Alot of do this. do that. Not alot of why

I know this is not an introduction to programming and it assumes you already know JavaScript but after reading this book through three sections and building out Ottergram, CoffeeRun, and Chattrbox, I find it difficult to actually grab a good grasp of what each line of code is doing and why. I come across a lot of sentences that say, “In soandso.js, update this and add this then do that” without any explanation that will help a developer build on top of that. After reading this book, I am afraid that it will just sit in the shelf and collect dust. This is not a book, I find resourceful. It just tells you what to do without any concept. If I had been given an explanation on why “doing this” is good practice, or some reasons why we need to “do that”, than I think the book would fulfill its purpose.

I’ve just gotten to the end, built everything, and I did see that by Chattrbox the explaining had dropped off a lot in favor of “here’s what to do next,” and that more or less continues through the Tracker project. There are quick sentences about why this will work or why that thing is needed, but not a lot about how you’d figure that out on your own. That said, the wording on a lot of those brief sentences seems really good, full of important keywords that can be googled.

I basically went with it, since I don’t think this book is really about teaching you jquery, bootstrap, ember, etc. in isolation. Most training resources do that, and most of the built-in function calls and programming ideas in the book had plenty of good documentation around them online. The understanding I’ve gained about how these pieces fit together and depend on each other is much deeper than I had before. Especially something like Babel - I had not really bothered learning ES6 specific stuff yet, being more comfortable working without that extra compile step I knew I’d need. But having now been through it in context, I’m much more sold on the value of learning those things in detail, and I can kind of see what I might do with them in a project of my own.

I do think in using this book I relied a good bit on knowledge I already had - so as the instructions were coming I quite often had a good sense of what they would be, and why we’d need to do those things. Some of that came through going through the Free Code Camp Front-End course, and just messing around with DOM stuff for years before that, so I might be spoiled in having an usually high amount of time spent starting at HTML, but I had a blast going through this book! and I do see myself pulling it back open for context when I’m going to reuse something I learned here.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I do believe you have to have a good amount of knowledge before hitting this book and agree that you may have to Google your info elsewhere. But once I do that, I can’t see myself going back to this book (unless I am going to build another Chattrbox or Tracker).

I do see how you can take what you learn and adapt it to another project but for me, the instructions are too specific in this book. I’d like to see reasons in why things are done the way they are done, especially in projects like Chattrbox and Tracker. I purchased this book in hopes that I would gain more understanding in concepts like modules, MVC, and ES6 but I haven’t and I’m off searching on Google for answers again…

Thanks for the feedback @francisngo, we definitely appreciate your honesty.

You’re absolutely right - the book’s purpose doesn’t align with your learning goals. We developed the chapters as the training material we use in our week-long bootcamps. And in that setting, the instructor can do a lot to bridge the gap between a student’s existing knowledge and the training material.

When publishing it as a book, we had to accept that some readers, despite our best efforts to be comprehensive, might not get everything they were seeking.

In light of that, I am more than happy to discuss some of the different approaches we took (and didn’t take) in the book. If you’d like, we can move our conversation to the individual per-chapter forum topics.

Again, thank you for letting us know what you thought of the book.
We’ll continue to do as much as possible to improve.