It’s diffcult to narrow down the most influential books & resources. While I must credit a ton of random answers and tutorials on the internet, I didn’t really understand the fundamentals until diving into these resources.

Not ranked in any particular order, these are my favorites:


Laracasts is one of my absolute favorite learning series. It has a great collection of free & paid material. It’s not only focused on the PHP Framework Laravel, but includes server management, Javascript essentials and more.

Jeffery Way is really the best teacher out there. He keeps the videos short and easy to follow. It’s a fantastic resource if you’ve decided to take the Laravel path, which I highly recommend if you’re a beginner and have interest in Web Application development.

Learning PHP Design Patterns

It may seem like an oxymoron that PHP & design patterns are in the same book title. However, these design patterns are universal across all object oriented languages. If you’re already on the PHP path, and you’re interested in breaking apart complex problems - this book is most certainly for you.

Don’t be discouraged if you have to reread chapters over and over again. Trust me, I studied this book for months before I could actually follow the most complex examples. It’s challenging, but once you understant these concepts you’ll be able to dissect complex problems into smaller pieces.

I highly recommend this book if you’re already fluent in PHP, but if you’re coming from another language consider a patterns book in that instead.

Learn Enough Rails to be Dangerous

Rails is great because it totally embodies the “Just in Time Learning” style. You can pick up the basics pretty quickly, and learn the other areas of the framework when necessary.

This series will teach you the absolute basics needed to get started. From this point you’ll be able to create web applications. This is the first step towards a backend or full stack career.

Eloquent Javascript

There are lots and lots of Javascript books out there, but most dive right into specific frameworks or libraries. Eloquent Javascript is different, it focuses on the language and it does so in a succinct and easy to understand way.

If you’ve played with some React/jQuery but you want to actually understand the underlying patterns and syntax of Javascript - this book is for you.

I used Javascript as a second class language for years until I read this book. It’s an eye opening experience that changed my view on how functions worked and could be used.

If you’re coming from an object-oriented background and you’re interested in functional programming, you might want to take a look at this first too. There’s a few functional concepts in this book that carries over.

This is my favorite Javascript book by far. From this book you can move between all of the old, current and future Javascript libraries with much more ease.