Udemy Course: All about Node.js

I am working on a personal side-project for some friends and decided to build it using Node, Express, Mongo, and Passport.

About the time I was working on the database architecture I received a coupon via email for the Udemy course “All about Node.js” taught by Sachin Bhatnagar. The full price for the course is currently $150 but it comes up on-sale from time-to-time and coupons are often available.

The course is 64 lectures with 8 hours of video and a handful of quizzes. It took me 3 weeks to work my way through all of the lectures as I was also reading a couple of books on Safari Books Online and Learn All The Node http://www.learnallthenodes.com/.

Sachin’s class is great; the lectures about using Amazon’s CloudFront and EC2 alone are worth the full price of $150. He is very articulate, easy to understand, and does a great job breaking complicated systems into easy to digest lessons.

From the course description:

“My intent is hand hold you all the way from writing your first NodeJS app to deploying production level apps on the cloud.”

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 64 lectures and 7.5 hours of content!
  • Build High Performance and Scalable Apps using NodeJS
  • Use NodeJS Streams to write a Web Server
  • Use the Node Package Manager (NPM) for managing dependencies
  • Use the Express 4 Framework for building NodeJS Apps
  • Use the Hogan Templating Language
  • Understand MongoDB as a NoSQL Database
  • Create & Use MongoDB Databases using services like MongoLab
  • Create Realtime Apps that use Web Sockets
  • Upload & Resize Images using NodeJS
  • Integrate Authentication using Social Media Sites like Facebook
  • Structure the NodeJS app into modules
  • Create and Deploy EC2 Cloud Server Instances on Amazon Web Services
  • Create and Use Amazon’s S3 Storage Service with NodeJS
  • Use Amazon’s Cloudfront Service
  • Using Amazon’s Elastic IP
  • Configure Security Groups, Ports & Forwarding on Amazon EC2
  • Deploy a NodeJS app on the EC2 Instance
  • Deploy a NodeJS app on Heroku
  • Deploy a NodeJS app on Digital Ocean
  • Install & Deploy NGINX as a Reverse Proxy Server for NodeJS Apps
  • Configure NGINX as a Load Balancer

What is the target audience?

  • Web Designers & Front End Developers who wish to extend their knowledge of Javascript for building high performance network applications.
  • Software Developers who want to build high performance network applications.
  • Absolute beginners with basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript, wanting to upgrade to professional Web Development and Building Web Apps.
  • PHP, ASP.net, Perl, Java & Ruby coders wanting to leap onto the Node.Js bandwagon.
  • Anyone who wishes to get hands-on training with setting up an Amazon EC2 Instance with a host of other services like Cloudfront, Elastic IP and S3
  • Anyone who wishes to get hands-on training with deploying a NodeJS app on the cloud
  • Computer Engineering students
  • Tech Entrepreneurs who want to get their hands down and dirty with Web Coding & App Development.
  • Anyone who wishes to stay on the forefront of technology!

I rate the Udemy Course: All about Node.js a 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn Node.js and its surrounding technologies and frameworks.

For The Win by Cory Doctorow

Changing pace yet again I decided to binge on some Cory Doctorow goodness. If you don’t know who he is check out Cory’s Wikipeida entry, he is an interesting character. His politics are about as far from mine as they could be, but he is a really great storyteller.

You can download and read Cory’s books for free and even remix, mash-up, re-write, and mangle the contents to your hearts content following the Creative Commons Attrivutions-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. You can get his books at Craphound.com.

For The Win is an attractive story to me because I enjoy playing video games, have played a lot of different MMOs in the past and look forward to playing them again with my son when he is old enough. I also really like the international viewpoints the story presents, the U.S., China, India, and Russia all come together.

I found the book to have a lot of lectures in it, at times I felt like I was being treated like a child in a schoolroom sitting at one of those little desks with the attached chairs. I tried to tune a lot of that out because the story itself is really good, the characters have a lot of depth and I found myself rooting for most of them. This is a really good story if you can get through the lectures.

From the publisher:

It’s the twenty-first century, and all over the world, MMORPGs are big business. Hidden away in China and elsewhere, young players are pressed into working as “gold-farmers,” amassing game-wealth that’s sold to Western players at a profitable markup. Some of these pieceworkers rebel, trying to go into business for themselves—but there’s little to stop their bosses from dragging them back into servitude. Some of them, like young Mala in the slums of Bombay—nicknamed “General Robotwallah” for her self-taught military skill—become enforcers for the bosses, but that only buys them so much.All the way over in L.A., young Wei-Dong, obsessed with Asian youth culture and MMORPGs, knows the system is rigged, knows that kids everywhere are being exploited. Finally, he and his Asian counterparts begin to work together to claim their rights. Under the noses of the ruling elites, they fight the bosses, the game owners and the rich speculators, outsmarting them with their street-gaming skills. But soon the battle will spill over from the virtual world to the real one, leaving the young rebels fighting not just for their rights, but for their lives…

I rate For The Win an 8 out of 10 and recommend it to any Cory Doctorow or gaming fan.

Freedom by Daniel Suarez

Freedom is book 2 in the Daemon series of novels. It continues right where Daemon left off, more of the same.

I enjoyed Freedom, there are a lot of subplots in it that I really enjoyed, but it is not as good as Daemon and I found the end wanting. I would like more, I would like more of the subplots to be wrapped up. I just want more.

From the author’s website:

In one of the most buzzed-about debuts of 2009, Daniel Suarez introduced a terrifying vision of a new world order, controlled by the Daemon, an insidious computer program unleashed by a dying hi-tech wunderkind. Daemon captured the attention of the tech community, became a New York Times and Indie bestseller, and left readers hungry for more.

Well, more is here, and it’s even more gripping than its predecessor. In the opening chapters of FreedomTM, the Daemon is firmly in control, using an expanded network of dispossessed operatives to tear apart civilization and rebuild it anew. As civil disorder spreads through the American Midwest, former detective Pete Sebeck, now the Daemon’s most influential yet reluctant-operative, must lead a small band of enlightened humans in a populist movement designed to protect the new social network. But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all.

In a world of conflicted loyalties, and rapidly diminishing human authority, what’s at stake is nothing less than democracy’s last hope to survive the technology revolution.

I rate Freedom a 6 out of 10 and recommend to anyone who read Daemon.