Duration: about 2 weeks
Why Learn Node.js
How Not to Learn Node.js
- There are countless tutorials on Node.js, but most are not good enough resources for learning Node.js thoroughly, and it is very frustrating to discern which tutorials, if any, are best for learning Node.js properly. Most of them lack the requisite depth and structure you need to learn Node.js completely.
I read a good bit of Node.js tutorials when I learned Node.js about a year ago. I also wasted a good bit of time on some of the tutorials. Some of them were disappointing (I didn’t learn anything substantive) and frustratingly unedifying. I will neither name the unhelpful tutorials nor list the links here, but suffice to say, don’t waste your time following lots of Node.js online tutorials to learn Node.js from the ground up.
I am confident there are some excellent Node.js tutorials, but you have to weed through many mediocre tutorials to find the great ones. It is an inefficient way to learn Node.js. I did it and I am hopeful this guide will help you, so that you wouldn’t waste as much time as I did.
- Don’t go to Amazon and choose a Node.js book based on the reviews. Even though this is the customary way to decide on a book (it is how I choose my books), because Node.js is still a new platform, most of the books don’t have a large enough sample of reviews to provide you with a clear picture of the book’s usefulness and value. And collectively, the reviews are not great.
I have no idea if this book is well written or not because the formatting is so bad as to make it virtually unreadable in some places.
Obviously, the author of this review has not read the book and his review is completely about the formatting, which I have not experienced. I would give the book 5 stars because it is by far the best Node.js book I have read. But I didn’t buy it on Amazon, so I didn’t review it there.
Also note that I know neither of the authors of the two books I recommend in this article.
- Get a copy of The Node Beginner Book by Manuel Kiessling. It is a tiny book: it is really a Node.js tutorial. The book sells in a bundle with another book, Hands-on Node.js written by the aforementioned Pedro Teixeira, for $9.99. But interestingly, I didn’t find the companion book (by Pedro) to be as useful, so you don’t need it and we will not use it in our study of Node.js. But since you get both books for $9.99, take the deal and run. Get the Node Beginner Book here:
- Get a copy of:
Roadmap to Mastering Node.js
- Read chapter 1 of Professional Node.js and follow the instructions on how to setup Node.js on your development computer.
- Read the entire Node Beginner Book. As I noted above, it is a tiny book; basically a tutorial. This tutorial will give you a gentle introduction into Node.js and a very basic understanding of what Node.js development involves. It is good to start with this before you read the rest of the Professional Node.js book.
- Read chapter 2 of Professional Node.js .
- Read the CommonJS section of the article at the link below. You need not read the entire article. Here is a link to just the CommonJS section.
- Read chapter 3 to 6 of Professional Node.js .
- Read the entire Part III section (chapter 7 to 15) of Professional Node.js .
- Optional: If you have got the Smashing Node.js book I referenced earlier, read chapters 8 and 9.
- Read chapter 17 to 22 of Professional Node.js .
- And finish up by reading the last 3 chapters of Professional Node.js .
- With a complete understanding of Node.js and Backbone.js, you are ready to build any type of web application. You can go ahead and build a startup at this juncture, if you are intrepid.
But before you head off for your adventure, build the NodeApp web application at the link below; this exercise provides you with a real-world practical in Node.js/Backbone.js web application development:
- Further Learning: There are two more technologies you should learn to help consolidate your Node.js and Backbone.js skills: Handlebars.js for templating and MongoDB for database. Indeed, you have learned the simple Underscore.js template engine that comes with Backbone.js and you have learned a bit of MongoDB in step 10 above.
And you have to learn more MongoDB to build complex applications. I will have an upcoming post on MongoDB in the coming 5 to 8 days.
Best of luck and stay focused until you complete the entire course: DO NOT GIVE UP. And do not take longer than 3 weeks to complete the course.