Knockout Kickstart

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A few weeks ago I waded into KnockoutJS, using it for a simple CRUD screen at work. In short it was a really good experience and I was amazed at how little javascript I had to write to get everything going. I’m looking forward to combining Knockout with other JS frameworks to enable more complex scenarios with as little effort.

However looking for tutorials and example code online, I found some resources that weren’t that good, and then looked some more and found some better stuff. I did find that it took a bit of effort to find decent learning materials – there is a fair amount of confusing and sporadic KnockoutJS content around – so I thought I’d blog what ended up being the most helpful content, in order to save you the hassle. So if you’re wanting to get going, consider the following resources above others.

First, definitely go through the tutorial at Learn Knockout. This covers the basics and leads you to the official documentation that will serve as a great reference to the various building blocks you’ll need to refer back to (and copy code from!) when building your page/site. By the time you finish the tutorial you’ll understand the basic structure of a Knockout page, and the steps involved in building the necessary parts.

Second, definitely view Steve Michelotti’s excellent PluralSight tutorial “Knockout Fundamentals“. I actually watched the TekPub Knockout screencast first but found this didn’t actually cover the fundamentals as well as required to actually build a non-trivial page. It covered Knockout in an ad-hoc manner, missing some key pieces around handling arrays, rather than the logical and cumulative treatment (building up a big app over several videos) that Steve’s video provides. Steve’s course covers all the basics systematically, so you will cover everything you need to build a proper page. The Pluralsight course also ends up with more sophisticated app than the one in TekPub, stretching your KnockoutJS knowledge further on completion.  If you are not a subscriber to PluralSight, I would heartily recommend signing up (lots of great content) but failing that, the trial will give you free access to your first 200 minutes, which will cover the 1h40m KO course.

Just these two resources should be enough to get your first Knockout page/site built, but once you start hitting those edge cases and yearning for some advanced features, the following posts helped round out my Knockout knowledge even further:

Ryan Niemayer’s blog is generally pretty good, but here are two articles that are worth reading first:

Hope that helps! Next up I am going to discover how DurandalJS builds on top of KnockoutJS to make developing SPAs even easier!