The Best Angular Introduction I Could Do

I tried to learn Angular so I could use it with Tekpub. My first impressions were not good - it seemed over-engineered, unfriendly, and full of wonky terms for things that should be simple.

I decided to stop being such a snob and to step through the tutorials I found online Egghead.io being the main one. I slowly started to understand Angular - and began to see how it's supposed to work.

I remember thinking "my GOD why didn't they just SAY THAT!" - which is the curse of someone who does video production for a living (nitpicking others tutorial style). I don't like contrived demos that showcase a feature. I like to show features in the context of a living application.

And that's what I decided to do: build an Angular application from the ground up, and show how it all fits together. I created a MongoDB explorer which allows you to manage databases, documents, and run queries. Nothing earth-shattering, but along the way I picked up on:

  • Useful patterns
  • Pain points you will discover as your app grows
  • Nice reusability scenarios
  • Interesting ways that various Angular bits fit together in the long run

Here's our old preview:

You simply can't discover these things by focusing on a library, feature by feature. You have to build something real - which is what I did and you can watch it now at Pluralsight.

Before That, Backbone

Almost the exact same thing happened with me and Backbone. I watched PeepCode's 3-part series on building a Backbone app, but I still felt confused. Geoffrey went into structure and some basic patterns - but (for me) it wasn't enough for me to look at Backbone code and think "that looks pretty elegant".

So I called up my friend Derick Bailey who's a bit of a Backbone wonk and asked him to proof some code I was writing for, once again, use at Tekpub. He tore everything I did to pieces and patiently explained better ways of doing things.

It took me some time to pick up the whole "evented thing" - but when it happened, I think there was a series of audible pops. Everything started to fall into place and next thing I knew - it was shipped.

And a new Tekpub course was in the offing. I created our first MongoDB explorer (Congo) and recorded all of it - with Derick dropping in from time to time for a code review. To this day I have yet to see a Backbone tutorial as complete as ours.

Here's our old Preview:

The best part? We pushed Episode 10 out for free - this is the one where we roll it all into Derick's Marionette project (a simple wrapper for Backbone that provides a ton of structure and help).

My Mission: Quality Infusion

I would love it if these videos did well at Pluralsight - I put a ton of love into them and sweated every second of the production process - and I'd love to see more authors do the same.

If you haven't watched them yet and you have a Pluralsight sub - I'd love to hear what you think.