Keeping it fresh
What has always fascinated me about my developer friends is that they’re the most inquisitive people you’ll ever meet. New languages come out every month, and they’re the first to get their hands dirty. Theories are tested, boundaries are pushed, and innovation is the nucleus of their existence.
Because the learning and testing never ends, we host a quarterly event in Austin called Stump The Developer where an expert on stage fields questions from fellow developers – if they are stumped, a sassy gif shows up on the big screen behind them, and the stumper joins the expert on stage to take the next question. It gets rowdy, but secretly, everyone’s there to learn.
Our most recent event was held at The Iron Yard and Elias Carlston was back as our expert. He has been a software engineer for over 15 years, was the first front end developer at Zipcar, and worked with brands such as Charles Schwab and Harmonix (makers of “Rock Band”). Currently, he is building an HTML5/AngularJS app for Sapling Learning, a higher-ed division of Macmillan.
During Stump, Carlston suggested two books that every front end developer should read – “Code Complete” by Steve McConnell and “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman. He alluded to how design concepts are simplified by the two authors, for example, Norman suggests we think of design as how we look at a stove top – a simple, universal chart helps us all to understand the moving parts without words or complex elements introduced.
13 books every front end developer should read
But those aren’t the only two books developers should read – we asked our readers to weigh in, and below are their 13 picks for front end devs, whether aspiring or veteran, and note that they’re not all about coding – some are about culture, and there’s even a fictional novel in the mix to get your gears turning:
- “Code Complete” by Steve McConnell (recommended by Carlston)
- “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman (recommended by Carlston)
- “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White
- “Design is a Job” by Mike Monteiro
- “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug
- “The Visual Display of Quantitative Thinking” by Edward R. Tufte
- “The Dip” by Seth Godin
- “The Phoenix Project” by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, & George Spafford
- “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
- “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
- “The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” by Alan Cooper