Ready to Learn JavaScript and JQuery?





This book puts the basics in place, so that a new, or even experienced developer, can appreciate what is happening among JavaScript, JSON, and JQuery.

You may have seen me writing about JavaScript before in these book reviews, but never rave. For this review, consider the following words as an official rave.

I picked up a great development book, JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett. It’s a new book meant for the current trend in front end development, the rising capability of JavaScript. I received a review copy of book from its publisher Wiley.

I’ve reviewed the topic of JavaScript before. First, in Dennis Mortensen’s book on Yahoo Web Analytics, then in an app development book called Programming JavaScript Applications. I noted how JavaScript has become more important as developers create new client-side functionality. In layman’s term, more activity with the browser.

But in the Application review I also noted how books sometimes lack information on the most recent developments. This book by Duckett makes a serious attempt, and succeeds as a primer for new freelancers and marketers to learn how JavaScript fits in the web development landscape.



Visualizing Programming for the Non Programmer

One most obvious standout for the book is its layout, an interesting publishing experiment given the influence of mobile devices on web layout in recent days. The book relies on color for language protocols, large supporting images, and a clean font treatment that is reminiscent of a flat website design layout.

The objective of this stylized approach is to highlight useful concepts of programming dynamics that should be memorable to budding and seasoned professional. I have to say that approach really struck me in a philosophical way. I liked how this worked without being overly trendy in presentation or light on information.

The end result is an inspired book for understanding the significance of how objects and methods are handled, and a better recollection of protocols thanks to the stylized treatment of the subject. There are clear descriptions and easy-to-follow diagrams that makes even the most basic explanations more inspired. With programming frameworks being introduced increasingly in developer circles, the book succeeds in making those explanation inspirations worthwhile.

Gaining a Signpost on the Road To Better JavaScript Coding Skills

A word about the author. Jon Duckett has been designing and building websites for over 15 years. He has worked with small startups and global brands, and has written more than a dozen books on web design and programming, so his experience with web development material shows in the text.

As far as I am concerned, the text is wonderful. Duckett does a remarkable job offering comparisons of what JavaScript can do, helping to appreciate the basic concepts behind an object oriented programming language. Segments on the difference, such as AJAX and JSON are enlightening, as well as a dedicated chapter on APIs. Opening segments cover JavaScript basics, such as do loops, but readers get a better feel for advanced techniques.

Moreover the book is really a great centerpiece for appreciating frameworks. The book’s central role is no small matter. There has been an onrush of framework introductions, buoyed by big names. Google supports AngularJS, for example. But if one were to follow YouTube videos, one will get an overwhelming headache trying to assimilate the value of the explanation. Reading this book puts the basics in place, so that a new or even experienced developer can appreciate what is happening among JavaScript, JSON, and JQuery.

Who Would Benefit From This Book?

I would recommend this book for analytic practitioners, as well as well as budding freelancers. Many times analytics professionals are focused on tags and their functionality, but not on the broader technical aspects.

Marketers who are not quite so tech savvy may enjoy the book. The book was written with the assumption of no previous programming experience, other than knowing how to create a basic web page in HTML & CSS. Thus readers will learn how dynamic techniques such as interactive gallery, content sliders, and form validation seen on many modern websites are achieved.

Pick up this book if you are looking to understand what makes a website.   It will show readers how to read and write JavaScript, teaching them the basics of computer programming in a simple, visual way. And watch your developer or development team rave about the discoveries they make with JavaScript.

3 Comments ▼

Pierre DeBois - Associate Book Editor


Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.

3 Reactions

  1. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for the above review which I have read to the full.

    Would you say this book by Mr. Jon Duckett is or would be appropriate for beginners like myself whom just embarked on the fascinating world of Web Designing merely a year ago?

    I only initiated a course last year with the intent of revamping my own business web site.

    I have now started a second course, which touches the JavaScript subject, but I’m finding it quite hard to assimilate it all.

    I do not intend to become a great Web Designer from one day to another as I understand there’s so much to learn, but I’m quite scared of maybe having started something that I’m doubting myself enter lay able to finish.

    I am not giving up though until I can honestly say that I have tried my best!

    Thank you for your attention and I look forward to hearing your opinion on my question above.

    Kind regards,

    Rob Pinto

    • Pierre DeBois

      Hi Rob,

      I would recommend it in a heartbeat – I think the approach that was given, in terms of using color and layout, makes a difference in seeing some of the difference in how methods are used, how arrays are used, etc. There are some highlights, such as APIs and frameworks, that I think are really helpful – more so about the basics than in some of the videos and even offline meetups I’ve been to, in which much of the discussion can get quickly in the weeds. But I would recommend this to a beginner. For example, I’ve used Javascript, but within a context of examining script concerns for web analytics functionality – I think this book does better at helping me to branch out more to get a better grasp of other Javascript concerns, such as frameworks, which is becoming more a standard over time. I hope this helps, and happy coding!

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