Scala In Action – by Nilanjan Raychaudhuri
TL;DR This is a great book if you are looking for a rapid introduction to Scala (and its idiomatic usage) with a very practical focus. Where else would you be building a Scala-based RESTful API and MongoDB driver within the first few chapters, and more importantly be having fun doing it!
‘Scala in Action’ states that the target audience is open to all levels, but I believe that programmers with some previous exposure to an OO language (especially Java) will get the most benefit. This is not to say novice developers won’t enjoy the book, but they may find it moving at quite a fast pace.
‘Scala in Action’ will offer seasoned developers much to think about, as this book is very focused in teaching you pragmatic (and idiomatic) usage of Scala. The fact that the Scala language manages to blend both Object Oriented and Functional paradigms means that learning this language will provide a great transition into the differing approaches offered by these styles. (Could Scala be considered a ‘gateway’ language? 🙂 ). This makes Scala a great choice for your next language, and the fact that the book encourages idiomatic usage of the language is a great help in fully understanding the power and appropriate application of the language.
In addition to the topics mentioned above, this book also covers concurrency using the Actor model with Akka (to which I am becoming more and more of an enthusiast!), testing and TDD (which I believe is a mandatory topic in any new programming book) and the interoperability between Java and Scala.
I haven’t fully digested all of the book yet, and even when I have I’m confident that I will be reading the content several more times (and more imporantly, experimenting even more with the code samples).
In summary, ‘Scala in Action’ has been a perfect companion in my first serious voyage into learning this language, and it comes highly recommended for anyone else attempting the same task!
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