Book Review: Full Stack Javascript by Azat Mardan

I got a book few months ago named “Full Stack JavaScript” by Azat Mardan, that I have read just now.  I also got a request for writing review of it. So here I want to share non-biased review which should be information for you guys to decide whether to read or not read this book.

 

Summary:

Full Stack JavaScript is a book not about JavaScript as a language. If you are interested in JavaScript as a language, then either read https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS or my previous article Good Resources For Learning Javascript . It is about how to use JavaScript when your role is Full Stack JavaScript developer. It don’t say it in book but this is what I got from it. It go through different tools and frameworks you need to know or approach that you should use. It give introduction to numerous things. Not only tools but also cloud platforms which you can use to deploy your app. It also discuss agile methodologies.

Content of Book:

In first chapter, Azat discusses Agile methodologies and frontend and backend concepts and flow and introduces NodeJS and MongoDB as well.

In second chapter, you can learn that how to setup your environment. Your local environment, setup Git for deployment, Windows Azure and Heroku deployment related stuff setup, your SSH Keys generation and MongoDB installation and setup.

Third Chapter name is JQuery and Parse.com but it have lot of different things in it. Introduction to cross domain, AJAX and JSON. Then he introduced lot of stuff that is typically useful for frontend developers: JQuery functions, Twitter Bootstrap, LESS and then finally an example using Twitter API and JQuery. In same chapter, Parse.com is used for an example app and then deployment on Windows Azure and Heroku. So in short he tried to cover all those different things implementation in one chapter.

Fourth chapter is mostly related to Backbone.js and its loading using AMD and require.js etc. Good thing about this chapter was that writer tried to cover only one thing in this whole chapter. Then in Chapter 5, it was related to usage of Backbone JS in example he started for parse.com. Chapter 4 and 5 were better than previous chapters but unfortunately my intention wasn’t to learn backbone.js as I was more interested in Nodejs and MongoDB.

Chapter 6 and 7 were interesting for me as Chapter 6 is completely on Node JS and and Chapter 7 is completely on MongoDB.

In chapter 6, Azat explained NodeJS core modules and NPM and deployment on different could platforms. It was good to know NodeJS modules infromation but the key thing that he missed here was explainging Event Loop and flows. However, he showed usage with example, and introduced unit test for example code. Then instead of discussing how to test or what to test, he just provided a list of test frameworks.

Other interesting chapter is chaper 7 which is all about MongoDB. He told installation, configuration and usage of MongoDB.

Then in Chpater 8, writer just put everything together including examples of UI and API and deployment.

Pros and Cons and Opinion:

It is worth mentioning that everything discussed above in book is in no more that 208 pages. So it is good that you can get overview of all that stuff in 208 pages and it is bad because how much detail of so many things can be included in 208 pages? So it is good if you want to get overview of all that stuff in less time and in one book, but it is bad if you want to get detail of any of these things.

This book is more a list of articles introducing lot of different things and providing list of rest of stuff.

Writing Style:

Overall writing style of Azat Mardan is very good and code is well explained, however the way he structured chapters that is multiple things in one chapter, and one thing spanning over multiple chapters was little bit annoying.

So is this useful book for you?

It depends on who you are and what you want from this book. It is very good book for people who have JS language knowledge and aiming to be Full stack developer and want to immediately start learning different things Full Stack developer should know. But if you are like me, who already know about these things but want to get deeper look and wants to do development while taking occasionally opinion of writer, then it is not for you. Because this book gives overview of lot of stuff but does not get into depth of even one thing.

This is just my opinion after reading book, if you think anything different then feel free to discuss in comments below.

In case if you want to buy this book then you can buy it here: Full Stack JavaScript: Learn Backbone.js, Node.js and MongoDB

Good resources for learning Javascript

JavaScript is a widely used, amazing and misunderstood language by many developers. Its different concepts make it difficult for programmers coming from other languages. Here I am not going to explain different concepts but telling different resources learn JS (JavaScript).

Knowing basics of JS in browser (For Beginners):

If you are just a starter, who know some other language and want to quickly go through basics of Javascript, then quickest and basic way to do is to go through JS tutorials on W3Schools: http://www.w3schools.com/js/

Understanding JS Beyond Basics:

Although W3Schools is good for beginning JS, however if you want to understand beyond basics, then there are couple of good books written on JavasScript. So here are two books I recommend for Learning Javascript:

Eloquent JavaScript:

Eloquent JavaScript is very recommended book for almost every one trying to learn JavaScript as a language not just a way to do some basic things in browser (W3Schools is already there for that purpose). It is very well written and suitable for most of people. Although it is easy to start with but it is not just basic, it also contains significant detail. This book is not just about language only but also covers different concepts for new comers. So even if you are new to programming, this book is awesome choice. Get it from Amazon.

If you are not intending to buy Paperback and interested in free online reading or PDF edition then get that from here: http://eloquentjavascript.net/

Professional JavaScript for Web Developers:

This was the book from where I started understanding JavaScript. It is not just focused only on JavaScript as a language but also other things that you should know as a web developer. Also similar to Eloquent JavaScript, this book is easy to follow for beginners as well. Get it from Amazon.

Although I found these 2 books amazing for people who have basic JS knowledge but want to understand more, but there are many people who prefer videos instead of books, so in that case you can probably find something helpful on https://frontendmasters.com/, however for developers with basic JS knowledge who want to improve, my recommendation goes with above mentioned books.

Advanced JavaScript:

By Advanced JavaScript, I mean something that experienced developers are interested in. Due to JavaScript’s different nature, many experienced developers face trouble understanding JavaScript in depth.

JavaScript Good Parts:

When it comes to understanding Javascript in depth, then there is an awesome book “JavaScript the Good Parts” written by Douglas Crockford

This book is sort of must read, if JavaScript is something that you are going to do seriously in future. You can get it from Amazon.

If you don’t like reading books, then good news is that on Frontend masters, there are courses by Douglas Crockford named as “JavaScript the Good Parts” and “The Good Parts of JavaScript and the Web”, so you can watch them there as well, however I personally don’t think that whole book can be gathered in those video courses.

Advanced JavaScript by Kyle Simpson:

Another awesome advanced level video training course on Javascript is Advanced JavaScript by Kyle Simpson, available on pluralsight.com as well as on frontendmasters.com

Next JavaScript books in my Wishlist:

This is not where it stops, if you want to know more about which JavaScript books are next in my wishlist, then you can check them here on amazon: http://amzn.to/29GxIq3

Free JavaScript Ebooks:

If you don’t want to buy anything and only looking for online or free PDF resources, then you can get many free JavaScript ebooks here: http://jsbooks.revolunet.com/

 

Good friends don’t forget to share good resources with their friends, so share it with your friends as well.