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Customer Review

on November 6, 2014
Firstly, the book is beautiful. The type, the margins, the illustrations are such a clear improvement on the 'technical book' industry's normal fare.

I really, thoroughly enjoyed the book. It's a pretty quick read. I read it in about 2 sittings. It had a good mix of authors that I was very familiar with, and that I had scarcely read prior. The book is sectioned into 4 separate classic programming puzzle problems, and 4 authors take a stab at each of the problems.

More personally, there are authors who you are familiar with, and authors that you aren't, and you get different things out of each experience.

Authors that I love, like Douglas Adams, or authors that are so stylistically well known, like James Joyce or Hemingway, were fun to read, almost as a validation of what I knew about them, but also as a good way to reminisce about the way I felt when reading them in the past. It was enjoyable to compare how I thought Douglas Adams might approach his problem vs. the way that Angus thought he might (pretty close!).

I think that while those chapters were fun for me, I enjoyed, even more, the chapters of authors that I didn't know well. For some strange reason (and I imagine lots of developers are the same), a small description of how an author wrote or thought is enough to form an opinion of them, but seeing a block of code they had written (theoretically, of course), allowed me to actually take a much deeper meaning from the page or two that described them. Maybe it's because I've spent so much time doing programming interviews and reading open-source javascript, that my ability to understand how someone thinks is highly linked to how they write and structure code, but it was a really fantastic way to build on the more direct information.

As someone who is relatively familiar with little tricks and quirks in JavaScript, I didn't learn a ton about JavaScript itself. However, I was able to more accurately describe or see the creativity and style in each of the different types of solutions. I'd say that seeing 4 solutions to the same problem, solved in vastly different ways is actually a fantastic exercise in the expressiveness of JS. Since reading the book, I've found myself thinking more critically and creatively about how I structure my code as a reflection of my intent/style/whatever. I really like this unexpected side-effect of the book.

Angus is hilarious, well-read, and a great writer. I have a bunch of books that I need to go read now...
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Product Details

4.3 out of 5 stars
34
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