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My Review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program.

JavaScript Quick Start

The first section of this book is what it is, a quick start guide for the novice JavaScript developer — I was fortunate enough to breeze through this chapter as I’ve been reading so many JS books lately!

Well, that's what I first thought! The first section does actually go into a little more detail and provides some commonly used methods and applications of them and I even learned a thing or two, just goes to show!

Dr. Rauschmayer quite nicely explains in simple terms the concepts and story behind ECMAScript and shows an overview of the syntax you'd need to learn as a beginner to the language and the first section of Speaking JavaScript serves as useful reference for even the seasoned JS developer.

Background

The next section states that it’s not required reading - however I’m quite keen on learning a bit more about the history of JavaScript, I believe that it leads to a more thorough understanding of why I code how I do and not just because I’ve been told or I’ve read it somewhere else.

Thus, I delved into Section Two - JavaScript in Depth with a keenness that wasn't disappointed as Axel asks and answers "Why JavaScript?" and goes on to tell the reader of the many uses and tools.

Learning about the conception of the language and it’s influences is quite enlightening, and the timeline of Historical JavaScript Milestones is a talking point also, both of which lead nicely into the next section, what we've all been waiting for…

JavaScript in Depth

Throughout the main section of this book - JavaScript in Depth - Axel gives probably the most detailed guide to JavaScript I’ve had the opportunity to read. And that's a few.

He covers everything from the syntax of the first line of JavaScript you'd write to more intricate features covering every part of the language I thought possible, and more.

I feel that in reading through the majority of this section chapter by chapter that I was actually able to take a step back and relearn some aspects of the language and also see some of the reasoning behind why the features were added by Brendan Eich in the beginning along with a few deprecated features and the rationale behind such decisions.

This section of more of a reference guide that I’ll be dipping back into when needed in the near future, as well as using it to explain features to the other developers in the workplace when I get questioned on the usage (and usefulness) of JavaScript.

Tips, Tools and Libraries

I’ve been a bit of a nerd recently and been looking up and reading quite a few articles on JS coding standards, intending on writing a document for work and my personal projects with other developers, so as I got to the final chapter in Speaking JavaScript I was glad to have another skimming session with a few helpful tips to add to my list.

I tend to skip the formatting advice as I find that on different projects other developers' standards vary quite a lot (spaces vs tabs, anyone?) and I tend to adapt quite quickly to others' formatting standards, but the rest of this chapter covers everything I could've wanted for reference, reiterating a lot of practises that I already know and have been looking into.

After the useful sections on formatting and debugging tools I picked up a couple of tips on documentation that I’ll be working into a project ASAP and I read through the exhaustive list of resources, filling my Pocket with around 20 To Read links!

Tips, Tools and Libraries is a great read for aspiring developers looking to improve their standards so it comes highly recommended by me!


TL;DR

In Speaking JavaScript Dr Axel Rauschmayer writes a clear guide for anybody wanting to read about the conception and usage of JavaScript in the past, present and future.

He gives just the right amount of information at first to keep any novice coder's attention whilst also serving as a complete, in depth reference catering for even the most advanced JavaScript programmer.

The book is full of resources enabling developers to get the most out of the language and delve further into it.

I’ll definitely be recommending it to a couple of the guys at work who're just starting to get into JavaScript and want to learn more than just a few basics.