I tend to look for three things in a tutorial book for any programming language:
- Style and Tone
- Project-based Learning
Style and Tone
I don’t expect Shakespeare out of coding books, but I do think that readability is important. If I wanted to get just the information, I could read the official documentation (though some dry docs are pretty useful and entertaining, like the Mozilla Developers Network).
I prefer funny writers who make lots of jokes and puns (go figure, right?), and if they’re not funny and weird, then I try to make sure they’re at least personable and conversational—kind of like a good college professor or a really attentive dad explaining something to his 6-year-old.
But once you’ve grasped the fundamentals and how to write it out, I want to be able to see how it’s useful in the real-world. I want to be able to write a Pomodoro clock or an image gallery. Something where I see it in use instead of just writing out a few lines of code for muscle memory.
I go looking for something that hits that happy medium of being available and affordable to the vast majority of people in one way or another.
The only caveat I want to mention here are that the last update was in 2014 for the second edition, which was written before EC6 came out. It’s still such a fantastic base, I can’t not recommend it for newbs. It helped me out a bunch.
Price: free | More information
React itself is open-sourced by Facebook, which means it’s not going anywhere soon, and there’s a library called React Native that you can use to make native iOS and Android apps (not just web apps in a wrapper)—Instagram, for instance, is written in React Native.
Price: $39 (up to $399 for teams) | more information
Anything by O’Reilly Books
Parsing all of the options you have there can be daunting, but I think there are a few that will be more helpful to complete newbies than others:
Best of all, O’Reilly has a subscription service and a la carte options for their books. You can get a 10-day trial to see if the books work for you, and if they do, you can either stay subbed or start snagging the individual ebooks for as low as $4.99 off Amazon.
Price: free trial | more information
That said, however, I am spending more time with Full-Stack React than anything else. That’s partially preference on my part because I want to learn React, but it’s also because building something makes it easier to remember JS fundamentals. You don’t get nuts-and-bolts JS tutorials because it’s library-based, but you learn implementation, which I find more helpful.
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