The Fastest Way to Build a Quick Starter App with Express.js

Over the years I’ve used Express.js many times as a quick getting started example app. Since I often reference it I wanted to provide a short post that shows exactly what I do 99.9% of the time to start one of these quick Express.js reference apps. I’ve detailed in this post how to get started with Express.js the fastest way I know. There is one prerequisite, I’m assuming in this post you’ve already got Node.js installed. With that in mind, check out my installation suggestions for Node.js if you need to get that installed still. The other thing, is you’ll need to have git installed. On MacOS and Linux git is most likely installed already, if you’re on Windows I’ll leave that googling exercise up to you.

Create a directory and navigate into the directory.

mkdir quick-start-express
cd quick-start-express

Now in that directory execute the following command. Note, this command is available as of node.js 8.2.0.

npx express-generator
npm install

Inside that directory that you’ve navigated to, you’ll now have an Express.js skeleton app setup to run with the dependencies now downloaded with npm install. On MacOS or Linux run the following command to start the web app.

DEBUG=quick-start-express:* npm start

If you’re on Windows run the following command.

set DEBUG=quick-start-express:* & npm start

That’s it, one of the quickest ways to get a Node.js site up and running to start developing against!

If you’d like to dig in a bit deeper, here’s a great follow up post on creating APIs with Express. Give it a read, it’ll give you some great next steps to try out!

Cheers, and happy thrashing code!

The Method I Use Setting Up a Dev Machine for Node.js

UPDATED: April 4th, 2019

It seems every few months setup of whatever tech stack is always tweaked a bit. This is a collection of information I used to setup my box recently. First off, for the development box I always use nvm as it is routine to need a different version of Node.js installed for various repositories and such. The best article I’ve found that is super up to date for Ubuntu 18.04 is Digital Ocean’s article (kind of typical for them to have the best article, as their blog is exceptionally good). In it the specific installation of nvm I’ve noticed has changed since I last worked with it some many months ago. Continue reading “The Method I Use Setting Up a Dev Machine for Node.js”

My Node.js Story

Once upon a time in a part of the tech universe far far away, there was a general consensus to block all JavaScript from browser execution. It was the way things were because JavaScript was seen as harmful. You see, the early miscreants of that time had used JavaScript to write all sorts of problematic code that would attack, steal, or otherwise undermine the data one sent across and received on the internet. This is the time I could have started learning JavaScript, but because of its horrid reputation I stayed far away and wrote C, C++, C#, Java, and event some RPG, COBOL, Pascal, and some other code. It was glorious, and the languages were beautiful in their own ways, while JavaScript was shunned by almost everybody in that tech universe! **

Today, things aren’t all that much different, but we make it easier for the whole horde of miscreant scripters to write problematic code in JavaScript. The difference is we allow it everywhere and just try to catch it and prevent execution. Thus, different, but the same, it’s a crazy world we live in.

I started picking up a little JavaScript at the tail end of 2007, when the “JavaScript: The Definitive Guide” was the top book to delve deeply into using JavaScript. It wasn’t another year until the seminal “JavaScript: The Good Parts” cut down the size of what one really needed to delve into by removing the cruft and focusing on the good parts. Slowly, JavaScript was finally starting to take shape as something useful.

Writing JavaScript at this time was a mutant challenge of having it look like Java while being organized like a trash pile of scripts that had no way to manage dependencies or otherwise. I mean, NPM was years away from existing, and really the concept of libraries in JavaScript seemed to be a foreign concept at the time.

2008 rolled around, “JavaScript: The Good Parts” came out, the changes started rippling through the industry and as traction started to mount. The penultimate event occurred the following year in 2009, which at the time almost nobody noticed. Dahl started Node.js at Joyent to enable server side JavaScript code use. At the time, many were flummoxed by the notion, weren’t confident in the single threaded event loop, and overall its release and the project continuing were in jeopardy from this point.

But the project continued and persisted!

Continue reading “My Node.js Story”

Kubernetes 101 Workshop

Today I TA’d (Teacher’s Assistant) a course with Bridget at GOTO Chicago Conference. There were a number of workshops besides just the Kubernetes 101 like; Working Effectively with Legacy Code with Michael Feathers (@mfeathers), Estimates or NoEstimates with Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill), Testing Faster with Dan North (@tastapod), Data Science and Analytics for Developers (Machine Learning) with Phil Winder (@DrPhilWinder), and so many others that I’d love to have multi-processed all at the same time! Digging through Kubernetes from a 101 course level was interesting, as I’ve never formally tried to educate myself about Kubernetes, just dove in. My own knowledge is very random about what I do or don’t know about, and a 101 course fills out some of the gaps for me.

The conference is located in a cool and sort of strange place for a conference, out kind of in the lake, called the Navy Pier. Honestly, I dig it, it’s a cool place for a conference. I enjoyed the ~15 minute walk from the hotel to the location too, because it’s right there on the tip of the pier, as shown in the fancy map below.

chicagonavypier

The workshop is going well. Bridget is filling up student’s brains and I’m going to dork around Kuberneting some Cassandra and Node.js for my talk. I’m pretty stoked as the talk has given me a good excuse to delve into some Node.js again, from a nodal systemic viewpoint, “Node Systems for Node.js Services on Nodes of Systemic Nodal Systems” this Thursday.

__2 “Starting a Basic Loopback API & Continuous Integration”

In this article Keartida is going to dive into setting up a basic Loopback API project and get a build of that project running on a continuous integration service. In this example she’s going to get the project setup with Codeship.

Prerequisites:

  • Be sure, whichever system you are using, to have a C++ compiler installed. For Windows that usually means installing Visual Studio or something, on OS-X install XCode and the Developer Tools. On Ubuntu the GCC compiler and other options exist. For instructions on OS-X and Linux check out installing compiler tools.
  • Ubuntu
  • OS-X
  • For windows, I’d highly suggest setting up a VM of Ubuntu to do any work with Loopback, Node.js, or follow along with this material. It’s possible on Windows, but there are a number of things that are lacking. If you still want to make a go of using Windows, here are some initial setup steps here.

Nice to Haves:

  • git-flow – works on any bash, handles the branching and merging. Very nice scripts to have.
  • bashit – Adding more information to the bash prompt (works on OS-X, not Ubuntu or Windows Bash)

Continue reading “__2 “Starting a Basic Loopback API & Continuous Integration””