jQuery For Designers: Beginner’s Guide

As a professional front end coder, I developed a huge crush on jQuery and have several books on the subject. It’s an exciting time to be a front end dev and jQuery is one of the reasons.

The first thing you’ll notice about Natalie MacLees’ jQuery for Designers is her gentle yet confident voice. She assumes very little experience with coding, but is never condescending or “cute” like some beginning tech books.

Each chapter of JFD takes the reader/student through a collection of jQuery scripts that accomplish various tasks that one uses in the “real world”. From tarting up links, through slideshows and tabs to an excellent chapter on forms, she writes as if she’s sitting next to the reader offering patient guidance as you discover the power of jQuery.

The structure of each chapter is simple and effective:
– What you’re going to do.
– How to do it.
– What you just did.

After a section where you write code, Natalie gives detailed explanations of why you wrote what you wrote and, like good teachers, she’ll let you know what you don’t need to know. A sort of “just do this… i’ll explain later…”
(Speaking of “This”, JFD has one of the best explanations of “this” I’ve seen!)

As the tasks become increasingly difficult, Natalie shows the student where previous concepts are being re-used and how they fit in with new concepts. If you go through JFD from cover to cover, you will definitely be able to call yourself a jQuery ninja.

Like jQuery, the book is platform and browser agnostic, though the screenshots are from a Mac.

If you are just starting out, get this book. It will stay with you through your career.

Even though I was given an advance copy of JFD for free in exchange for a review, it has a permanent place on my iPad as a go-to jQuery reference.