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Technical Books read in 2019

GitHub for Dummies by Sarah Guthals & Phil Haack

Hands down the most enjoyable technical book I read this year. I understand some developers turn their noses up at the thought of reading a Dummies book. However once I saw that Phil Haack had with Sarah Guthals written a book about GitHub I knew it was a book I wanted to read.

The book is divided into seven parts and each part contains several chapters devoted to a specific GitHub topic. As you would expect from an introductory book it assumes no prior knowledge and begins with signing up to GitHub. Subsequent chapters gently introduce topics such as repositories, pull requests and reviews. It also discusses etiquette and expectations when contributing to open source software. The final part of the books devotes several chapters on tips on how to level up on GitHub, improving your GitHub workflow and becoming an effective community member.

I learnt a lot from this book and it is one I can easily recommend.

Pro Angular 6 by Adam Freeman

When this book arrived I was reminded of technical books from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The page count is 770 which means this book is a beast and all that is missing is a CD Rom at the back. Like a desktop computer once it’s on your desk that’s where it will stay. It’s weight means it is not comfortable to carry and read on a daily commute.

The book is divided into three parts and with a total of 29 chapters. Part I covers an overview of Angular; building your first Angular application before switching to primers on HTML, CSS, JavaScript & Typescript. Part II looks at Angular in detail and covers the fundamental building blocks of an Angular application. Finally Part III looks at advanced features such as using Reactive extensions, making asynchronous HTTP requests, routing and finishing with Unit Testing.

I have been learning Angular for the last 12 months via Maximilian Schwarzmüller’s Udemy course and I needed a reference book to dip into when experimenting or working through a problem because I have found it quicker to use a book to look something up rather than trying to find the relevant part in a video course. As a result I have about read 10% of this book but what I have read had been well written, clear and easy to understand. With the benefit of hindsight I think I would have got more value if I had bought an ebook version.

Programming TypeScript by Boris Cherny

The page count for this book is approximately 300 pages and is divided into 13 chapters. It begins with an overview of Typescript before moving on to language fundamentals covering topics on types, classes, interfaces, handling errors and so on. There are also chapters devoted to asynchronous programming and front and back end frameworks.

The book is well written in a friendly style that gently mocks parts of the industry such as the longevity of JavaScript frameworks and sets the tone of the book for a more enjoyable experience when usually a dry and authoritarian approach is taken. The book is the all the better for this.

Similar to my Angular training I did not buy this book to learn TypeScript from scratch but to support the on-line courses I am working through and for when I need to look something up when working on my own projects.

Summary

I read three technical books this year which is down from seven in 2018. This reduction is not a sign that I have lost interest in technical books but rather I have spent more time this year using on-line courses.

I love reading (good) technical books and they remain a screaming bargain and reading even one a year will make you stand apart from your peers and make you a better developer.

Categories: Books

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