Review: You Don't Know JS: Scope and Closures

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this title from O’Reilly

You Don't Know JS: Scope and Closures

I have three main criteria when purchasing educational content – how much knowledge I can garner (bonus points for anything that I can use in the real world), the time investment required on my part and cost. You Don’t Know JS: Scope and Closures does well on all 3 fronts. The book is short and sweet, inexpensive (the eBook was $8 at time of writing) and informative. It weighs in at 78 pages (including appendices) and is the first in the multi-part You Don’t Know JS series, focusing exclusively on a small subset of the Javascript language – scopes and closures. This exclusive focus enables the author, Kyle Simpson, to cut through the fluff that usually forms a good portion of more general titles and deep dive into this narrow (but important) topic.


The book is detailed and doesn’t veer away from tricky concepts. At the same time is a very quick and pleasant read – one could easily read it cover-to-cover (including the appendices which were quite interesting) in a single sitting. This might be off-putting to some, but I learned a few new concepts and definitely expanded/reinforced my understanding of existing concepts. As such, in my mind the return on investment is quite high. The title is quite accessible and contains code examples to support each concept. I’d recommend it to developers of any level and think it would be a great foundation for beginners, helping them to avoid frustrating pitfalls caused by misunderstanding of how scope works. It is just as relevant to intermediate/advanced developers – I can only imagine the number of veteran JavaScript developers who don’t fully understand why scope and closures work the way they do.


I’m a big fan of this title and look forward to the next installment in the You Don’t Know JS series.


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