Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: Professional Node.js Building JavaScript-Based Scalable Software

As a result of the recent explosion of JavaScript's popularity, partially led by Node.js, I decided to spend some time updating my JavaScript skills. I started reading a lot of articles and posts and then came across a recommended approach to learning Node on JavascriptIsSexy.com and decided to give it try.

The book is broken up into 6 parts(listed below), with a total of 25 chapters covering 350 pages, written by Pedro Teixeira.

  1. Introduction and Setup
  2. Node Core API basics
  3. Files, Processes, Streams and Networking
  4. Building and Debugging Modules and Applications
  5. Build Web Applications
  6. Connecting to Databases
The book is not an introduction to JavaScript, nor does it spend the first couple chapters attempting to ramp up readers on the JavaScript language, which I appreciated.  Readers should already have some basic JavaScript knowledge before reading this book.

  • Well written and easy to follow along with the code examples
  • The chapters covered the material without getting too long.  Easy enough to spend about 1/2 hour reading a chapter and working through the code examples for the chapter
  • The book got me excited about the possibilities available using Node.js and started me down a new path to help build my "full stack developer" skills.
  • The code examples were good, but I think it would help early in the book to point out where to find the Node API documentation, otherwise the reader is sometimes left wondering, "How did they know what methods are available, what to call and what to pass to that API?"
  • For all the positive impact NPM has had on Node.js, the coverage of NPM in the book seems a bit light, although that could just be lack of Node knowledge showing!
I was very happy with the book and would recommend it for anyone with some basic JavaScript skills looking to learn about Node.js.

I usually stick to Manning or O'Reilly books but when I started my quest for Node knowledge, neither of those publishers had books covering Node.  This has since changed and I may try one of those out as well.  

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