10 Free Books for Learning JavaScript

JavaScript is changing at a very rapid pace right now, the term Vanilla JavaScript has been very popular as of late, and will probably gain more attention over the coming months. I can relate to front-end being a miserable journey, but JavaScript has been evolving at a very rapid pace.

I recently published a post about JavaScript, in it – I discussed some tips and insights when it comes to becoming a better JavaScript developer, I didn’t expect the post to gain much exposure, but exactly the opposite happened – it turned into one of the most popular posts for that week. Clearly, JavaScript IS in demand.

But, being such a popular programming language, it requires of the community to pay special attention to how are others being taught to developed, and to this day – one of the most comprehensive introduction (quality) guides to JavaScript is the Idiomatic.js page hosted on GitHub. Check it out!

Javascript for Beginners

If you’re truly serious about taking on JavaScript, may I recommend that you take a look at this online course first? Why spend countless hours reading a book, when you could team up with thousands (literally) of other students who’re learning to program in JS, just like you are?

This course that you see above has helped me, and many of my friends to get our feet wet with the language, and the amount of support you get in the hidden forum (you get access to it once you signup for the course) is incredible, people (and the instructor) are being really helpful and understanding.

The course requires a bit of HTML understanding, but nothing overly major, literally a kid could navigate this course and succeed! But, if you’re still looking for some free JavaScript books, then keep on reading.

1. JavaScript Essentials

JavaScript Essentials
This book is designed to provide a detailed and comprehensive, yet easy to follow, guide to developing powerful, dynamic web pages using JavaScript. It could be said that the object of JavaScript Essentials is to provide you with everything you need to use JavaScript, and nothing that you don’t.

The author says that this book is perfect for those who’re making their transition from a static development environment, to a more real-time approach, though keep in mind that it’s perfectly find to be studied by someone who’s totally new to the language.

2. Eloquent JavaScript

Eloquent JavaScript

This is a book about getting computers to do what you want them to do. Computers are about as common as screwdrivers today, but contain a lot more hidden complexity, and thus are harder to operate and understand. To many, they remain alien, slightly threatening things.

I like the fact that the author of this book is trying to focus on both, JavaScript and Programming as two separate things (which they are), and while this free book might prove to be hard and frustrating at times, it should be finished by anyone who’s serious about learning JavaScript, or even writing any usable code.

The examples and explanations of what certain things do are top-class.

3. JavaScript Enlightenment

JavaScript Enlightenment
Unfortunately, this book has had updates since the original publication, and the current version of the free copy does not reflect the latest release, however – because of the technicality and depth of the knowledge contained within this book, I feel it still has to be kept as a reference for future work.

It’s not about JavaScript as a programming language, rather – the author is focusing solely on the native JavaScript objects, and all the side-effects it has to offer.

4. JavaScript Garden

JavaScript Garden

JavaScript Garden is a growing collection of documentation about the most quirky parts of the JavaScript programming language. It gives advice to avoid common mistakes and subtle bugs, as well as performance issues and bad practices, that non-expert JavaScript programmers may encounter on their endeavours into the depths of the language.

Just to make it clear, this page can’t be used to learn JavaScript from zero to one hundred, it should be treated as a documentation resource that has nice and appealing design, but also great examples and explanations of what certain JavaScript features do and don’t do. You’ll get plenty of exercise out of this page.

5. JavaScript: The Right Way

JS The Right Way
It’s a learning resource within a learning resource, epic! Yeah, this page is packed full of information, examples, tutorials, reading materials and much more. All the good stuff to help you accelerate your learning progress, the page was built to provide beginner developers with a one-stop resource for learning JS wherever they are.

Notable listings include tools and frameworks for debugging, testing, and there are also some links to popular game engines built on JavaScript. Have you been thinking about building a gaming empire?

6. JavaScript Guide by MDN

JavaScript Guide JavaScript MDN
Mozilla Developer Network is one of the most active JavaScript communities in the world, quite often – the latest news, suggestions and discoveries happen right there, plus the guys over at MDN always try to keep it up-to-date and fresh. You can easily learn the language through this portal, though it might take longer than reading a plain book.

7. JavaScript by DevDocs

DevDocs JavaScript
Good documentation can be like a good, which is why I felt that I need to include this DevDocs page in the list. It’s a custom built page that’s very easy on the eyes (design wise), but also provides extensive explanations and examples for every JavaScript function it has record of.

It seems that the information is being pulled from the Mozilla Developer Network – which makes it up-to-date and verified – but is displayed in a more easy to read manner.

8. Understanding ECMAScript 6

Understanding ECMAScript 6
ECMAScript 6 is approaching a release date, some say we should expect it somewhere mid-Summer 2015, whatever the release date; it’s already making itself known around the web developer and web designer communities. This book will help you transfer from ECMAScript 5 to ECMAScript 6 without any hesitation.

The book is hardly complete, but at least we’ve got someone taking care of the transition, and we can only help by showing support! Definitely keep it in the bookmarks, and as the release date begins to approach – starting reading up on what’s new and exciting.

9. CodeCombat

CodeCombat
Right, it’s not entirely a book, is it? But, I’m assuming that you’re looking for some reliable options to learn the damn language, so I felt I needed to include this, in case you didn’t know it exists. CodeCombat is a game built for teaching people how to code in JavaScript.

You play a game, and perform actions based on the code that you’re writing. Everything is explained on every step of the way, and you get plenty of downtime to observe, play around and understand the code that you’re writing. It’s like a visual documentation of the JS language. Try it out!

10. Oh My JS: The Best JavaScript Articles

Oh My JS
I guess I must confess that there isn’t a really large variety of free books available for JavaScript, majority of the content on this post is somehow related to documentation or online content, but I’ll try and find better resources for when it comes to learning JavaScript through other means, like interactive coding websites.

Right, so this ‘book’ is a collection of some of the best JavaScript content online, instead of you going and researching all the goods of JS yourself, you can just open up this book and see what’s the crack for yourself. I hope it helps in some way.

Free Books for Learning JavaScript

You’re more than welcome to suggest your own unique articles, books and research papers that could help beginners to accelerate their progress. I’ve come to realize that books on programming can be very expensive, and not everyone wants to deal with secondhand material. It’s just the way things are.

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