Jake McCrary

Book review: Serverless Single Page Apps

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I’ve read Ben Rady’s Serverless Single Page Apps twice now. As an early technical reviewer, I was able to watch and take part in the book’s evolution. The early draft was good but the most recent near-final draft was better.

Serverless Single Page Apps walks you through building a low-cost, highly-available, serverless single page web application. It does this on top of various Amazon web services (DynamoDB, Cognito, Lambda, API Gateway, S3). If you follow along you’ll end up with a simple web application with authentication.

The book is very enjoyable. The examples are clear and the book is well written. The book uses JavaScript to implement the serverless application. For the user interface it uses plain JavaScript with a bit of jQuery and for the AWS Lambda functions you dip into some Node.js. Serverless doesn’t distract you from learning about serverless applications by forcing you to learn new JavaScript frameworks or libraries.

One of my favorite parts of the book is Ben’s use of test driven development. The examples provided give the reader a decent taste of the benefits of test-first development. Having the tests helped me when I made some silly mistakes in later parts of the book.

Overall I’d recommend this book to developers who are interested in learning what a serverless application might look like. If you follow along you’ll know how to build one by the end and will have a good starting point for diving deeper into the topic.