Web Developer Books for Xmas

The holidays are finally here! That means it is time to find some gifts for the people who we truly care about. Here are some of my personal favorites and recommendations for the web developer and designer in your life that likes to read.

  1. Designing for Performance by Lara Hogan – This book is awesome! Performance is such an important part of web development and design but it is often overlooked. Lara does a great job of showing the various tools and methods your team can use to make your websites snappier and happier.
  2. Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual by John Z. Sonmez – Every now and then you come across a book for programmers that isn’t about programming and this is one of the best I have read. You should be working on your career and life goals and this book aims to help you learn the in’s and out’s of various topics such as finance, job seeking, and personal health.
  3. Responsible Responsive Design by Scott Jehl – Another must have book for the front-end dev. When we talk about responsive design we always talk in it within the context of how fluidity, how it looks on every device. Rarely do we ever consider the impact of the bandwidth we have available to us and Scott makes a lot of great arguments about why we need to factor that in as well. Most of us think that the internet is really fast but in reality it is average at best and we are the exception to the rule. Most people have limited connection speeds and we need to make sure we build our sites with that taken into consideration.
  4. Smashing Book #5 – No list would be complete without mentioning a Smashing Book. This one is thick (2″ or so) and chocked full of all sorts of vital information. One of the best sections of this book talks about SVGs which are becoming an important part of the web. The design of the book itself is very vibrant and each section is organized with a different color.
  5. The Uncertain Web by Rob Larsen – Anyone who works on the web knows that there are numerous decisions that happen when choosing which technologies to use and what devices to support. Something that we build today needs to work for devices tomorrow and Rob does a great job at looking at the web today and how it may look tomorrow while providing examples of how technologies have evolved and how they handled certain obstacles. Instead of leaving us worried about how we are going to support such uncertainty, we are left embracing the nature of the web because this uncertainness is the result of the power of having an open web.


These books are the top 5 I have read this past year and they will make an excellent addition to anyone’s read list.