Free Front-End Books and Courses

With the pace of change in our field, keeping up to date as a developer is always an ongoing challenge, especially given you likely have a job to do and also want to maintain some semblance of a personal life. Myself, I tend to do a lot of reading on the bus to and from work–to the point I won’t now work any place where the commute will involve driving–as well as working on personal projects or courses after the kids go to the bed in the evening. As such, I’m always on the look out for new reading material, especially regarding advanced JavaScript, CSS, and modern design patterns and methodologies. Following are a number of resources I’ve found that contain relevant and timely front-end material, are of high quality, and are free.

Books
Syncfusion is currently offering over 40 technical books of 100+/- pages each, in PDF and MOBI formats, via a “Succinctly” series, here: http://www.syncfusion.com/resources/techportal/ebooks. And don’t kid yourself, these are quality books. For example, the JavaScript Succinctly book is written by Cody Lindley, and contains much the same material you will find in his highly rated JavaScript Enlightenment book. Beyond the JavaScript book, other relevant topics include, jQuery, KnockoutJS, AngularJS, Bootstrap, and Node. I personally found the Knockout.JS Succinctly book quite useful, and if you combine that with Ivaylo Gerchev’s series on Knockout, then you will have a very solid foundation from which to work from. One word of warning: you are asked to provide some contact information in order to download the books, and you may receive a marketing call. There are no obligations, however.

Moving on… Marijn Haverbeke’s Eloquent JavaScript is one of the very best introductions to the language you can find. And very recently the second edition of this book has been made available for free! Find it here: http://eloquentjavascript.net/.

Courses
I have taken a number of paid online courses, some of them well done (such as the some of the courses you will find at ed2go) and some of them taught me a different lesson than I expected. Aquent Gymnasium offers free online courses, focused on UI/UX, that are as well done, or better, than any of the paid courses I’ve done: http://gymnasium.aquent.com/catalog/. The course on responsive web design goes into a lot of detail, and is extremely well done. They also have offerings on jQuery, Bootstrap’s grid layout, and Node.js, amongst others. If you do well in one of their courses, you may be encouraged to consider working for them. No obligations, of course.

And finally, while more Computer Science oriented than focused on front-end development, you can find a number of free university courses online, as well: https://www.coursera.org/courses?orderby=upcoming&cats=cs-programming. Amongst these you will find courses on Android programming and Python.

And that’s what I have in my list, thus far, for material that meets the following threshold: either a book or course related to front-end development, is of high quality, and is free. If you know of additional material out there that you believe meets these bars, please do share in the comments section.

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