Top 10 TypeScript Books For Web Developers

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In a recent article we covered the immense value of TypeScript in great detail. It’s one of the best web languages that’s not really a language.

TypeScript is actually a superset of JavaScript. All TS code will compile down into JavaScript, so it simply makes writing code more efficient. If you already know JavaScript you’ll have no problem picking up TypeScript. But even if you don’t know JS you can pick up both simultaneously.

Online tutorials and books will help the most. There are some TS resources in the detailed writeup, but in this post I want to focus more on books. Each of these titles cover TypeScript in great detail and should help any novice gain competency quickly.

1. Pro TypeScript

This is perhaps one of the best books for beginners and experts alike. If you’re brand new to TypeScript you will learn everything you need by reading Pro TypeScript. The author Steve Fenton does an excellent job of explaining the fundamentals and how TS compiles down into JavaScript.

But Steve also explains specific design patterns and best practices for writing quality TypeScript code. Each chapter builds upon the last and you never feel like you’re left out to dry on your own.

Most of the concepts are friendly to beginners even if you don’t know much JavaScript. You will struggle with practical examples, but if you ever have questions along the way Google likely has an answer.

A related book I’d recommend is TypeScript Revealed by the same publishers. This one’s much smaller but covers detailed examples of TypeScript in action.


2. TypeScript Essentials

There are many great intro tutorials in the TS documentation. It’s free and generally straightforward, although it may not be dense enough for everyone.

That’s why TypeScript Essentials is a go-to recommended source for absolute beginners. You’ll learn all the constructs of writing TypeScript code and using the Visual Studio development IDE. Lessons start very simple and quickly move through TypeScript examples and Object-Oriented tutorials.

Note that if you’re an intermediate-to-advanced developer this book probably isn’t for you. But the absolute beginner will get a lot from this guide.


3. Learning TypeScript

Here’s another book published by Packt covering all the basics of TypeScript and ECMAScript. Learning TypeScript covers 10 chapters with each chapter delving into specific areas of ES6 and ES7.

The best thing about this book is the use of JS and TS code snippets. You can study each chapter by reading through syntax of TypeScript and JavaScript, comparing and studying how they work. If you’re a newbie to writing JavaScript you can fly through this book with ease.

All the examples in this book are fairly trivial by design. Absolute beginners will get the most value from this, while experienced devs may fly through and not get much from it.


4. Mastering TypeScript

Once you get past the fundamental topics you’ll want to delve into complex TypeScript applications. This is where Mastering TypeScript comes in handy.

The book spans 260 pages of advanced TypeScript tutorials that cover real-world applications of the code demos. Early chapters can be boring as they’re written to get beginners up to speed. But once you get into chapter 4 and beyond you’ll be flying.

Each project in the book will introduce you to unique concepts like unit testing, object-oriented code, and the use of frameworks. However I would take the frameworks section with a grain of salt. These are merely suggestions but some readers may take them as mandatory tools for using TypeScript in the real world.

Overall this is one of the better books for intermediate-level web developers. You’ll see how TS really works and be able to apply these concepts in your own work.


5. You Don’t Know JS

Kyle Simpson is the very knowledgeable author of You Don’t Know JS: ES6 & Beyond. This title has the benefit of being platform-agnostic when it comes to ES6 code.

JavaScript and TypeScript behave similarly but their syntax looks very different. There’s no denying that the future of scripting is ES6(and beyond). This book will get you up to speed so that you understand all the major differences between current JavaScript(ES5) and the newer ES6.

What I like most is this book’s objectivity. The author lays out positive and negative points for every factor when writing code. There’s a ton of information here so it might take you weeks to get through it all and memorize the concepts. But the more you work at it the more you’ll memorize, and this book would make the perfect study buddy if you’re new to modern JavaScript.


6. Learning ECMAScript 6

Here’s another title on the same topic of practicing ES6 to fully understand TypeScript. The difference here is that ES6 is basically JavaScript while TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript. So all ES6 code is valid TypeScript code.

Learning ECMAScript 6 is the perfect tool for picking up the fundamentals of modern JavaScript development. The examples are fantastic and most of the time you get to compare older ES5 code to the newer ES6 code.

The biggest problem with this book is the English grammar & spelling. It seems either poorly edited or written by a non-native speaker.

For this reason I would personally recommend You Don’t Know JS instead of this book.

However the examples, code snippets, and comparisons in this book make it valuable enough to reference in this list.


7. TypeScript For JavaScript Programmers

This small intro guide also written by Steven Fenton is a decent read for JS developers. TypeScript For JavaScript Programmers totals just under 100 pages so it’s very brief.

But it does contain almost everything you’d need to pick up TypeScript. The basics like annotations and declarations will cue you into the buzzwords behind TypeScript’s popularity, and this book will help you understand what they mean.

It’s a quick read and very easy to go through in one day. Some developers may like the terse writing style but others may want a longer tome of TypeScript. For the latter this book will disappoint, but for the former this is a great intro to writing TypeScript code.


8. TypeScript Deep Dive

I can’t write this guide without mentioning TypeScript Deep Dive. This is a completely free open source book with everything hosted on GitHub.

It’s meant to be a much better companion to the average developer who finds the TypeScript documentation to be lacking in quality or detail. I would highly recommend this online book as your first starting point—specially if you’re on the fence about learning TypeScript.

The creator Basarat Ali Syed is a developer out of Australia who put this resource online for anyone who wants to move beyond JavaScript. It comes in downloadable PDF, ePub, and Mobi filetypes plus the option to read online in your browser.

The lessons are clear and should help everyone catch up on their TypeScript basics. Plus for the price of free you really can’t complain.


9. Pro AngularJS

When it comes to detailed guides on frontend development you can’t get much better than Pro AngularJS by Adam Freeman. It’s almost 700 pages long and covers both AngularJS + TypeScript in a series of live examples.

The early chapters sprinkle more advanced topics into the code but don’t explain them until later. This can be frustrating for new developers. But if you’re willing to go through the entire book you’ll come out with advanced knowledge of AngularJS, both syntactically and pragmatically in real-world situations.

However the introductory chapters do move very slow which makes this a great beginner’s book. You start from ground 0 with HTML/CSS and JavaScript fundamentals, eventually moving into TS and AngularJS code.

Since TypeScript now comes bundled with AngularJS many developers will be clamoring to learn both at the same time. Pro AngularJS is a nice resource to nail both with one stone. But if you just want to pickup Angular check out our resource guide for the best stuff to teach yourself Angular 2.


10. TypeScript Design Patterns

This final resource is the newest in the entire list. First released in August 2016, TypeScript Design Patterns teaches how to implement TypeScript code so that it’s readable & reuseable.

You’ll go far beyond the basic syntax rules by covering best practices for any type of web application. When developing a new project you’ll always want to consider how it would scale and how to structure the codebase. As you encounter bugs and look to solve them you can rely on design patterns to aide the process. Each pattern in this book comes with a live example so you can follow along and practice applying them to real situations.

Generally speaking this book is for intermediate-to-advanced TypeScript developers who already know how it works, but want to improve their workflow. It’s one of the best advanced TS books on the market and it’s a must-read if you wanna take TypeScript to the next level.

While this post focuses on a handful of useful TypeScript books, not all of them will be useful to you. It’s important to gauge your skill level and sort through the books that might offer you the most value.

If you’re still on the fence about even learning TypeScript check out this Stack Overflow post for more opinions. ES6 is the future of JavaScript and learning TypeScript will make the transition that much easier. If you’re looking for even more web dev book coverage be sure to browse through our latest reviews of dev & programming books.

Author: Alex Turner

Alex is a fullstack developer with years of experience working in digital agencies and as a freelancer. He writes about educational resources and tools for programmers building the future of the web.