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Software Mastery, the Fun Way

Learn to program with Head First JavaScript Programming

Ready to learn how to program? Or, perhaps you already know how to program in another language, like Ruby or PHP or Python, but need to know JavaScript? Then Head First JavaScript Programming is for you.

Head First JavaScript Programming starts with the basics (variables, types, functions, objects), but very quickly ramps up to more advanced topics. By Chapter 8, you’ll be building a web application for a game and using best practices in object oriented design. By the time you finish the book, you’ll know how to write JavaScript code to interact with the browser, understand what a closure is, and how to design a prototype chain so your objects can inherit properties.

And you’ll learn all this in a fun and engaging way. We step you through each new concept with plenty of examples, lots of visual explanations, and exercises so you can try writing code on your own as you go (the only way to learn is by doing!).

If you want to learn JavaScript the fun way, so it sticks in your brain and you don’t just forget it all the next day, try Head First JavaScript Programming.

What people are saying about Head First JavaScript Programming

“An excellent introduction to programming combined with advanced topics like object construction, inheritance, and closures allows readers to move from the basics to some of the most interesting concepts in modern computer programming.” –Peter Casey Professor, Central Oregon Community College

“This book takes you behind the scenes of JavaScript and leaves you with a deep understanding of how this remarkable programming language works.” –Chris Fuselier Engineering Consultant

“I wish I’d had Head First JavaScript Programming when I was starting out!” –Daniel Konopacki Staff Software Engineer, The Walt Disney Company

“This is the first JavaScript book that I have ever really liked.” — Craig, review

Get your copy today

You can order Head First JavaScript Programming now at or O’Reilly Media (use promo code HFJSP, valid through 2014, for 40% off the print book).

We look forward to hearing what you think! Send us email or comment below.

Eric and Elisabeth

  • Ankur Sharma

    i had been waiting for this book since a long time…reading head first books is always a fun…i had nine head first books and this will be my tenth one

    • Elisabeth Robson

      Thank you Ankur! Hope you enjoy it. Let us know how it goes.

      • Ankur Sharma

        hello elisabeth mam, eric sir, I want to read Head First Web Design but it says that one should have a prior knowledge of XHTML. I have read Head First Html and CSS, it does not cover XHTML because it is dead now. So what should I do, if I will read Web design, will I be able to understand it?

        Also, plz arrange these books in sequence, beginner to expert (web design/development) –

        1. Head First Html and CSS

        2. Head First Javascript Prigramming

        3. Head First Html 5

        4. Head First Ajax

        5. Head First jQuery

        6. Head First Php and MySql

        7. Head First Servlets and JSP

        8. Head First Web Design

        9. Head First WordPress

        10. Head First Mobile Web

        11. Any other, plz add

        plz suggest me a path from beginner to expert in web design/development. That would be a great help. Thank You.

      • Elisabeth Robson

        You’ll be totally fine if you know HTML. HTML and XHTML are similar enough for web purposes, you’ll be able to understand it fine.

        For your ordering, 1-6 are already in a good order in terms of beginner to expert. You could read 8, 9, 10 after reading 1 & 2. You should read Head First Java before Servlets & JSP, and I’d recommend Head First Design Patterns after Head First Java also.

        Hope that helps!

  • Elisabeth Robson

    There is already a Head First Java book, and our book Head First Design Patterns is written using Java.

  • Karl

    Is there a mistake on the bottom right side of the cover? Should it say learn why everything IS probably wrong instead of everything ARE wrong?

    • Elisabeth Robson

      Hi Karl,
      Good catch! I think you’re right! Hopefully they can get that fixed asap for the eBook, and for the next print run of the printBook.



  • Jesse Gibson

    Hello, what is the difference between this JavaScript book and your HTML5 Programming book? (aside from also covering HTML and CSS)
    Also, you guys are awesome.

    • erictfree

      Jesse, the new book teaches JavaScript from the ground up with a focus on the language and to some extent how it interacts with the browser. The HTML5 book teaches how to use the HTML5 APIs using JavaScript (and mostly assumes knowledge of JS).

      Thanks and hope that helps!

  • Elisabeth Robson

    Hi John,
    We are passing the taxi object to prequal. In prequal, the parameter name is car. Now, remember that a JavaScript function call is “pass by value”, which means “pass by copy”; that is, when you pass a value to a function, you get a *copy* of the value in the parameter. However! Remember that objects are *reference variables*. So you are passing a copy of the *reference* to the object. So the car variable is the same object as the taxi object because you get a copy of the reference to the object in the car variable.

    Review pages 192 and 193 again to understand “pass by value” and what that means for objects.

    Hope that helps!!


  • Hugh Williams

    I think Head First makes simple concepts look longer than they are… Is this a way of making one remember them?

    • erictfree


      I certainly don’t speak as an authority on Head First pedagogy, but Head First does try to break some topics down into a prolonged explanations, these tend to be for topics that newbies are endlessly confused by, but experts may find self evident. Also, Head First attempts to hits some concepts repeatedly and from different angles in order to increase retention.

      Take a concept that is simple to an expert, like iteration, we’ve found that may early learners are confused by this topic when given a short treatment.

      If you’re reading HFJS I recommend you stick with it a bit as the book may ramp slow but it gets deep (closures, etc.) and you may appreciate the longer treatments when you get there. 😉

      Hope this helps,


      • Hugh Williams

        Yes it does help. I just finished HTML and CSS, I’m now learning how to use Java. I was trying to decide between putting my self through another Head First book or just get shortened tips on the internet. But I think I get your point about Head First being deep.

  • Hal Alsum

    Head First has so many titles for getting started in front end development that I’m not sure where to begin – or where to go from HTML & CSS. Is there a recommended sequence for JS, jQuery, AJAX, etc.? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • erictfree

      Hi, yes Head First JavaScript is the title that follows Head First HTML & CSS. After that you probably want to assess where you want to go as a developer, web, apps, server-side, etc. and choose the appropriate book.

  • Camila Namor

    Hi! I would like to know the difference between HF Javascript and HF Javascript Programming? Is the HFJSP a newer version of the HFJS or are they intended to different audiences?

    • erictfree

      Hi, great question. HF JavaScript Programming replaces HF JavaScript. HF JavaScript Programming was written from the ground up by myself and Elisabeth Robson to better incorporate HF principles and to be a better (and more correct) learning experience for JavaScript. The book is aimed at beginning JS programmers, but covers a lot of ground and by the end you’ll be ahead of most JS programmers in terms of knowledge, hope that helps.

      • Camila Namor

        Thanks a lot for your reply! I already knew a fair amount of html5 and css3 when I started reading HF HTML & CSS and I cant believe how much I learned from it! I am about to finish it and decided I want to read HF JS programming next. As with html and css, I already know some javascript, but I believe the way you teach is going to help me a lot in things I still don’t know I don’t know!

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