React Quickly Screencasts

Each chapter of my new book React Quickly (Manning, 2016) has a project which is supplemented by a video screencast. Watch the videos here or on YouTube. The code is on GitHub.

Also, you can download the entire first chapter for FREE at Manning. The book is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2016, but early access (e-copy) is available right now. Use code “mardandz” to get 39% off at Manning.

React Quickly Chapter 1 Project: Menu with React:

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Full Stack JavaScript

My new book Full Stack JavaScript (my 4th traditionally-published book) comes with a series of screencast videos for better immersion in a wonderful and mesmerizing world of Node.js, Backbone and MongoDB. It’s a one thing to read through the text and another to follow up with dynamic videos which walk you through the book’s projects.

Full Stack JavaScript

Full Stack JavaScript

The videos and the source code are open source, meaning they are publicly available. Therefore, you don’t have to buy a book—you can just watch the 14 videos on YouTube (playlist) and go through the code on GitHub (repository).

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React for Fun and Profit

React is a fun little library for User Interfaces. You can use it for web, or mobile development. It’s fun because it’s very developer-friendly. You write your code in the same place without having to switch between HTML and JavaScript files.

I’ve heard many times people complaining about React’s favorite syntax JSX. I found it great, after I spent a few hours learning and coding with it. Contrary to what people unfamiliar with React think, JSX is not HTML in JavaScript. JSX is just an XML-like syntax which produces JavaScript. There’s not HTML involved at this step. When you develop with React, you write JavaScript objects. Later React automagically transforms those object into rendered HTML.

Also, React is very fast due to its virtual DOM and smart diffing algorithm. And React’s component approach to architecture allows for great development scalability. Just ask Facebook, Twitter, Slack and other companies with large web apps.

Furthermore, you can use React with React Native to create native iOS and Android apps. These apps can share the same code. It’s not the same as the so called hybrid or HTML5 apps. The latter are websites trapped into a headless browser in a mobile app. The former is a real native app which uses JavaScript interface for it’s UIs and logic.

Hey, you can even use live reloading when developing apps with React Native. Pure joy! The feature native mobile developers can only dream of! “React is fun, but show me the money”— you can yell. Fair enough.

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Node Interactive 2015

Node Interactive 2015

Last week, I presented my talk at the inaugural Node Interactive ’15, in Portland, Oregon. It’s probably the largest Node.js conference in the world! My talk was on Node.js at Capital One. You might wonder: bank and Node.js? What they have in common? The best kept secret, which is not a secret at all is that Capital One, is moving into being a technology company with a focus on finance… not just a bank. It’s worth watching my talk if you’re are interested in hear about challenges of bringing innovation to a large company in a heavily regulated field.

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ExpressWorks Walkthrough: Node.js Web Framework [VIDEOS]

ExpressWorks Walkthrough: Node.js Web Framework [VIDEOS]

Have you ever wanted to learn basics of Node.js and the most popular Node.js web framework Express.js? If you are experienced web developer or software engineer who wants to learn Node.js and build some servers along the way, then this self-study workshop is for you.

What is ExpressWorks? It’s an automated tool which allows to learn Express.js from the author of one of the best books on Express.js—Pro Express.js— with this workshop that will teach you basics of Express.js and building Node.js web apps (a.k.a. servers).

You will walk through adventures via command-line interface. Each adventure has a problem, hints, and the solutions.

Some of the resources before you get started:

The entire playlist: on YouTube or just watch individual solutions below. Try solving problems without looking at the solutions!


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Top 10 ES6 Features Every Busy JavaScript Developer Must Know

10 ES6 Features Every Busy JavaScript Software Engineer Must Know

I recently went to HTML5 Dev conference in San Francisco. Half of the talks I went to were about ES6 or, as it’s now called officially, ECMAScript2015. I prefer the more succinct ES6 though.

This essay will give you a quick introduction to ES6. If you don’t know what is ES6, it’s a new JavaScript implementation. If you’re a busy JavaScript software engineer (and who is not?), then proceed reading to learn the best 10 features of the new generation of the most popular programming language—JavaScript.

Here’s the list of the top 10 best ES6 features for a busy software engineer (in no particular order):

  1. Default Parameters in ES6
  2. Template Literals in ES6
  3. Multi-line Strings in ES6
  4. Destructuring Assignment in ES6
  5. Enhanced Object Literals in ES6
  6. Arrow Functions in ES6
  7. Promises in ES6
  8. Block-Scoped Constructs Let and Const
  9. Classes in ES6
  10. Modules in ES6

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HTML5 Dev Conf 2015 Recap with Notes and Slides

Last week, I attended the HTML5Dev conference in San Francisco which was just across from Capital One SF office at 201 3rd St. The conference was split across a few building which made it hard to navigate and find talks.

The whole conference was along the lines of React is amazing, ES6 is the future and Node.js is everywhere. There were a few talks on the Internet of Things, design, UX and HTTP/2 as well. Here’s the recap of the talks to which I went to.

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Contrasting Enterprise Node.js Frameworks: Hapi vs. Kraken vs. Sails.js vs. Loopback

I published this essay Contrasting Enterprise Node.js Frameworks: Hapi vs. Kraken vs. Sails.js vs. Loopback on the Capital One engineering blog . Feel free to leave a comment! Here’s a blurb:

Node.js/Io.js is a non-blocking I/O platform based on the JavaScript language. It has been capturing the hearts and minds of software developers for the past couple of years. It has been doing this not only for developers in startups And small companies, but more interestingly for enterprise developers as well. For example, PayPal, LinkedIn, Walmart, Netflix, eBay, Uber and other tech giants switched from Java and the likes to Node. Its popularity is attributed to better performance and having one language (JavaScript) for all layers: back-end, database and front-end.

As with any new platform, there are a lot of Node.js/Io.js frameworks to choose from. However, before we proceed, we need to define what enterprise means. For the sake of simplicity, an enterprise project is one where you have teams of more than 10 developers working on it, where you have huge traffic to handle and high stakes, meaning the services must be running 24x7x365.

Judging frameworks is highly subjective. When it comes to building enterprise-level applications, we need to consider some of the following things:

  1. Best practices and patterns: Whether the framework is DIY or provides clear patterns to use.
  2. Configuration: How easy it is to configure the framework.
  3. Convention: Is there a convention to follow if that’s the preferred route?
  4. Horizontal scaling: How easy it is to scale apps built with this framework.
  5. Testing: How to test the application.
  6. Scaffolding: How much developers have to code manually vs. using built-in code generators.
  7. Monitoring: How to monitor the application
  8. Track record: How proven a framework is, i.e., who supports it and how well it is maintained.
  9. Integration: How rich the ecosystem of plugins/connectors is.
  10. ORM/ODM: Is there an object relational/document mapper.

While performance is important, it varies on the requirements and business logic of a particular project. Running meaningful benchmark tests is non-trivial.

The main focus of this post is to compare the four Node.js/Io.js frameworks: Hapi, Kraken, Sails.js and Loopback.


The full essay is at

Joining Capital One, a Technology Startup

Most of the people outside of Capital One think of it as a bank with those visigoths commercials and the “What’s in your wallet?” slogan. Few people know that Capital One is a startup in the financial world if you compare it other big names such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America or Chase. Capital One started only a couple decades ago as a data driven technology company. Before it, there was only one type of credit card and people with less than stellar credit just weren’t eligible for it. Capital One revolutionized the credit card industry by analyzing risks and consumer profiles. It turned out to be a big success. Then came the visigoths, along with the acquisitions of traditional brink and mortar (such as Chevy Chase) and online banks (ING DIRECT which is Capital One 360).

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How to Use Jade and Handlebars in Express.js

How to Use Jade and Handlebars in Express.js

I hated Jade as many other Node.js developes do.  But I changed 180 after I realized that it has tons of features.

At Storify and DocuSign we used Jade for EVERYTHING. We used Jade even in the browser. There is a little trick called jade-browser. It was developed by folks at Storify. I maintained it for a bit.

The funny thing is that DocuSign team used jade-browser long before they met me. They swear they hired me without knowing that I was involved in that library. :-)

Anyway, after covering Jade and Handlebars in previous posts, it’s time to apply them to do some real work. In this post, I’ll cover:

  • Jade and Handlebars usage in Express.js 4
  • Project: adding Jade templates to Blog

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