Recommended Reading: Eloquent JavaScript

or: How to learn JavaScript as Workflow Developer?

When you’re new to vCenter Orchestrator, chances are that you are new to JavaScript as well. Usually not that big problem, JavaScript (at least the level you need for Actions and Scripting Elements in vCO) is quite easy to learn.

There are a lot of books about JavaScript out there. Unfortunately, most of them focus on JavaScript as language for the web, so there is a lot of web-related stuff inside, which is not necessary and very distracting for vCO Workflow Developers.

The book

One rare exception is “Eloquent JavaScript” by Marjin Haverbeke. This book really focuses on JavaScript itself and teaches the language together with an introduction in Programming in general. So you do not need any prior knowledge, neither about JavaScript nor about Programming. This makes it a perfect fit for the most new Workflow developer!

In addition to the good content, the book is written and edited very well (in fact, it’s one of the best programming books I’ve ever read (and these are some :-D)). All topics, basics like datastructures and advanced topics like the introduction in object-oriented programming, are explained along small, good and funny source-code examples in JavaScript. So you really enjoy reading while you learn programming in general and JavaScript in special!

And, that’s by far not all:

The online “lab”

Besides the hard-copy there is a free digital version of the book, available online or as downloadable .zip-archive!

On http://eloquentjavascript.net/ you can find the download links, the (very rare) errata and an online JavaScript Programming Console, where you can run and modify the examples directly in your browser:

Eloquent JavaScript Online Environment

Get Started!

This combination, written book and the online “lab environment”, really allows to learn that level of JavaScript you need for Orchestrator Workflows in a very quick way!
(And you might even use the online environment to test/”dry-run” some of your vCO Scripting Element, like confirming the semantics of a loop or some String handling (only without vCO/vSphere related objects of course))

Find more details about the book on the publisher’s homepage and on Amazon:

There is only one drawback: The fluent style of the book makes it not that useful as a reference. So if your already can programming JavaScript and you look for a reference to quickly remember how to concatenate arrays, other books like The old Rhinocerus might fit better.