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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book Review - Understanding ECMAScript 6 by Nicholas C. Zakas

ES6 (or ES2015) was the biggest change in JavaScript's history. Simply put there's a lot to learn if you want to leverage the features. Nicholas C. Zakas' "Understanding ECMAScript 6" (No Starch Press) addresses this concern. As Nicholas is the person behind ESLint and I respect his work greatly, it was interesting to delve into his book.


As the book title states, the book covers ES6. It isn't a beginner level book. I would say the book fits those that already understand the basic ideas behind JavaScript and want to push their understanding a notch further.

The book is filled with examples that explore the features in great detail. The writing style is casual enough for me without becoming too cheesy. That's just a personal preference, but I prefer my content blunt without any extra "entertainment" or an attempt at being funny. Grammar-wise the book was perfect and far better than you might expect from an average technical book.

I would say the book works very well as reference material and thanks to it I managed to understand several features, like Map and the weak variant, in greater detail. It's likely I won't find use for most of the features, but that's not the point. You get these ideas in your mind that might come in handy later. It's great to have the essentials in one place.


If you are a beginner looking to learn ES6, look elsewhere before delving into this book. If you are an intermediate or expert level that understands JavaScript well already, you have a lot to gain here even if you read the book casually now and then. The ES6 specification is fairly complex and it's easier to digest through examples as in the book.
Note that you can read the book online. Also the source of the book is available.