Recently I was playing with Aurelia SPA framework, which makes heavy use of jspm and SystemJS for modules/packaging. This package manager is new to me, and it looked a bit like magic sometimes. So when I saw a jspm course on Pluralsight, I decided to give it a try. And I did not regret: the course is great. It's so good, that I decided to write a review for it, even though I have never done that before.

So, the full course name is "Modern, Modular JavaScript with SystemJS and jspm" by Wes Higbee. The topic sounds pretty narrow (compare to something like "Building a Web App with ASP.NET 5, MVC 6, EF7 and AngularJS"), but the video track is surprisingly long: 7.5 hours. And every hour is packed with well structured in-depth material which lays the topic out from A to Z.

The majority of online courses are focusing on just explaining the What's of a technology: where you get it, how you start quickly, how you solve typical tasks. Wes does not stop there: he is really focusing on Why's: not only why we should use ES2015 modules and jspm, but the complete logical flow from the best practices in other programming environments to the module patterns to the tools that enable us use the modern approaches in javascript today. The understanding of this reasoning chain sets the solid ground, and you actually start getting the What's deeper.

But Wes goes even further: he mixes the How's in. I love watching him breaking the stuff to show why it fails and how to fix it. The references to module dependency graphs and internals of the tools are insightful; that's how "the magic" transforms into the comprehension of modern open source tools and libraries.

Of course, just watching the course won't make me an expert in the topic. Now I need to put the knowledge into practice, ask more questions and find answers myself. But I will hopefully save hours of debugging and frustration and will maybe produce better products in the end. Wes and Pluralsight, I definitely need more of courses like this - focused, deep and engaging!

P.S. It was a bit awkward to watch the course in the office because of solitaire cards being shown on my screen. Not sure what my colleagues thought I was doing ;)