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Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript (Effective Software Development Series) [Kindle Edition]

David Herman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $39.99
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Book Description

“It’s uncommon to have a programming language wonk who can speak in such comfortable and friendly language as David does. His walk through the syntax and semantics of JavaScript is both charming and hugely insightful; reminders of gotchas complement realistic use cases, paced at a comfortable curve. You’ll find when you finish the book that you’ve gained a strong and comprehensive sense of mastery.”

—Paul Irish, developer advocate, Google Chrome


“This is not a book for those looking for shortcuts; rather it is hard-won experience distilled into a guided tour. It’s one of the few books on JS that I’ll recommend without hesitation.”

—Alex Russell, TC39 member, software engineer, Google


In order to truly master JavaScript, you need to learn how to work effectively with the language’s flexible, expressive features and how to avoid its pitfalls. No matter how long you’ve been writing JavaScript code, Effective JavaScript will help deepen your understanding of this powerful language, so you can build more predictable, reliable, and maintainable programs.


Author David Herman, with his years of experience on Ecma’s JavaScript standardization committee, illuminates the language’s inner workings as never before—helping you take full advantage of JavaScript’s expressiveness. Reflecting the latest versions of the JavaScript standard, the book offers well-proven techniques and best practices you’ll rely on for years to come.


Effective JavaScript is organized around 68 proven approaches for writing better JavaScript, backed by concrete examples. You’ll learn how to choose the right programming style for each project, manage unanticipated problems, and work more successfully with every facet of JavaScript programming from data structures to concurrency. Key features include

  • Better ways to use prototype-based object-oriented programming
  • Subtleties and solutions for working with arrays and dictionary objects
  • Precise and practical explanations of JavaScript’s functions and variable scoping semantics
  • Useful JavaScript programming patterns and idioms, such as options objects and method chaining
  • In-depth guidance on using JavaScript’s unique “run-to-completion” approach to concurrency


Editorial Reviews


“Living up to the expectation of an Effective Software Development Series programming book, Effective JavaScript by Dave Herman is a must-read for anyone who wants to do serious JavaScript programming. The book provides detailed explanations of the inner workings of JavaScript, which helps readers take better advantage of the language.”

—Erik Arvidsson, senior software engineer


“Before reading Effective JavaScript, I thought it would be just another book on how to write better JavaScript. But this book delivers that and so much more—it gives you a deep understanding of the language. And this is crucial. Without that understanding you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the language itself. You’ll only know how other programmers write their code.


“Read this book if you want to become a really good JavaScript developer. I, for one, wish I had it when I first started writing JavaScript.”

—Anton Kovalyov, developer of JSHint


“If you’re looking for a book that gives you formal but highly readable insights into the JavaScript language, look no further. Intermediate JavaScript developers will find a treasure trove of knowledge inside, and even highly skilled JavaScripters are almost guaranteed to learn a thing or ten. For experienced practitioners of other languages looking to dive headfirst into JavaScript, this book is a mustread for quickly getting up to speed. No matter what your background, though, author Dave Herman does a fantastic job of exploring JavaScript—its beautiful parts, its warts, and everything in between.”

—Rebecca Murphey, senior JavaScript developer, Bocoup


“Effective JavaScript is essential reading for anyone who understands that JavaScript is no mere toy and wants to fully grasp the power it has to offer. Dave Herman brings users a deep, studied, and practical understanding of the language, guiding them through example after example to help them come to the same conclusions he has. This is not a book for those looking for shortcuts; rather, it is hard-won experience distilled into a guided tour. It’s one of the few books on JavaScript that I’ll recommend without hesitation.”

—Alex Russell, TC39 member, software engineer, Google


“Rarely does anyone have the opportunity to study alongside a master in their craft. This book is just that—the JavaScript equivalent of a time-traveling philosopher visiting fifth century BC to study with Plato.”

—Rick Waldron, JavaScript evangelist, Bocoup

About the Author

David Herman is a principal researcher at Mozilla Research. He holds a BA in computer science from Grinnell College, and an MS and PhD in computer science from Northeastern University. David serves on Ecma TC39, the committee responsible for the standardization of JavaScript.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8517 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 26, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AC1RP14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a designer turned front-end developer. I came to this book from Cody Lindley's "JavaScript Enlightenment." These two books in that order should be required reading for all designers picking up JavaScript. Skip "The Good Parts" and "Eloquent" and go straight for these meaty, easy to understand volumes.

This is like the big brother of JavaScript Enlightenment. It introduces intermediate to advanced concepts. It's a concise volume with small code examples you can easily follow. Some of the concepts you may not get right away, but each chapter of the book will start simple, offer you something you didn't know about JavaScript, and stretch your understanding a little bit more. You might need to read it twice, but take your time. Like a ballerina doing her stretches at the bar, you might not feel like you're getting anywhere fast, but you're doing your career a world of good with each stretch you take.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depth and breadth that won't become obsolete soon January 4, 2013
This is hands down the best JavaScript book I have read. It talks about all the expected subjects for a JS book: prototypes, concurrency with asynchronous functions, operators, functions, etc. However, it combines brevity with deep insight. I wish more technical books were this clear and concise.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
TL;DR If you know other languages and want to get into JavaScript this is a great start!!!

People ask me how to get started with JavaScript all the time. If they are asking for a book they should get I always recommend JavaScript the Good Parts. Although they might not understand all the concepts in the book the first read. They will get a good idea of what not to do :) Then for a more definitive guide, I recommend JavaScript the Definitive guide, which is HUGE and I couldn't imagining reading the whole thing but its a great reference! This book kinda hits the sweet spot right in the middle. Just enough information to get someone comfortable in another language up and running with JavaScript.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intermediate book March 15, 2014
If you've been looking for an easy way to improve your JavaScript knowledge, this book is for you. Through a series of concise, focused second, this book takes you through some of the most important best practices and language works you should know for working with JavaScript. The explanations are clear, the examples appropriate, and the selection of topics is sufficiently broad to expose you to important language concepts.

This book assumes you already know JavaScript ahead of time, as it dives right into example. For this reason, the book isn't appropriate as a first book to learn JavaScript. It is most appropriate for those who have already read a couple of beginner books and are ready to take a deeper look at the language.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book December 25, 2012
By GZiolo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book for every experienced JavaScript developer. It covers all most important aspects of JavaScript language in very concise form. You will find lots of valuable tips that will help to master your skills. I'm sure you will learn more good practices, as well as get aware of pitfalls you wouldn't think of before.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is beautiful December 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Our toy language receives the treatment which was deserved only to your Dad's programming language until today.

I bought this book in the hope of receiving 'just other book on Javascript that deals with the very same issues and concerns'. Boy, I was so wrong. Following the vein of the classics (effective C++ and effective Java) the coverage is broad ane yet every single topic can fill your skull with dense and ready to use Javascript. Instant classic. Alongside with 'Eloquent Javascript' as one the masterpieces of our beloved and hated little language.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for insight into JS December 31, 2012
By Mike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So far I'm only up to Item 40 in the book but I must say that each item I've read so far gave me insight to the ins and outs of JavaScript that confused me for a while. For example in the book it teaches things like[]) will give you "[object Array]" and this is a way to tell if a variable passed into a function is actually an array. I would highly recommend this book to help clear up stuff like that along with some good tips for general coding in JS (watching out for automatic semicolon insertion, etc...), what the differences between __proto__, prototype are.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Ken
Each of the 68 items are concise and end with clear recommendations for your JavaScript code. There are many code examples--all following best practices and all are easy to understand.

Highlights: it covers the power and nuances of Functions and Object Prototypes, Arrays, plain objects and asynchronous logic. It also gives recommendation for creating simple, readable and user-friendly JavaScript libraries that follow the best coding practices.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Good Parts JavaScript book
I got this through another website. This book is not really for beginners. The fundamentals won't cut it. You have to know javascript to get the most out of this book. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Coder0585
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Javascript Book Out There - it will get you to the next level
This book really brought me to the next level with my javascript. A lot of javascript books suffer from an author who is trying to prove a point or complain about a certain... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Goran Savovski
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resource!
Amazing guide and reference. I've already learned a lot from this book. Definitely not for those beginning to learn javascript. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shelby Sturgis
5.0 out of 5 stars just go for it, really worth reading
Excellent book for more advanced JS developers. For beginner I would recommend Javascript: The good parts as many other do. Read more
Published 2 months ago by cid
5.0 out of 5 stars Soon to be a Classic, Just Like its Namesake
This is clearly an extraordinary book, worthy of of its namesake, "Effective Java" by Joshua Bloch, which has attained the status of being "a classic", since its publication in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tell-It-Like-It-Is
5.0 out of 5 stars concise and easily understood.
this is a must read book for every javascript developer .... i wish it was water soluble so that i could drink it .... pointed, concise and easily understood ... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sunny
5.0 out of 5 stars A book one needs to properly understand the imperfect but wildly...
I have a true love hate relationship with JavaScript (JS). As an aficionado of the programming languages, I am troubled with lots of design choices and design mistakes of this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Edmon Begoli
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Roberto C.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Many things that I already knew, but a few gems well worth the time it took to read. Nice concise format too. Recommended.
Published 3 months ago by David Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read
From the legendary Effective series, this book is lives up to it's standard. It goes deep into the language in a series of 68 topics. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sergey Maskalik MBA
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