25 March 2019

Book Review: The JavaScript Handbook by Flavio Copes

If you're a competent programmer but have been away from JavaScript for some time and want an extremely brief overview of the updates to JavaScript, in bite size form, then this book (The JavaScript Handbook) is for you.

Flavio goes over all the new features in JavaScript from ES6 to ES2018. Listing out each feature or change and giving an extremely brief description of it.

This book reads like a collection of very short blog posts though. And would benefit from more editing, both on a sentence level and on an overall topic cohesiveness level. That's a small nitpick in what is overwise a good set of writing.

There's definitely two major parts to the book. First part is extremely brief in describing the changes in each version of ECMAscript.

Second part basically goes over all the changes, again, but this time in more detail. Not a lot more, but sufficient for a competent programmer to know enough.

E.g. if you don't know that much about async and promises on a conceptual level, this book isn't going to teach you enough to really use those features productively.

Or if you don't really know the problems with the "this" keyword in JavaScript, the book's description of it in relation to how it works and how it's changed with arrow functions isn't the most enlightening. Some sentences on it, superficially without a deeper understanding of how programming languages work, are downright contradictory sounding.

All in all though, I went through it cover to cover, and the book does a good job for reviewing changes to JavaScript for the competent programmer.

For next to free (i.e. email signup), it's hard to beat.

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