Async/await is the most important new feature in JavaScript in recent memory. Generators provided an alternative in ES6, but generators required outside libraries and provided more flexibility than most developers needed. When I was a guest on the JavaScript Air podcast, the host Kent C. Dodds asked me what generators could do that async/await couldn't, and my answer was essentially "nothing that the vast majority of developers would care about."

Generators are more powerful and flexible than async/await, but async/await cuts away the inconsequential details of generators and leaves you with the most valuable functionality: flat asynchronous code with no callbacks, no promise chains, and no closures of any kind. However, many developers out there are struggling with async/await. If async/await doesn't click for you, you're not alone: StackOverflow has nearly 10k async/await questions, and 5 of the top 10 most popular articles on this blog are about async/await and promises.

Introducing Mastering Async/Await

Right now, learning async/await is a hodge-podge of reading blog posts with wildly different coding styles and cobbling together StackOverflow answers. You can get to mastery in a few days if you're patient and dedicated, but what if you can go from cursory knowledge to mastery in a few hours? What if instead of guessing based on outdated StackOverflow answers whether Express or React supported async/await, you had a mental framework to figure it out for yourself? That's what my new ebook, Mastering Async/Await, is all about.

Here's the full table of contents. Like my last ebook, its meant to be focused and concise, as opposed to your average 1000 page meandering tome of a tech book. Below is a breakdown of the motivation of each of the 4 chapters.

  1. Async/Await: The Good Parts Introduces async/await and how it works with JavaScript language structures like for loops and if statements.
  2. Promises from the Ground Up Async/await is built on promises, but most developers have only a cursory understanding of promises. This chapter walks you through building a Promises/A+ compliant promise library from scratch.
  3. Async/Await Internals Promises are the micro-level of async/await. This chapter builds up your macro-level understanding on top of promises by showing how async/await interacts with instrumented promises.
  4. Async/Await in the Wild Most developers don't use async/await by itself, they use it with Mocha, Express, MongoDB, Redux, React, and countless other npm modules. Chapter 4 discusses how to integrate async/await with 5 common npm modules. In the spirit of teaching you to fish, this chapter also presents rules of thumb for determining whether an npm module supports async/await out of the box.

Moving On

Mastering Async/Await contains the distilled lessons of 2 years of running async/await in production and 5 years of running generator-based async/await equivalents in production. Since Node.js v7.6.0 removed the need to specify a flag to use async/await, async/await has become an indispensable part of my day-to-day dev practice. Check out the table of contents and sample section, and get your copy at asyncawait.net.

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