Book Review: Node.js in Action 2nd ed.

Node.js in Action 2nd ed.


Mike Cantelon, Alex Young, Marc Harter, T.J. Holowaychuk, Nathan Rajlich

My Rating

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"Perfect intro to node.js for web development"

Just as I was putting the memories of another joyous Christmas behind me, I was unexpectedly given a surprise present - a legacy node.js app. Please put your sarcasm detectors in flight-safe mode.

So I've got this node.js app, and we've decided as a team that node.js is still the best choice going forward. Suddenly I need to fill a node.js shaped hole in my brain. I wanted an upto-date, introductory book with broad coverage aimed at experienced programmers. This book seemed to be the best match by a mile. It was 1 month away from release, but the previous version had exceptional reviews, so I took a chance on the early access edition.

After working through all the chapters, I can honestly say, that turned out to be a great decision. It has been the perfect book for my needs, and it is a well-written, well thought out book with clear instructions and great examples.

If you are coming from other languages and want your first taster of node.js, I highly recommend you purchase Node.js in Action 2nd Edition. Here are some of my highlights that will hopefully persuade you...

Focus on Express and Other Core Libraries

A lot of coverage is devoted to Express and Connect, libraries built on by many frameworks in the node eco-system. This gave me a strong flavour of what to expect in the node world.

Good Coverage of NPM

It seems the Node Package Manager (NPM) does more than many other package managers. It can be used for starting applications, running scripts, etc. And it seems most node.js devs use it this way. Therefore, I found it highly beneficial to get a good understanding of NPM, enabling me to pick up a node.js codebase and see how it all hangs together.

Intro to ES6

I've not really kept upto date with the latest JavaScript language enhancements, so I thoroughly appreciated the sections of this book focused on the new syntax like lambdas, immutable variables, and classes. JavaScript seems a lot less worse than it used to be.

Broad Look at the Eco-system

A lot of this book shows the reader around different areas of the node eco-system. I particularly enjoyed the chapter that reviewed a tonne of different web frameworks. Very useful.

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