I have been asked to review Joe Stanco’s Build a Network Application with Node video tutorial. So let’s see.
So first of all let’s see what you get. This is a Node.js video tutorial. To get a glimpse you can watch the example chapter on Youtube, here. From the format point of view, you get a web UI to watch the videos, which you can either do on-line or off-line. For instance I was watching it on the train to Vienna, so it works very well off-line. The tutorial is organized in 1-3 minutes videos. This can be useful if you want to revisit a topic later, however, it is a bit annoying when you watch it for the first time. The only problem is that the next video is not loaded automatically, hence you always have to minimise the video, click the next chapter and then click play. This is still ok, but it could be better.
I won’t copy-paste the TOC, you can find it here. I think the covered topics are pretty goodm if you are a beginner in Node. The videos are also quiet good, very few slides, mostly code, terminal, and browser which fits to my taste :), however the code is not written in live, but copy-pasted which makes it for me and bit more difficult to follow, because I had to pause the video often to actually have time to read through the inserted code. It is at least better then, if it would be too slow and you have to wait for the video. Another annoying thing, in the UI, is that you cannot pause the video with the spacebar (which I think should be default for every media player).
Regarding the topics, as a rule-of-thumb you could say that for every mentioned topic it explained how to install, configure it, and one example is shown. If you already have this experience with any of the topic, you probably won’t learn anything new.
The narrator, to be honest I don’t know whether it is Joe Stanco or not, speaks clearly. The script of the course is clearly well prepared which has advantages and disadvantages. Good part is that is really clear and exact, bad is that it lacks fun and humour and most things are only defined exactly once. Which means if you don’t understand something from one sentence then you won’t have another chance. But this also makes the course shorter and not redundant.
Although the course doesn’t include exercises, the code of the examples are available, so you can try them out and play with them.
Since I work in security I must take that in consideration as well. The course doesn’t talk about security at all, which makes me a bit sad. Of course you could say that this is not an advanced course and IT security is more complicated than that, however in my opinion security should be discussed on every level, at least so that the reader will be aware of the threats and that he has to deal with security. I think most of the people who will take this tutorial will start to write applications without taking any advanced course where security would be discussed, thus, they will be probably writing insecure applications as long as they get hacked or somebody tells them to take security seriously. That is why I think that no introductory course should exist without mentioning security.
- Topics are good.
- Example code is available.
- Faster way to get to know Node, then reading a book.
- Script is well written.
- More code, less slides.
- Explanations are mostly clear.
- No automatic jump to next video.
- No pause on spacebar.
- Everything explained only once.
- No excercises.
- SECURITY IS NOT DISCUSSED.