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Each chapter includes practice problems, full examples, and mental models of the development workflow. Ideal for a college-level course, this book helps you get started with web app development by providing you with a solid grounding in the process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Outstanding introduction for non-web app developers
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is already experienced in something other than web app development and wishes to quickly introduce him or herself to the field. In my opinion, the primary benefit from the book is the emphasis on the various layers (e.g. client side, web server, database repositories, communications between the layers, etc.) that are involved within web app development. This begins to frame the range of considerations and responsibilities that are expected within this type of development. This delineation can help focus one's efforts when beginning to focus their subsequent studies. This is why I think that the complaint by another review that "[t]he book is targeted at someone who has basic programming skills who wants to learn to build a basic web app" is unfair and actually what makes this book excellent.
Besides the broad understanding that this book provides, the secondary benefit that the books provides is its description of a whole range of software tools that are useful at the various infrastructure levels (including the use virtual machines) which are relevant to many developers (admittedly not all developers) as of 2014. Naturally the tools will change with time, but the main ideas and techniques that are introduced are likely, in my opinion, to survive for years to come.
As to whether this book is appropriate for brand new developers is a tough call. For a new developer, it will be challenging to consider the big picture that is introduced in this book, and the various tools that are demonstrated to provide an end-to-end demonstration web app. That is a daunting task. Fortunately, the book is loaded with references for further learning, including suggestions about pre-requisites and where they can be found for free.
I currently know of no better single book on web app development that teaches so much so quickly. If your style of learning is to start off with breadth and later go for depth then this is an outstanding place to start.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
An excellent start for a would-be front end developer
By P. Mumford
One thing Purewal does not cover is any front end framework, such as Backbone, Angular, React, etc. I think after finishing this, you would be ready to move on to one of those choices. For my own work, I started using Angular shortly after finishing this book.
I would give this 5 stars but the book is unfortunately too short. Is an awesome start, but there is a lot more ground to be covered. Maybe there will be a sequel. I'm hoping.
 I've upped my rating from four to five stars. Looking over the book again, I think this book succeeds perfectly in its objective: to launch beginners into the world of application development. And although its short, Purewal does cover all the key topics, and provides links for further study. I'm benefitting from a second working of the book now.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Great for beginners and intermediates
The book outlines a college level course, so it has to assume some students are more beginner than others, but it does a great job of providing valuable exercises for all levels. The instruction is clear and thorough, and the examples at the end of each chapter are great for practice. I feel that I have an invaluable study tool in this book.
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