5 Books That Helped Me Learn to Code

The Value of Books?

Books can be an invaluable resource to aid in your coding journey, providing extra context and in-depth information about the languages and technologies that we commonly use in web development, as well as providing practical tutorials and examples. In this article I share the 5 books that really helped me develop as a front-end developer, and aided me in learning about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

These books all cover the ‘what’ you need to know in each language more than focusing on the theoretical, but I think provide a good introduction the core languages. There is also an accompanying video above as well where I talk a bit more about why and how each book helped me.

Let’s take a look!

1. Introducing HTML5 by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp

This was one of the first books written about HTML5 when it emerged as a web standard after XHTML.

I found it a very useful introduction to HTML5 with some engaging concise explanations, allowing me to make the transition as a front-end developer from XHTML (the older standard) to the new.

HTML5 is now of course the de-facto standard for HTML content online, and this still serves as a good introduction to it.

2. CSS – The Missing Manual by David Farland

I found this book very informative on core CSS concepts – with each chapter covering in detail for example font styling, box model, positioning, margin, padding etc. Reading this book really gave me my first proper understanding of positioning with CSS and the box model. It provides good code examples and a decent broad overview of key concepts within CSS.



3. JavaScript Pocket Reference by David Flanagan

This is as you might of guessed a great little pocketbook.

I always carry this book with me as an excellent reference book for JavaScript. It covers all the core concepts and is a great book to dip into when you are unsure about something you want to achieve with JavaScript or even just to read to improve your high level understanding of the language. Each chapter is clearly marked. A great little reference book.


4. The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas

This book is a bit more specialized, and a slightly more personal choice from me. An exploration of how one can use Object-Oriented principles when programming in JavaScript. I found this book deeply informative and interesting.

The content is very engaging. It is recommended as a decent introduction to the concept of Object-Oriented Programming. The material is specialized and ‘niche’. However, it’s included here as a good primer for being more adventurous with programming concepts and principles.


5. React.JS – Learning React JavaScript Library from Scratch by Greg Sidelnikov

An essential book if you want to learn the most popular JavaScript framework, this is a good introduction to the core concepts of app development with React. Quite concise but a decent introduction.






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