A little disclaimer first:
I’m not an expert reviewing books but I think this one is so good that… it is worth the risks
This book is awesome
First and foremost, I’d like to say that this This book rocks. And in this review, I’d like to explain why it rocks so much.
If I could summarize this book in one sentence, it’d be something like this:
“It covers the fundamentals and the basics, and dives deep into core concepts, which could guide even the most experienced developers to build more robust applications.”
And although it rocked, the book felt like a short read. Even after 256 pages, it still felt TOO SHORT. I wanted more!
Even though it’s a technical book with lots of articulate examples, Allan made sure that the book was a pleasure to read and easy to follow. Few books can accomplish that feat.
I understand that Allan couldn’t possibly cover all of the Magento concepts and classes he wanted to unless he created a “bible” of this information. But
I’d have loved for him to cover observers, cron, caching, indexing and adminhtml in more depth. (This is a bit biased though since I am currently working on these areas.) You see, this is how good this book is: it made me want Allan to go deeply through topics that were not meant to be expanded on in the first place.
Below is a partial list of topics covered in the book:
Chapter 1: Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment (Including Vagrant – Can this get more awesome?)
Chapter 2: Magento Fundamentals for Developers (He dives into explaining Zend… Seriously, you need to be crazy to try to explain Zend to developers, but he does!)
Chapter 3: ORM and Data Collections
Chapter 4: Frontend Development
Chapter 5: Backend Development
Chapter 6: The Magento API
Chapter 7: Testing and Quality Assurance (This is the awesomeness we developers want!)
Chapter 8: Deployment and Distribution (Wait just a minute. The road toward zero-downtime deployment??? Just take my money now!)
As you can see, this book covers fundamentals, core, and basic concepts; dives into Zend Framework; and touches on data management, API, testing, and deployment. And did I mention that it also covers essentials like how the autoloader and factory methods work, and explains clearly what references are in the layout files?
If this were my book, I wouldn’t have spent so much time explaining how to package an extension, instead I would have used more of that time explaining some configuration files that are not typically known or as obvious, or why you should setup your cron jobs. But it’s not my book, and I think it’s powerful enough to become a beginner Magento developer’s basic learning guide and a more experienced Magento developer’s refresher and fine-tuning guide.
So what’s next
First… we are going to be giving away a couple copies of the book. Currently we’re ironing the details on how that’s going to work.
Second we are going to try to get some snippets out there and get more people involved.
I would appreciate if you would let me know how you think this should work either in the comments or by contacting me directly. I really want to get your feedback.