Review: AngularJS: Up and Running

Published Oct 31, 2014 (10 years ago)
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AngularJS is a new and popular Javascript framework. They make the bold claim on their website that "AngularJS is what HTML would have been, had it been designed for building web-apps.” I’ve been wanting to get my feet wet with AngularJS, especially with some upcoming projects that might use it. Fortunately I stumbled across "AngularJS: Up and Running" by Brad Green and Shyam Seshadri (as well as a pet project and was able to get coding!

Given that AngularJS provides a different approach to a lot of common MVC frameworks out there, this book isn’t for the completely new developer to Javascript frameworks. Ideally you run an AngularJS application without the typical jQuery / boostrap libraries that are common to modern web applications, so this new approach to referencing DOM elements might be confusing. I’d recommend you have an intermediate (or greater) knowledge of Javascript and the HTML DOM to really take advantage of this book.

That said, this book is great at starting with the fundamentals and gradually moving you through more advanced concepts within the AngularJS framework. The book starts with your typical “Hello World” app (Angular Style) and then moves out from there to binding, switches, services, and even setting up directives. There is a fully functional working example in each chapter, which makes it possible to code in the examples yourself as you read and see how they work in action. I’m a “hands on” type learner, so taking these examples and tweaking them for my own customization allowed me to learn the best.

Since AngularJS was designed with unit testing in mind, the book spends a full chapter, as well as a few sections within chapters on how unit testing works and how to setup your tests. I’ve always known about unit testing and wanted to actually start writing code with tests in it, so this was a big help. There is a full chapter dedicated to end to end testing as well, which was a new concept to me that I also found helpful.

The best part, and something I haven’t seen in a lot of books, was the final chapter dedicated to best practices. There are so many times as a coder when you’re learning through “bad” examples because they help you understand the concepts, but aren’t the way you’d write the code in a live environment. The problem is that you’re stuck writing bad code or searching for what the proper way to code is. This book provides you with solid best practices, as well as a list of tools and code structure guidelines, to make sure you’re coding correctly from the start.

If you’re wanting to learn AngularJS, I highly recommend "AngularJS: Up and Running" by Brad Green and Shyam Seshadri. It will give you all the fundamentals you need to be coding with Angular in no time. You can find the book through O’Reilly books at