The Good Parts, Patterns, and a Cookbook of Javascript

I’ve been asked recently about some books to learn/get updated on/figure out this new found JavaScript craze, so here’s my first three suggestions… :)

JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

I started reading JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford a few months back. I’ve been slowly making my way through the book and wanted to add a few notes, thoughts, and maybe even discuss some of these “Good Parts”.

It seems, even with all the great things happening around Javascript, there are still tons of issues and concerns around using this as a primary language for full stack development. There are concerns around maintainability and other issues also. I like Javascript, but I keep getting that sinking feeling like it is the next realm of “Visual Basic”, which hasn’t held so well throughout the years. If Javascript is going to become the next Visual Basic, I want to be ahead of the curve on the chaos that will surely ensue, and be aware of the signs of poorly designed, poorly built Javascript “Death Marches”. The last thing I want to do is to walk into a shop that has created its own demise through technical debt in Javascript, which I can only imagine could be exponentially worse than a mess in Java or C#.

JavaScript Patterns by Stoyan Stefanov

This book I’ve just picked up, not even started, but decided it is a must have after reviewing the contents. With the concerns of JavaScript kind of being the new “Visual Basic” (and really, not in a language sense, but in a mort sense) when I saw Chapter 2 hits upon “Writing Maintainable Code”, “Writing to be Read”, and “Minimizing Globals” along with a host of other interesting sections I had to spot for this book. JavaScript has and will continue to be in desperate need of good developers who focus strongly on readable, maintainable, simple, and usable code. So far there is a large contingent out there that either don’t pay attention, try to generate everything under the sun, or just simply write crappy code that is completely unmaintainable (or even readable to start with).

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan

This book is kind of the “bible” of JavaScript. The first edition came out years ago and, in all honesty, I think I’ve seen the book on about every single web developer’s bookshelf I’ve seen. I bet it shows up on those with no bookshelf, but is loaded on a Kindle, or other eBook Reader for those electronically enabled web developers.

I’ve probably seen at least every page of this book, not particularly having read it from beginning to end. This book is full of information regarding JavaScript including all the nooks and crannies of the language that you may or may not want to delve into. Either way, if you write JavaScript even a little, you should have this book somewhere near.

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