Greg Babiars's Blog

Book Review - Maintainable JavaScript

October 02, 2013

After hearing Nicholas Zakas’ great interview on JavaScript Jabber I finally read his book Maintainable JavaScript. The book is an excellent read for any level of developer and has great tips that are mostly non-technical. The book is broken down into three sections: Style Guidelines, Programming Practices and Automation.

Part I: Style Guidelines

Nicholas gives reasoning for having a style guidelines based on his past experiences and specific examples of how they can help. The most amazing thing about this section is that he managed to stay very unbias in a part of programming that most people become religious about. The level headed advice in this section is something any organization can take in and use.

Part II: Programming Practices

I was surprised on how many little things I picked up from this section. What I really enjoyed was that he explained why and not just how you should do and not do certain practices. Not only does he highlight bad practices, but gives several solutions to overcome them. This was my favorite section by far.

Part III: Automation

While the rest of the book was pretty unbiased and neutral to technologies outside of JavaScript, this section was much more geared towards a Java backend. While the concepts in this section still hold, the detailed examples are not very useful unless you are using or willing to use Ant. I ended up skipping past much of this section, knowing that I could accomplish much of it in Grunt.

There were also two appendices: an example style guide and a list of tools. Both of these are good references.

Overall, Maintainable JavaScript is a nice quick read with really good insights that not only help you write better JavaScript, but help your entire team to work together to create a maintainable codebase. I highly recommend it, even if just for the first two sections.

Greg BabiarsWritten by Greg Babiars who builds things for the web. You can follow me on Twitter.