July 14

Building an Application with CoffeeScript Review

coffeescript course image

The intro of the video course states “familiarize yourself with CoffeeScript” and I did (course link http://bit.ly/1ix4XXb)  The other list items of learning in the description are also fairly accurate.  The “cake” built tool was demonstrated, using jQuery with coffeescript was demonstrated, built a simple framework was also demonstrated.  The inaccurate part of the description is the “Who is this video course for” which states “if you’re a beginner Javascript developer… this course is for you” …NOT!  Realistically it should be written as “if you’re a beginner coffeescript developer this course is for you”.  The usage of MVC concepts was great but it’s helpful if you’re already familiar with MVC.

After going through the course, I realized it is a good overview of coffeescript and how useful it could be, even though it’s not what I would call a “walkthrough” course.  It’s more of a class lecture where the professor describes the things you can do with coffeescript with a few examples then you get homework and have to figure it out on your own.

I was really excited at the beginning (section 1) watching the author use http://js2coffee.org to see the instant conversion of javascript.  It’s really fantastic how coffeescript applies good coding methods to develop your code.  This is also the part the author referred to the coffeescript’s documentation which is fine, but an actual demo would have been better.  I found the command line “cake” easy to understand but the author just types “cake -c filename” to show you the compiling but not telling you the “-c” option which I had look for in the documentation myself.

The template files are included so that’s helpful, but the coding speed in the video is too fast so don’t try to code along.  You will just have to open the corresponding chapter files when changing chapters.  The added benefit is some resources introduced in the video like the website where you can find any javascript library and a javascript library for generating PDF files.

To summarize this would have been an excellent course if it were double in length, walking you through the coding process, but instead it seems like a professor doing a typical lecture and expecting you to figure out the homework on your own. Get the course here!

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August 27

Javascript Fluent Confrence 2013 Review

Javascript Fluent Conference

Overall this video collection of Fluent Conference is a great value with a few useless presentations sprinkled in. The good thing is that you can skip the videos that seem to be useless and this mainly applies to the sessions. If you were to be at the conference, then you would have lost time attending them. Before I mention ones that you should avoid, I will mention the noteworthy presentations. This is mostly the tutorials. It took me a few weeks, but I ended watching all the videos.

Here’s my breakdown by sections:
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July 10

Web Server Operations Review

web operations

This is a review of the Web Operations Fundamentals video on O’Reilly.

SUMMARY
I was interested to watch this video to learn the scope of web operations and compare that with my current knowledge. Overall it is a good introduction to how the internet communicates from browser to server along with network communication via command line. The video and audio quality are excellent. It starts off with non-technical terms and descriptions of operations therefore a wide audience can understand it. However, the presentation gets technical quickly so that it assumes the viewer has general knowledge of networking. Also the MySQL section seems out of scope and should be for database administrators.

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June 15

Javascript Enlightenment Review

javascript enlightenment

This book is a good read for understanding javascript coding syntax, prototyping, scope, and closure.   Although brief and repetitive after Chapter 8, it clarifies several aspects of the language.  If you’re an intermediate to advance javascript developer, this book many not be useful to you.  The most important thing is javascript’s flexibility.  You only use primitives and objects; javascript uses wrappers automatically when needed.  The other parts are comparing, contrasting methods, instantiation, closure, scope, hoisting.  The author describes what matters is the way properties are accessed, mainly if using reserved keywords such as “class”.

The problem with NULLS (see example below):

[code]var myNull = null;
console.log(typeof myNull); // outputs ‘object’ NOT null[/code]

// Use === when comparing null or undefined, because == will not work.

[code]Foo.prototype.x = 1;
var FooInstance = new Foo();
console.log(FooInstance.x); // outputs 1
// now let’s replace/override the prototype object with a new Object() object
Foo.prototype = {x:2};
console.log(FooInstance.x) // outputs 1 not 2[/code]

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April 1

57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life

57-ways-book

This is a book review of Jim Meisenheimer’s book 57 Ways to Take Control of Your Time and Your Life.   What a long title, but the book remains succinct in length.

I like how the author redefines time management in this book.  He puts it in a different perspective.  You can not manage time, but you can manage yourself to be more efficient with the use of time.

I really didn’t expect much but a list of tactics used to improve your productivity however this book does more than that.  It goes beyond tactics and includes some strategy, guidelines, and scenarios.  A typical book includes a lengthy introduction, history, inspirations, anecdotes, and even fluff that’s off tangent.  This book does not – it is succinct with almost every page being noteworthy.  It is actually better than a few longer productivity books I could not get into such as “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.

Even though this book focuses around sales talk it is useful for speeding up your day-to-day accomplishments. You’ll find tips  on better planning, delegation, productive traveling, directives, talking with prospects, and semantics.