes diving deep into a matter and sharing his findings with others. He is one of the most popular speakers in the JS world; students watched over 700,000 hours of his lectures on front-end master.

The series contains six books on JavaScript, and each of them will immerse you into a specific part of JS and they do not leave out nitty-gritty details. They will reveal something new even for professionals with years of production experience. The order in which to read them for maximum benefit is:

1. Up & Going

2. Scope & Closures

3. This & Object Prototypes

4. Types & Grammar

5. Async & Performance

6. ES6 & Beyond

Link: https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS/blob/1st-ed/README.md

And the wonderful news is that the second edition of these books is currently in progress. You can follow it here: https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS

The rating of the books is 4.6/5 on Google, 4.7/5 on Amazon, and my personal score is 5/5.

While reading even the best books on JavaScript doesn’t automatically make you a hands-on engineer, I strongly recommend implementing the theories that you learn in practice (try out examples from the book, try coding tasks on code-academy like platforms, etc.).

Practically speaking, these are the best books for learning JavaScript language. What you learn from these books will not be enough to turn you into a Software Engineer producing high-quality code. More learning will be required before you reach that point. If that is your goal, after this series, you should dig deeper into the matters of code quality and architecture.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

By Robert C. Martin

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This book is important for any Software Engineer regardless of the programming language, country, or universe. Uncle Bob, as he is known, introduces terms such as readability, changeability, extensibility, and maintainability of code. It is full of code examples and advice that will give you an understanding of how to write code in the best way possible. Are you ready to meet code smells, the down-to-earth rules of writing the code? Go for it!

The rating of the book is 4.9/5 on Google, 4.7/5 on Amazon, and my personal score is 5/5.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Code-Handbook-Software-Craftsmanship/dp/0132350882

The next step is to get to know JS design patterns. Consider them blueprints to address the most typical problems, like a plot plan for a building or ubiquitous terms for software engineers. For instance, when someone says something is a “factory pattern,” this is understood as a piece of code that creates an object via a common interface and without exposing the logic outside.

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

By Addy Osmani

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Addy is a Senior Staff Engineering Manager at Google, working on Chrome. He is constantly updating readers on new features, performance hacks, and case studies on his Medium blog (https://medium.com/@addyosmani).

He wrote one of the best JavaScript books on design patterns in 2012. Although it might seem outdated in some cases, I recommend that you read it because commonly-used patterns have never changed, and all examples are written in JavaScript, so it will be easier to jump in.

The rating of the book 4.5/5 on Amazon, and my personal score is 4.5/5.

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object‑Oriented Software

By Erich Gamma, John Vlissides, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson

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This is one final recommendation, for now, and another well-known book on JavaScript which is a great reference for 23 design patterns and will work even a hundred years from now.

The rating of the book is 4.7/5 on Amazon, best seller, and my personal score is 5/5.

Closing thoughts

Of course, the complete list of the best JavaScript books I might recommend is lengthy. There are plenty of decent authors and professionals who write great books to learn JavaScript that we should follow as our time permits: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, Eric Evans, Eric Elliott, Jake Archibald, Ilya Grigorik, and so on. Now that you have my key initial recommendations, I would like to leave future book choices to you, since it can be way more encouraging to open up new horizons on your own.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

Written by

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Rufat KhaslarovChief Software Engineer I

I'm a Software Engineer with 10 years of commercial experience! Starting from the very first work day, I'm really into simplifying the complex, effective troubleshooting, failing fast, and learning from each small task. Therefore, I've played various roles as a system back-end engineer, system administrator, penetration tester, and finally a full-stack JS engineer. At the same time, I'm really keen on product and people management, I'm an engineering manager and technical product manager as well.

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