In short: “Kafka in Action” by Dylan Scott, Viktor Gamov and Dave Klein, published by Manning is a nice introduction to Kafka, especially directed towards developers.
Apache Kafka is a pretty ubiquitous piece of software nowadays, pretty much everyone and their grandma use it. And why not? It’s quite powerful and does a good job.
The book is very much introductory, it requires no previous Kafka knowledge and doesn’t claim to cover more than the basics, but does that quite well. After reading it, you can be confident in setting up a simple test broker, connect to it, add a consumer and producer, mix in a little bit variation where details are concerned and even manage a bit playing around with streams.
Of course, this implies that this book alone is adequate for starting to work with Kafka for most typical use-cases, but will not allow someone to jump into the deep end of the pool. For most “deeper” topics, like optimization, details of administration, etc.etc. one will have to refer to others sources, but each chapter provides a quite long list of references that one can use as a stepping stone into the details.
Together with the limited length (less than 250 pages) this makes this book a great resource for developers new to Kafka, while experienced developers who already know their way around Kafka will probably not find that much new stuff here to justify the time.
Disclaimer: No, I didn’t get it for free, neither am I paid for this post. I just bought and read it.