- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449320945
- ISBN-13: 978-1449320942
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,376,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
That being said Eric really knows his stuff and this book is full of great insights that will make you a better developer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Don't get me wrong, this is worthwhile material, presented clearly with realistic code. But the title implies something more and, once that language feature groundwork was established, I felt the book focused too narrowly on individual technologies such as Node.js and designing Restful APIs rather than illustrating large scale design principles as a problem-solving resource.
If you're moving from a lower-level developer role to a tech lead/architect role it's certainly worth your time to know what's presented here. But don't expect it to be definitive or all-encompassing - there's much more to learn.
The first part describes quite a few advanced language techniques, including some I've never seen written up in any other book. The downside is the techniques are presented largely without evaluation (at least "comprehensible" evaluation) and without example uses. The second part briefly describes and then evaluates each of several new technologies, ranging from very commonly described ones (node.js, templates, JSON, fat clients, etc.) to ones you may have never heard of before (Siren, HATEOAS, new API Media mime-types, etc.). The downside is the descriptions are so brief it can be difficult to figure out which contexts each technology fits into.
Both book parts are substantial; don't be fooled by the moderate page count. There are no redundancies or segues; there aren't even hardly any comments in the example code snippets. I find most books too wordy and generally applaud a more concise style, but I see here that if carried too far conciseness turns into incomprehensibility. Too often I felt like I was slogging through a math textbook for an advanced class I wasn't even taking, and worse a book in which the copious equations hadn't been proofread very well. Too often I couldn't determine whether my puzzling how to fit together the comments in the text with the example code snippet was because I was insufficiently familiar with some concept, or a victim of another writing error.
There are lots and lots of snippets of example code; I'd say the majority of the pages include at least one code snippet. Despite their volume though I found they added little or nothing because they were so hard to parse for meaning. There are virtually no comments in the snippets. There's never even an alternate font or boldfaced line or lines. As a result I often couldn't even tell which part I should be looking at. Sometimes a snippet is complete and standalone; sometimes it assumes (without comment or pointer) the environment from a previous snippet; and sometimes it references variables and functions that as far as I could see were never defined anywhere. Once in a while each snippet reprised the previous one except with a few more lines; most of the time though each snippet is de-novo. Most of the time the whole snippet is relevant to the immediately surrounding text; but once in a while the snippet also includes an unusual construct illustrating a different concept that was covered several pages (or even chapters) earlier.
For the right people, this book will be great, and its extreme conciseness will be a plus; for everyone else though this book will be at least irrelevant and maybe even an active downer. The message I personally came away with was "you're not good enough, why are you trying?". I wish I could say that if folks who are just a little under-prepared reread enough times and worked hard enough they'd eventually "get it", but I suspect the book is so focussed on its target audience that others can't use it to "catch up" no matter what. Targeting such a tiny audience and making everyone else "feel stupid" seems to me an odd strategy for selling lots of books :-)
Eric has a handful of strong opinions which I've variously held and abandoned (and grudgingly re-adopted) over time. Most useful to me, then, are examples demonstrating fundamental concepts, and Eric provides plenty of those.
Many of the latest tools, code practices and accompanying jargon are succinctly explained, with short code snippets to demonstrate the basics.