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Get Programming with JavaScript Paperback – 28 Jul 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; Pap/Psc edition (28 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617293105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617293108
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

John Larsen is a mathematics and computing teacher with an interest in educational research. He has an MA in Mathematics and an MSc in Information Technology.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Very helpful book, would highly advise to buy, whether you are just getting into programming or already have some knowledge of it. Learning to program using javascrip is easy with this book as has good visual aspects and clear instructions to help you out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers solid fundamentals of the JavaScript language 15 Jan. 2017
By Erol Esen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Not just because JavaScript is de facto programming language of the client-side of Internet, but also because it is a beautiful language to learn and program in. It has most concepts of object oriented programming, as well as functional programming. It is powerful and while it looks very similar to many other languages, it is different, and its fundamentals ought to be learned carefully.

I added a video to this review of how I 'used' the book. It's not just reading, it's important to actually do the programming. To that end, I used Microsoft's new code editing application called Visual Studio Code, which is free, and for an HTTP server, Apache. I also used a unit test platform for JavaScript called QUnit to test out some of the code snippets presented in this book. In the beginning of the video, I wrote the example in the book for "Using functions to build objects". I run the test cases, which also include three other examples. One of them with arrays, another with jQuery, and a very simple test case that tests if 1 equals 1. Seeing green in QUnit is fun :)

Towards the end of the video I changed the value comparison for array index--instead of 2, I used 1--JavaScript indexing starts at zero. The test fails, I show that in the video, as well. I think unit testing is a fun way to study a programming book, such as this one. The examples are well thought out and useful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting approach to learning JavaScript programming. 25 Oct. 2016
By M. L Strickland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a good textbook for learning JavaScript as well as general programming principles. The description says it is intended for those with no programming experience but my opinion is that the user should either have some programming experience or else have a good teacher or mentor to guide the student. In other words, it would not be appropriate for self study by a true beginner. Otherwise, I think it is very appropriate for beginners through intermediate level programmers who are new to JavaScript.

The book takes an interesting approach in that it teaches by guiding the student through the development of a text based computer game. In general, I believe that it is an excellent approach to learn any subject by having a real project to complete.

Having the source code available to download is a two-edged sword in my opinion. It makes it way too easy to skip the hard work of debugging your own code. This is the most valuable part of learning to code. Ideally, the student using this book should enter all the code themselves and get it working before referring to the source code. In real world programming, troubleshooting and debugging your code takes up most of the development time, even for experienced programmers. If the troubleshooting and debugging step is skipped, the student will have a huge hole in their knowledge of any programming language.

The extra exercises in each chapter shoukd also not be skipped. They doma great job of rounding out the student's knowledge of each topic. They provide a lot of extra value in boosting the programmer's knowledge.

To summarize, this is a very good guide to learning JavaScript if it is used properly. My advice would be to carefully go through each chapter and hand enter all the code and get it working before looking at the source code and before moving on. Also, be sure to work through all the exercises in each chapter because they will greatly improve your skill. It would also be best to have a good teacher to work with you and to advise you. This will speed up your progress and will also keep you from developing bad habits.

I like this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book for a decent introduction to the magical JavaScript world 10 Oct. 2016
By S. W. Y. Zegveld - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed mr. Larsen's writing style. He introduces you in a wonderful way to the magic world of JavaScript. I didn't know JavaScript before I read this book and didn't know it had so much in common with PHP, and on the other hand there are some very important differences that you need to watch out for!
This book takes you from the very start of programming to becoming a programmer in JavaScript while you create your own adventure game. I personally don't like adventure games because I am quite get bored, but the idea of working towards an end goal which shows where you are concerning your knowledge of JavaScript is very nice. The book is not a deep dive into JavaScript, if you are looking for a book that really goes a bit deeper into JavaScript programming I would recommend you the book 'Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja' which I started reading after finishing this one.
The programming examples used in the book are good, but I enjoyed the 'extra' questions the most as they really made you think a bit harder. You can code online using the JS Bin website (also for code sharing) so you don't need to install a programming environment. When you have a browser with internet access you are ready to go!
I haven't read many Manning books yet, but I found the quality of the book really good compared to some other companies that sell programming books. The Manning books might be a bit more expensive but are definitely worth the money.
In short I think this book is a great book for those learning the JavaScript programming language without previous programming knowledge and it certainly does what it promises and your programming journey will definitely not be the end after you read this book, it will give you the motivation to continue your journey in becoming a great JavaScript programmer.
3.0 out of 5 stars An introductory JavaScript book that is actually readable by a beginner. 23 Feb. 2017
By sean kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In my opinion the vast majority of books on Javascript can best be described as awful. This title is better than most but still has some shortcomings. Most specifically I'm at a loss to understand why console is used? Its not used to actually write Javascript so why on earth use it to teach? Secondly this book commits a sin that I have found again and again and really annoys the hell out of me. Lets show you how to do something one way and they say its not good enough and do it another way. Why not simply cut to the chase and do it the right way from the get go? The problem with this approach is it confuses the hell out of the student who takes on board one way of doing something only to have it torn down and have to start afresh. The official term is cognitive dissonance. I just think its wasting my time.

On the upside this title does show you how to actually programme in a structured way as opposed to throw terms and ideas at you out of any meaningful context like so many books do. It also breaks down ideas such as objects and functions into bite sized pieces making it easier to grasp how they work and how you can use them. Its just a shame the aforementioned factors get in the way of learning, otherwise I'd have been able to offer an unqualified thumbs up to this title.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Alternative to a Popular Text 1 Oct. 2016
By frankp93 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I suspect the mustard monochrome cover is meant to evoke the well-regarded ‘Eloquent JavaScript’ - and both books target beginners with a similar approach: first present language features and program design outside the browser context, and later wrap that knowledge inside pages and middleware components with HTML/CSS, Node, etc.

While author Larsen views ‘Get Programming with JavaScript’ as a plausible prerequisite to ‘Eloquent Java’, I’m not sure I agree. I think Larsen’s book speaks to a somewhat different audience, one that brings more initial experience to the table, along with an ‘old-school’ fondness for text-based programs, particularly games (‘Zork’ anyone?).

A single text-based game is developed for three-quarters of the book, gradually adding functionality using variables, arrays, functions, objects, interfaces, etc. as corresponding JavaScript features are presented. The overriding sense of program design is effective, in contrast to many books that focus more on syntax using a variety of shorter toy programs of little real complexity.

The Model-View-Controller architecture spans three chapters and is described quite well – in fact more effectively than some advanced books I’ve read.

While ‘Eloquent JavaScript’ uses the JavaScript console found in all major browsers from the start, ‘Get Programming’ avoids the browser dev tools context completely by using JSBin, an online web development IDE sandbox. Depending on your background you might choose to stick with the console. If you’ve done any Java programming using Eclipse (or any Visual Studio programming) you’ll find JSBin fairly intuitive to navigate.

If you’re interested in front end clients your next step will be HTML5/CSS/JQuery. If middleware is your goal, server-side frameworks including the popular Node and Angular await you.

The tone and text itself of ‘Get Programming with JavaScript’ assume the reader is comfortable with basic computing concepts, how high-level languages function, and basic application behavior including input and output. The book may be targeted to programming beginners but it’s clearly not targeted to computing beginners.

The Manning page layout is dense and busy with multiple fonts and varying shades of text – very much like countless ‘pro-level’ programming books. In contrast, I find No Starch’s ‘Eloquent JavaScript’ is much easier on the eyes to work with. However, if you intend to study further and hope to plow (or slog) through more advanced books, getting exposed to the ‘literature’ early can’t hurt.

For readers attracted to programming as a way to explore graphics (i.e. windows, shapes, animations, etc.) ‘Get Programming with JavaScript’ may not be the best choice. But if your goal is a well-rounded knowledge of JavaScript with the ability to implement ‘early-intermediate’-level designs, the book does a good job.

Finally a caveat regarding my own bias: I come from a C++/Java background and I ‘m ambivalent about the notion of JavaScript as a first language for beginners. It’s not truly object-oriented and I believe it takes experience with an OO language to fully appreciate JavaScript’s compromises and limitations - including those of the many frameworks built on top of it (some of which appear to function as ‘training harnesses’ for people not used to writing OO code).

While the language is undeniably popular throughout the web dev stack, I’ve seen (and cleaned up) enough poorly-designed, buggy, slow-running messes to conclude that JavaScript’s ‘high-level efficiency’ and ‘intuitive syntax’ are best wielded by those who understand the trade-offs involved.
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