Review: “Discover Meteor”,Tom Coleman & Sacha Greif

Currently available at $39 and upwards (May 2014)

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Meteor is a new web framework which promises near-real time data updates on the client.

If you’re planning to learn how to learn Meteor (which you should, it’s awesome!), you need this book “Discover Meteor”.

Continue reading Review: “Discover Meteor”,Tom Coleman & Sacha Greif

Review: “Instant RabbitMQ” by Andrew Keig

This is a review of the book “Instant RabbitMQ Messaging Application Development How-to” by Andrew Keig, in the “Instant” series (“Short, Fast, Focussed”) by Packt Pubiishing.

Disclaimer: I was given this book for review by Packt Publishing. My opinions are, however, my own.

Currently on offer at £5.09, usual price £5.99 (Jun 2013)

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The book starts with “What can RabbitMQ do for you?”, moves on to installation, and then runs through an example usage of an e-commerce shop, adding in more complexity through various examples.

All the code is written in Node.js; if you don’t already know this, you may find getting your head round the event-driven model used by Node.js to be a distraction from learning about RabbitMQ.

The installation section talks through setting up both RabbitMQ and the Node.js systems; also mentions the RabbitMQ CLI and web UI tools.

The examples run through the usages of all the various AMQP concepts of brokers, exchanges, queues and bindings. These concepts are the most complicated aspect of programming RabbitMQ in your system; I’d have appreciated more detail about when and why you would choose one kind of exchange over another; why you would use one kind of binding. But I appreciate that within the space constraints of the book, this may not have been possible.

The author finishes with an interesting last chapter “Go Forth and Multiply” of further topics for consideration, including a useful last section on architecture and performance choices.

In summary, I thought the book was good value for its price. I would read more by this author, and I would especially be interested in a larger or followup book containing more detail on the “why” part of using RabbitMQ, rather than the “how”; I think he would have a lot of useful material to share.


  • A concise run-through setting up and designing for a reliable, distributed system which used the RabbitMQ messaging system
  • As an existing RabbitMQ developer, I found it interesting and I learnt from it
  • It’s well written
  • Good value


  • The title is a bit of a mouthful, especially for a book in the “Instant” series (“Short, Fast, Focussed”)
  • The book description should mention its reliance on Node.js for all code examples
  • More detail needed on AMQP principles: exchanges, bindings, queues. When to choose which sort?

Review: “Lean Analytics” by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz; O’Reilly Media

Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz have written Lean Analytics for the entrepreneur who’s using the “Lean Startup” ideas of business model development.

Lean Startup is big on data-driven decisions; “don’t guess – measure”. And then change your plan based on what you learnt. This book focuses on that measurement, how to choose the metric, how to measure it, how to use the results. The authors use many case studies to illustrate their experiences, which I found very useful.

Their “Big Idea” is that you should only have “One Metric That Matters” at any time; whilst you may be collecting and monitoring other KPIs, only 1 should be the focus of the business at any time.

I found the book interesting, and well-written; it gave me some valuable insights about to use metrics in my own startup and I look forward to the next edition in the Early Access program to fill in some of the missing chapters.

I’d recommend this book to any entrepreneur.

I did wonder, however, whether some of the middle chapters had somewhat lost focus from the original idea for the book, and had slipped into more general “Lean Startup” ground. I had the impression that the authors had more they wanted to say about the general way to build a business; perhaps material for a separate book?

Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the O’Reilly Bloggers Review program. This review is based on the Sep 2012 Early Access edition.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program