The Web Platform
March 7–8, 2016: Training
March 8–10, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

Building a desktop application with Electron (continued)

Steve Kinney (Turing School of Software and Design)
11:00am–12:30pm Tuesday, 03/08/2016
Average rating: ****.
(4.80, 5 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Participants should be familiar with JavaScript and using npm modules in a Node.js environment.

Materials or downloads needed in advance

Participants should have the latest version of Node.js installed prior to the session.


Using GitHub’s Electron project and Node.js, Steve Kinney demonstrates how to leverage JavaScript knowledge to build cross-platform desktop applications that are freed from the constraints of traditional web applications.

Participants will use GitHub’s Electron project to create the following applications:

  • A note-taking application that allows you to open notes in Markdown format, render them as HTML, and save the HTML output to either the filesystem or the operating system’s clipboard. The application will live update the HTML preview whenever the Markdown has been changed and keep track of opened files using the operating system’s recent documents list.
  • A small application that sits in the menu or task bar and is accessible thoughout the operating system via a global shortcut.

These applications will have complete access to the file system and be able to store notes as plain text files that can be easily backed up or synced. Along the way, you’ll explore Electron’s features and capabilities and learn how to leverage all of npm when building a variety of rich desktop applications.

Photo of Steve Kinney

Steve Kinney

Turing School of Software and Design

Steve Kinney is the co-director of academics and an instructor at the Turing School of Software and Design in Denver, Colorado. He is originally from the great state of New Jersey and was a New York City public school teacher for seven years, where he taught special education, science, and—eventually—JavaScript to students in high-need schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. In his copious free time, Steve teaches classes on web development with Girl Develop It.