Your First Meteor Application
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Your First Meteor Application

A Complete Beginner's Guide to Meteor.js

About the Book

Note: I'll be releasing a screencast series based on this book and subscribers to the Meteor Tips newsletter will get a huge discount on these screencasts. You can click here to register for the newsletter to access that same discount.


There's three things I love about the Meteor JavaScript framework:

  • You can build entire web applications with nothing but JavaScript.
  • Your applications are real-time by default, similar to desktop applications.
  • There's a lot of books and screencasts to help you along the way.

Oh, and Meteor also happens to be designed for developer happiness and is a great fit for beginners and, well, that's more than three things. Point is: I am well and truly on the Meteor bandwagon and I plan to be here for a long while.

But anyway, like I mentioned, there's a lot of books and screencasts dedicated to Meteor. There's Discover Meteor, Evented Mind, a course from PluralSight, and quite a few more. It might seem strange to mention my "competitors" on this page but I don't feel like we're competing since this book — Your First Meteor Application – isn't meant for the same audience.

This book is designed for beginners and only for beginners, meaning:

  • You won't need any prior experience with Meteor.
  • You won't need to have made a web application before.
  • You won't need to consult other sources along the way.

Do other resources accomodate for beginners? Yep. But not with this level of depth. As long as you have a basic idea of JavaScript and databases, you'll have a handle on the Meteor fundamentals in a matter of hours. Then, from there:

  • You'll know how to talk in the language of Meteor.
  • You'll be more capable of consulting other resources.
  • You'll be able to start playing with your own code.

Your First Meteor Application is not a definitive guide to Meteor. You won't be a full-fledged developer by the final page. You will, however, understand the core concepts that will make your future education in Meteor a lot more approachable.

If that sounds like a fit for you, it probably is.

If it doesn't sound like a fit, then you're probably right.

In either case, the entire book can be read online for free.

Feel free to let me know what you think of it:

About the Author

David Turnbull
David Turnbull

I started building websites in 2002, at the innocent age of 12. After playing with my first computer at the age of 2, I'd had plenty of experience consuming what other people were making and was eager to start making stuff for people to consume. Throughout my teenage years this meant an abundance of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and other things that glued my to my computer, late into the night.

During this time, I read a lot of books about programming but was disllusioned by how poorly written many of them were. Despite having "A Beginner's Guide..." on the label, they'd be near impossible to understand, suffering from a range of ailments, like:

  • Poorly explained concepts with little consideration for true beginners.
  • Meaningless bloat to increase the page count (and the price) of the book.
  • Enough theory to sink the Titanic with very little hands-on learning.

It's probably inevitable, then, that I'd start writing technical books myself. I had a laundry list of things I hated about technical books so I at least had a starting point: "Don't be like the other guys." But of course, talk is cheap, so now's the time to put my thoughts in action.

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Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    • 1.1 Screencasts
    • 1.2 Prerequisites
    • 1.3 What You’ll Need
    • 1.4 Summary
  • 2. Getting Started
    • 2.1 Command Line
    • 2.2 Installing Meteor
    • 2.3 Summary
  • 3. Projects
    • 3.1 Create a Project
    • 3.2 Local Servers
    • 3.3 Default Application
    • 3.4 Summary
  • 4. Databases, Part 1
    • 4.1 MongoDB vs. SQL
    • 4.2 Create a Collection
    • 4.3 Inserting Data
    • 4.4 Finding Data
    • 4.5 Summary
  • 5. Templates
    • 5.1 Create a Template
    • 5.2 Client vs. Server
    • 5.3 Create a Helper
    • 5.4 Each Blocks
    • 5.5 Summary
  • 6. Events
    • 6.1 Create an Event
    • 6.2 Event Selectors
    • 6.3 Summary
  • 7. Sessions
    • 7.1 Create a Session
    • 7.2 The Player’s ID
    • 7.3 Selected Effect, Part 1
    • 7.4 Selected Effect, Part 2
    • 7.5 Summary
  • 8. Databases, Part 2
    • 8.1 Give 5 Points
    • 8.2 Advanced Operators, Part 1
    • 8.3 Advanced Operators, Part 2
    • 8.4 Sorting Documents
    • 8.5 Individual Documents
    • 8.6 Summary
  • 9. Forms
    • 9.1 Create a Form
    • 9.2 The “submit” Event
    • 9.3 The Event Object, Part 1
    • 9.4 The Event Object, Part 2
    • 9.5 Removing Players
    • 9.6 Summary
  • 10. Accounts
    • 10.1 Login Provider
    • 10.2 Meteor.users
    • 10.3 Login Interface
    • 10.4 Logged-in Status
    • 10.5 One Leaderboard Per User
    • 10.6 Project Reset
    • 10.7 Summary
  • 11. Publish & Subscribe
    • 11.1 Data Security
    • 11.2 autopublish
    • 11.3 isServer
    • 11.4 Publications, Part 1
    • 11.5 Subscriptions
    • 11.6 Publications, Part 2
    • 11.7 Summary
  • 12. Methods
    • 12.1 Create a Method
    • 12.2 Inserting Data (Again)
    • 12.3 Passing Arguments
    • 12.4 Removing Players (Again)
    • 12.5 Modifying Scores
    • 12.6 Summary
  • 13. Structure
    • 13.1 Your Project, Your Choice
    • 13.2 Thin Files, Fat Files
    • 13.3 Folder Conventions, Part 1
    • 13.4 Folder Conventions, Part 2
    • 13.5 Boilerplate Structures
    • 13.6 Summary
  • 14. Deployment
  • 15. Conclusion

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