When putting together our list of best web developer books in 2021, we had one goal… To give absolute beginners everything you need to start learning web development.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average web developer salary is $73,760 per year.
So today we’re looking at everything from how to think like a programmer to getting your first job in web development.
With this in mind, buckle up and read on for the ultimate must-have list of 12 best web developer books in 2021.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.
TLDR: 12 Best Web Developer Books in 2021
💸 Best Value 💸
Think Like a Programmer
You Don’t Know JS Yet: Get Started
🚨 Best Book for New Freelance Devs 🚨
12 Best Web Developer Books in 2021
Programming is all about solving problems.
You can read as many books and take as many courses as you want. And you can learn all of the syntax.
But if you don’t know how to think like a programmer, you won’t get very far.
At last, that’s where Think Like a Programmer comes in.
For instance, you’ll learn how to:
- make problems easier to solve
- reuse code
- master advanced programming tools
Each chapter covers one programming concept such as:
In addition, you’ll work on various open-ended exercises.
Examples are written in C++, but the concepts are universal.
Think Like a Programmer topped our list of best web developer books for beginners (best overall value).
🔥 Pick up Think Like a Programmer 🔥
Getting a web developer job isn’t always easy. Sometimes we need help getting pointed in the right direction.
How to Get a Job in Web Development is geared towards web developers who are:
- coding bootcamp graduates
- college grads
Or a combination of those things! It was written to help devs get to the next level on their journey: a job in web development.
But to do this, you need to know things like how to:
- craft your cover letter, resume, portfolio and GitHub account
- deal with follow-up emails and phone calls
- prepare for phone, video and in-person interviews
- strategically apply to jobs
How to Get a Job in Web Development covers all this and much, much more.
This book has helped hundreds of developers land web developer jobs.
And by showing you the right steps to take when applying for jobs, it can help you too.
🔥 Pick up How to Get a Job in Web Development 🔥
💡Did you know that How to Get a Job in Web Development has a companion video course on RealToughCandy.io? Check it out here.
First off, it covers ECMAScript updates through 2019 such as:
And much more.
In addition, you’ll learn web development fundamentals such as the document object model (DOM), error handling and web animation.
Also, you’ll learn about advanced browser APIs.
Finally, you’ll work with hundreds of code examples to reinforce concepts.
Learning Web Design is another banger book. It made our best list of web developer books because it’s so user-friendly.
With this step-by-step guide, you can build a web page with no prior experience.
You’ll start with the basics like how web pages work.
In addition, you’ll learn how to:
- build HTML pages with links, images and beyond
- use CSS for colors and backgrounds
- create and optimize web images
- become familiar with the command line and Git
And much more.
Finally you’ll build a simple, mobile-responsive site.
🔥 Pick up Learning Web Design 🔥
Both books use beautiful, full-page color illustrations and photographs to explain concepts.
HTML & CSS is an introduction to the basics of HTML and CSS.
You can read the book start to finish or jump into random chapters to learn a concept.
This book is ideal for beginners with little or no programming experience.
- basic programming concepts
- how to write scripts from scratch
- how to recreate techniques like sliders, content filters and form validation
You can also order Jon Duckett’s newest book, PHP & MySQL: Server-side Web Development.
Remember, your portfolio is the most important asset as a new software developer. Make it count!–RTC, author of Portfolio Surgery
Portfolio Surgery is another top-rated book by RTC.
But she already talks about portfolios in How to Get a Job in Web Development.
So how is this different?
How to Get a Job in Web Development offers valuable insight on what to include in your portfolio.
However, Portfolio Surgery will show you how to make that portfolio POP!
First of all, we’re talking about starting with a massive overhaul of your portfolio.
Then you’ll learn 5 methods to completely transform your projects.
Finally, you’ll gain a problem-solving skill set in the process.
RTC is a fantastic instructor. Her passion shows in everything she puts out. Everything is explained in a very understandable way for aspiring and established developers and she knows her stuff. Great job!– Brad Traversy, Traversy Media
🔥 Pick up Portfolio Surgery 🔥
💡Did you know that Portfolio Surgery has a companion video course on RealToughCandy.io? Check it out here.
🔥 Geena’s Hot Take:
Portfolio Surgery is the most unique book in this list of best web developer books. And the most desired for many aspiring web developers.
We haven’t found any other book that’s completely dedicated to making your portfolio stand out from the pack.
Not only will you learn what to change, but you’ll learn how to change it.
Plus there’s a companion video course.
The Portfolio Surgery video course only has a couple hours of video. But don’t be fooled.
For every ten minutes of video, you can expect to spend 3-6 hours revamping your portfolio.
PHP and MySQL are open-source technologies that are used for developing database-driven web apps.
Using real-world examples, PHP and MySQL Web Development will teach you about:
- web-based email
- user authentication
- social media integration
In addition, you’ll learn:
- storing and retrieving data
- designing and creating your web database
- error and exception handling
And advanced MySQL concepts.
Furthermore, you’ll have access to free features like online exercises and interactive quizzes.
This book pairs well with the Codecademy Pro course Learn SQL.
🔥 Pick up PHP and MySQL Web Development 🔥
Visual Studio Code aims to help users become familiar with all aspects of VS Code.
It’s geared towards beginners or developers looking to transition to VS Code from another code editor.
You’ll learn how to:
- install VS Code
- use VS Code for full-stack development
- expand knowledge of tools and expansions
It covers essential components such as:
- workspace features
- code refactoring
- key binding
- integration with Grunt
🔥 Pick up Visual Studio Code 🔥
Web Design Playground is a play-by-play approach to learning HTML and CSS.
Full-color illustrations keep learning interesting, engaging and fun.
In addition to the book, you’ll work on a customized, interactive online workspace.
Here you’ll design:
- product pages
- photo galleries
Web Design Playground will start you of by writing your first line of HTML. By the end, you’ll be able to build your own websites using HTML and CSS.
🔥 Pick up Web Design Playground 🔥
Well now, all of those books have been completely rewritten and updated.
The first book in the new series is You Don’t know JS Yet: Get Started.
- scope and closures
- async and performance
- this and object prototypes
- types & grammar
🔥 Pick up You Don’t Know JS Yet: Get Started 🔥
Read our review of Kyle Simpson’s You Don’t Know JS: Up & Going here.
11. Freelance Newbie
Freelance Newbie is similar to How to Get a Job in Web Development.
With Freelance Newbie, you’ll learn how to work for yourself.
…This book is meant for people who have the skill and don’t know how to create their path forward. It explains how to navigate the world of freelancing while laying out the steps to become successful…Kelsy, Amazon Customer
In this book, you’ll learn how to:
- develop a business plan
- generate quality leads
- determine what services to offer
- deliver stellar customer service
- draft effective proposals and contracts
With this in mind, the purpose of Freelance Newbie is to lay a solid foundation to start your career in freelancing.
🔥 Pick up Freelance Newbie 🔥
💡Did you know Freelance Newbie has a companion video course on RealToughCandy.io? Check it out here.
Hacking is the last thing any developer wants to have happen to them. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.
Web Security for Developers covers common ways websites get hacked.
Therefore, you’ll learn how to defend yourself from these attacks by:
- adding authentication and shape access
- locking down user accounts
- implement encryption
- manage vulnerabilities in legacy code
In addition, you’ll learn how to mitigate advanced attacks and get stronger at deploying secure code.
🔥 Pick up Web Security for Developers 🔥
12 Best Web Developer Books in 2021: Conclusion
Today we looked at 12 of the best web developer books for beginners in 2021:
1. Think Like a Programmer
2. How to Get a Job in Web Development
6. Portfolio Surgery
7. PHP and MySQL Web Development
8. Visual Studio Code: End-to-End Editing and Debugging Tools for Web Developers
9. Web Design Playground: HTML & CSS the Interactive Way
10. You Don’t Know JS Yet: Get Started
11. Freelance Newbie
12. Web Security for Developers: Real Threats, Practical Defense
Depending on where you are and what you need, we think some of these books may help you reach your web developer goals.
- What are some of the best web developer books in 2021?
While there are plenty of good web developer books out there, only 12 made it on our list. Some of our favorite web developer books include Think Like a Programmer, How to Get a Job in Web Development, and You Don't Know JS Yet: Get Started.
- What is the Think Like a Programmer book about?
You can read as many books as you want. And you can learn all of the syntax. But if you don’t know how to think like a programmer, you won’t get very far. That’s where Think Like a Programmer comes in. You'll learn how to make problems easier to solve, reuse code and master advanced programming tools. You'll also work on various open-ended exercises. Examples are written in C++, but the concepts are universal.
- What are the 3 Jon Duckett books?