Head First JavaScript Programming is an excellent book for those new to JavaScript. If you have a real interest in learning JavaScript to code in the browser, Head First JavaScript Programming is a good choice. It has many examples, useful applications, and various challenges along the way to reinforce your understanding of JavaScript.

JavaScript The Language

Head First JavaScript Programming focuses on JavaScript. There are many books for beginners that focus on jQuery or JavaScript to manipulate the DOM for beginners, but not many good beginner books that help you understand JavaScript the Language. The books starts you right at the beginning with how to code JavaScript in the browser and how to use it to create event handlers, functions, and objects as well as the basics of JavaScript. It will have you programming cool browser apps, like "Who Sunk My Battleship," as well as other applications to help you understand how to manipulate the DOM and build applications in the browser. Of couse, once you understand JavaScript in the browser, you can easily take JavaScript server-side with Node.js.

I know most new web designers and web developers want to jump right into jQuery, Zepto, and other JavaScript frameworks to code in the browser, but a good understanding of JavaScript is essential and important. If you're just starting out with coding in the browser, I recommend first getting started with JavaScript via Head First JavaScript Programming before learning jQuery. In fact, a perfect second book to Head First JavaScript Programming would be Head First HTML5 Programming, which will take your JavaScript programming skills to a whole new level! Once you complete those two books, look for a good book on jQuery to show you how jQuery helps with cross-browser JavaScript.


If you read Head First JavaScript Programming and really digest the information, you will have a solid introduction to JavaScript that will take you pretty far in your web development. Follow it with Head First HTML5 Programming for an even deeper understanding of JavaScript. If you're new to the Head First Series of Books you can be a little overwhelmed at first at all the graphics and challenges, but having the information reinforced in so many ways will prove beneficial, especially to visual learners!

Learn more about Head First JavaScript Programming on the O'Reilly Website.