Thursday, January 30, 2014

Going NodeJS

I have been working on NodeJS for exactly three weeks now. I am blown away with how powerful it is! I knew all that Javascript learning couldn't be worthless. If you don't know NodeJS, I would recommend this as a starting point:

There are plenty of ways to get introduced to Node, but WebStorm gives you a solid template to grow from. There is so much noise in the Node ecosystem right now, I would strongly recommend you start with a major vendor. If you just jump in and start trying to cobble together a site out of the Node Package Manager, you are going to contend with third party code that will eat the world. The coherent IDE from JetBrains gives you a soft landing and plumbs most of what you need out of the box.

There is an alpha release of Node support for Visual Studio 2013, but it lacks anything but local build support, lacks a LOT in the debugging and code-complete area. That said, if you are a MS toad like me, it is still an interesting place to start.

Testing you say? Javascript is weak in this area, but there are solutions. Being a Test Driven Development (TDD) ardent myself, I went with a framework called Mocha that has a slew of plugins for your desired flavor of Assert or Expect lingo. The lacking thing for Mocha is Windows support. For that gap, I use Gulp.

Gulp is a task runner kind of thing that you can plug into your Node project.

One of the best intros I have found: