/The Savvy Software Engineer’s Bookshelf

I am a burgeoning software engineer, though JavaScript remains a big part of my stack.

So what is some essential reading for the discerning software engineer? Below is a list of books I’ve bought and some I have read. Every developer should have a couple of these on their bookshelves.

Savvy Software Engineer’s Bookshelf


Clean Code by Robert C. Martin

This book should be on every programmer’s shelf, JavaScript, Java, Ruby, you name it, it should be read. There are certain standards when writing code that should be followed and they are all laid out here in this book.

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Introduction to Algorithms by Thomas H. Cormen

This book is heavy. It is supposed to boil things down into something a little simpler than a CS class, but it is definitely math heavy. But, this is the best and easiest guide you will find that goes in-depth into algorithms.

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Web Development with Node and Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack by Ethan Brown

Node is the future, at least for now in this ever-changing JavaScript landscape. Getting comfortable with Node and Express is a good idea.

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up-and-goingYDKJS Up & Going by Kyle Simpson

If you buy no other books on this page, the next two and the others I am linking to here, should be the ones you get. There are no other books like this. Thorough and easy to understand, Kyle is an authority on JavaScript.

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imageYou Don’t Know JS: Scope & Closures by Kyle Simpson

Closures are one of those things that you are constantly doing yet are unaware of and when told about them, aren’t sure how or why they work. I am still trying to wrap my brain around them but the real-world examples here are eye-opening.

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The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas Zakas

There is a lot of talk about OOP being dead and Functional Programming Paradigms are the best way to program an application. There are merits to both, but not in this book. I learned a hell of a lot in this book, already being familiar with OOP Java helped. Definitely one for the shelf.

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 javascript-with-promisesJavaScript with Promises: Managing Asynchronous Code by Daniel Parker

Promises are a promising (pun intended) part of the JavaScript module pattern. Understanding closures and promises will make for nice, tidy, modular, JavaScript code.

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Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective Software Development Series) by David Herman

A nice book to have on your shelf for quick ways on how to effectively develop JavaScript applications. I bought this as a primer on the basics with some advanced concepts thrown in.

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programming-jsProgramming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Modern JS Libraries by Eric Elliott

This is advanced stuff for advanced programmers. It is a necessary shelf hogger, as Eric Elliott is a big JavaScript champion (even if he thinks progressive web apps are better than native). Despite that flaw, this is a must-have.

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node-in-actionNode.js in Action by Mike Cantelon

Primer on Node. These books are pretty good and there are a lot on different programming languages like Python, Ruby, and Objective-C/Swift. Another one for later reference.

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browser-networkingHigh Performance Browser Networking: What every web developer should know about networking and web performance by Ilya Grigorik

Do you know how networks work? Do you know how they work in relation to your browser? You should and that’s why you need this book. Understanding how the browser interacts with your code and the network will make your apps fast and reliable.

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javascript-guideJavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides) by David Flanagan

This is an older book but it is a tome worthy of the space it will take on your bookshelf. While it is older, I think you can gain a lot of the basics of JavaScript in this book.

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Code Complete by Steve McConnell

This is a book by Microsoft engineers on how to write software in a similar vein as Clean Code but not quite as well known. It is also a large book and well worth the read, if you can make it through. The general consensus is  a software book over 400 pages is all filler. But still give it a look. It will be a labor of love, but well worth it. 😉

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eloquent-jsEloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke

Definitely recommended and universally applauded book on writing JavaScript applications and enhancing web pages. Beginner friendly? For more advanced users? It’s hard to say. It’s a tossup. But whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, this belongs in your library.

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javascript-the-good-parts-cover-scanJavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

No JavaScript book list is complete without controversial JS figurehead’s seminal book, JavaScript: The Good Parts. It’s opinionated, it’s strict, but even if you don’t like Crockford or his style of writing JavaScript (no constructor syntax? Noooo thanks!) it is good to understand what the “good parts” of JavaScript are according to its contrarian artisan.

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*Full Disclosure: I get a small commission from each book you purchase from these links, though at no cost to you. Help a newbie dev to get more books by purchasing from these links. I promise to put the cash to good use. 🙂


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