Learning Web App Development
Build Quickly with Proven JavaScript Techniques
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: February 2014
Pages: 306

Grasp the fundamentals of web application development by building a simple database-backed app from scratch, using HTML, JavaScript, and other open source tools. Through hands-on tutorials, this practical guide shows inexperienced web app developers how to create a user interface, write a server, build client-server communication, and use a cloud-based service to deploy the application.

Each chapter includes practice problems, full examples, and mental models of the development workflow. Ideal for a college-level course, this book helps you get started with web app development by providing you with a solid grounding in the process.

  • Set up a basic workflow with a text editor, version control system, and web browser
  • Structure a user interface with HTML, and include styles with CSS
  • Use JQuery and JavaScript to add interactivity to your application
  • Link the client to the server with AJAX, JavaScript objects, and JSON
  • Learn the basics of server-side programming with Node.js
  • Store data outside your application with Redis and MongoDB
  • Share your application by uploading it to the cloud with CloudFoundry
  • Get basic tips for writing maintainable code on both client and server
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By Millie

from Hong Kong, China

About Me Designer, Maker

Verified Buyer


  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Learning Web App Development:

    This is a book that systematically describe the workflow and good method of how to develop a web application with the most popular tutorials in the latest common way.

    I am not with the engineer background. I know HTML, CSS and a bit javascript before. The author is a teacher and he wrote it in the way that is easier for me to understand. The book the author recommended is also worth reading if people what to go deep in an espect.


    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Solid introduction to web app tools

    By jmxp

    from Durham, NC


    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples


      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Learning Web App Development:

      Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this work under the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program.

      You've got to hand it to anyone these days willing to say, "Yes, I'll teach you web app development. I'll do it from ground zero and in under 300 pages." Not only because modern web development offers so many toolchains to choose from, but because many of the standards involved were designed at different times, weren't designed to play nicely with others, still have to accommodate legacy cruft (i.e., IE), or are just plain confusing. It's a recipe for frustration.

      Enter Semmy Purewal, whose Learning Web App Development is, in all, a respectable shot at getting you up to speed with at least one version of a modern development stack. Up front, it's necessary to mention that Purewal's audience is students. He's taught some version of this class to college kids with very little background, as a means of preparing them to move on to more sophisticated frameworks like Ruby on Rails. That's interesting in itself for those in a position to teach similar material, or to recommend a book to a novice (spoiler: I would). But it's also important because Purewal's goal isn't to show you how a professional would go about building a web app, it's to give you a sense of what that professional's tools are doing for him under the hood.

      Personally, I'm just off center of the target audience for this book. I have never done web development. My HTML is painfully basic. My JavaScript is pretty weak. I am unlikely to spend a year getting really good at Rails, but I'm a scientist who might want to throw something together for a small, data-driven project.

      For which this book is just about right. Through chapters on HTML, CSS, Javascript, JSON, MongoDB, and Node.js, it builds up a single web app, a process that roughly approximates the history of web technology. The approach is example-based and pedagogical, and all the code is available on GitHub for download. By the time I was finished, I was far from an expert, but I knew enough to organize the pieces of a basic app in my mind and know where to go searching for more focused help.

      All in all, I'd call that a success.

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