The New Startup Stack

Trevor Burnham (HubSpot)
Development, Workshop
Location: Conference Room E Level:
Average rating: **...
(2.00, 7 ratings)

Just two years ago, most developers saw JavaScript as a necessary evil—a clunky, quirky language that happened to be the only thing that could run in all browsers. Then strange things started happening.
Node.js proved that JavaScript could thrive on the server. CoffeeScript made it easier to tap the power beneath JavaScript’s syntactic quirks. And V8 made it one of the fastest dynamic languages in the world. Suddenly, JavaScript was everywhere… and it was awesome.
This workshop will focus on using CoffeeScript on the server side with Node.js and the Express framework. We’ll build a full-fledged backend, complete with MongoDB persistence and unit tests. On the front-end, we’ll use Backbone.js and HTML5’s local storage to handle data monitoring and syncing. You’ll see how CoffeeScript and event-based design patterns keep your code performant and human-friendly on both the front and back ends.

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Trevor Burnham


Trevor Burnham is the author of the PragProg book CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development. When not spreading the good word about CoffeeScript, he tinkers with web apps in Cambridge, MA.

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Trevor Burnham
10/10/2011 6:02pm EDT

@Kenneth I’m very sorry. I didn’t know what kind of audience to expect; I imagined a group of people who’d heard good things about CoffeeScript, Node, and MongoDB, and who’d want to dive in with a real app. Instead, the audience was very mixed (there were even some non-devs), and nearly everyone would have benefited from a more structured, ground-up exploration of the technologies I was discussing.

There were also technology issues that prevented some people from installing the requisite development tools on their systems; that was foreseeable, and I should have at least included a link to installation instructions from this page so that people who were planning to attend this workshop in advance could prepare their machines (and warned those running Windows that they would have to resort to a VM).

In sum: My bad, and I hope the experience doesn’t abate your excitement about these awesome new technologies.

Kenneth Liu
10/10/2011 5:13pm EDT

This workshop was extremely disappointing. The speaker did not seem to put any effort into preparing the presentation; instead, he presented slides created by someone else and flew through them without much explanation.

Also, this was supposed to be a hands-on workshop lasting 3 hours; the speaker had only about 30-45m of material and the rest was “on our own”. People pay an extra fee to attend these workshops and if the presenter can’t even fill half the time with useful content or at least structure the “hands-on” time in some useful way, then the time and money is simply being wasted.

I was hoping to come and learn something about mongodb and Express, but the presenter did not even give a basic overview or explain a single thing about these technologies. There is no point just telling the attendees just to download a zip from github and tell them to run the example.

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Trevor Burnham
07/23/2011 8:19am EDT

Good questions, Geraldo. I’ll put up a skeleton project on Github for us to use as a starting point (complete with failing unit tests). All you’ll need to have installed on your system is Node.js and CoffeeScript. (I’ll set up a remote MongoDB server.) That’s it.

As to the format, I’ll start with a 15-minute or so presentation on what we’re trying to do and how each of our tools will help us do it; for the rest of the 3 hours, I’ll just walk around the room offering one-on-one support. So yeah—you’ll definitely be expected to code.

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Gerardo Lopez
07/20/2011 9:52am EDT

Interesting. This will be my 3rd time at the event, and almost all workshops are really long conferences. This one seems to be a real, hands-on, workshop. Are we going to build this backend working on our laptops? What should we have installed? Thanks

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