Magento is a famous open source, PHP based e-commerce web application. It was started when the creators of Magento were not very impressed with what the already existing e-commerce platforms had to offer and Magento is what they made! Magento is coded in PHP using the Zend Framework and uses MySQL as the database component.
Some developers are of the opinion that Magento has a bad development cycle and not worth, but I would say Magento is one of the best open-source software packages I have ever seen or dealt with. This article is for the beginners and talks about 4 important resources e-books which you must go through before you start developing a theme for Magento.
Magento's One Page Getting Started With Theme Development
This is a very short guide for developing a Magento Theme and takes you from the start to the end of the intricacies that are involved in developing a Magento Theme and is a must read for any developer who is starting to build his / her first Magento theme. After reading it you will have a brief overview of the entire process.
Designer's Guide to Magento
The Designer's Guide to Magento builds on the knowledge that you have acquired in the above tutorial and helps you with the structural workings of Magento. It demonstrates various methods of designing for Magento. It teaches how to create a theme of your own with Magento. And since this guide comes directly from the makers of Magento, we are sure you will be highly benefited by this guide.
Design Guide by Inchoo.net
Inchoo.net is one of the leading consulting firms for Magento e-commerce and have real awesome Magento developers on their team. This guide to Magento theme development has been authored by some of the developers at Inchoo.net and explain the theme development process in Magento in a very lucid way.
Basic Magento Design Terminologies
This guide is your handy reference to all Magento terminologies and jargons. Should you get stuck at any point while developing a Magento Theme and are not able to understand some Magento specific lingo / terms, just refer to this quick guide.