Web Development Books | Thinkful
If you’re here, chances are you’re sure that web development is your calling. Whether you’re new to the industry or you’re looking for the best web development books to perfect your skills, we’ve got you covered.
There’s no scarcity of resources to learn about any feature or aspect of programming. But there’s something about books written by seasoned professionals that can really immerse you in the world of development. . A book is more detailed than any blog post and gives a personal touch to your study time. Finding the perfect book to motivate you for the next step in your programming journey will make a world of difference whether you’re just learning HTML or eyeing up a senior engineering position.
Now that we’ve convinced you to load up your Kindle, here are some of the best (and most useful) books on web development.
HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites by Jon Duckett
This full-color book goes into the basics of HTML and CSS and makes it exciting by shifting away from the dull, manual style of presentation. It’s brought to you by the publishers of Wrox. It’s easy to read with ample illustrations and examples to help you learn efficiently.
Overall, it’s a fantastically well-written and researched gem that’ll appeal to both beginners who know nothing about code, website design, or HTML and experienced web developers. This book is essential, not only for web developers, but for anyone who works with the web; like web designers, website editors, marketers, or managers. However, it has special relevance for web developers as it brings the essentials of web development to readers in a fun, interactive way.
Once you’ve learned the basics, this book by O’Reilly Media will help you pick up more technical skills. Even with no previous technical experience in web building and development, you can start to learn how web pages and websites work.
This is another full-color book that shows you how to build interactive and visually compelling web pages. It also teaches you how to make interfaces more intuitive by using code examples, photography, and inspirational infographics.
This book is written for beginners, so there’s no assumption on the part of the author that the reader has previous programming experience. Of course, you’re expected to know the basics of how to create a web page through HTML and CSS, but if you’re not fully familiar with all the basics, it’ll be taken care of. Just follow the list chronologically and practice web development using the first two books in the list first.
Designing with Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman
This is a no-nonsense book that’ll teach you to move beyond the basics of HTML and CSS and use techniques and concepts at a professional level. Web standards are the formal, non-proprietary standards and other technical specifications that define and govern the World Wide Web.
If you build your website using web standards, you won’t have to customize your codes separately for different browsers because you’d use standard specifications. You will, thus, eliminate browser incompatibilities. This book will teach you how to reduce costs in designing, development, and quality assurance. It will also teach you how to deliver sophisticated design for a fully functional website, support wireless and PDA without giving in to the costs of multiple versions, and so on.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
The subtitle of this book is “A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”, and true to its subtitle, this book is more about cultivating an attitude towards design rather than design and development itself. Of course, it’s also a guidebook on web development and design. However, the author’s underlying belief is that the purpose of web development must be to eliminate or minimize the cognitive workload of web users.
Through illustrations and funny examples, the author demonstrates the principles of simple web designing that’ll guide you in your design journey. The book is clear and to-the-point with the basic principles of UX design presented in simple language. While you might be quite proficient in programming languages, your designs need to be user-friendly too.
If you want a smooth user experience, you’ll have to curb your enthusiasm for showing your expertise through complicated graphics. This book will really shift your mindset around this task.
CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions by Simon Collison, Andy Budd, Cameron Moll
There are tons of incongruencies and scattered information about CSS-based design on the internet. You might get confused by the information, which is where this book comes into the picture. It’s a quick-start tutorial guide to advanced CSS-based web development.
Even though CSS is easy enough to learn, it’s a bit tricky to master. This useful book will help you learn effective planning, organization, and maintenance of your stylesheets. You’ll also learn how to apply liquid, elastic, and hybrid layout designs. You will be able to create image maps, layout forms, recognize common browser bugs, and learn how to fix them. After reading this book, you’ll feel prepared for your job position more than ever. So it’s safe to say that this book deserves to be read and re-read multiple times.
This book goes beyond the basics of programming and offers lessons on the use of variables, data structures, functions, and control structures. However, the subtitle of the text is a bit misleading as the book is not for complete novices. It’s still an excellent resource that will enable you to write efficient and elegant code, but pick this up only once you’re well-versed with the basics of programming.
This book will teach you how to create dynamic, interactive, data-driven websites. It’s an easy-to-read and straightforward guide for HTML users who want to develop their skills. You’ll need to be proficient in HTML initially in order to make sense of it, but for beginner programmers, this book will guide you towards building interactive websites with ease.
Additional Resources for Your Web Development Career
With each book you’ll not only improve your skills, but also increase your value for clients. The more you know, the more you’ll make: so keep on learning and challenging yourself.
For more useful resources related to the tech world, you can check out our YouTube channel. It’s full of great educational videos to help you level up your skills, and in turn, your career.