JSFoo 2014

JavaScript as the centerpiece of a complex web stack

Himanshu Kapoor


Automating Mundane Front-end Tasks Using Node.js

Submitted Aug 7, 2014

Laziness is one of the three virtues of a good programmer, says Larry Wall, the original author of the Perl programming language: http://threevirtues.com/

Such a good programmer would understand how mundane it is to perform a task repeatedly. He considers it grunt work, and he’d rather write a bot to do the task for him, so that he never has to do it again.

The world of front-end development has been making quite some advancement in automation. Scaffold tools like yeoman, build systems like grunt, and package managers like bower have made the lives of developers a lot easier. But even still, the friction of using such tools is rather high.

This workshop will not only demonstrate how tooling can help you automate your day-to-day tasks, but also provide a deep understanding of the underlying functionality behind such tools. There might be some friction to begin using such tools, but once you get the hang of it, they can make your development process a lot easier and faster.


The workshop would begin by introducing tooling for Front-end development. Examples would include scaffold generation using yeoman, build processes using grunt, and dependency management using npm and bower.

After this introduction, the underlying configuration and functionality behind such tools will be detailed. The most part of this workshop will describe automation of real-world grunt tasks, like concatenation, minification, source map generation, running tests and internationalization.

Some of these tasks might need some tailoring, depending on the kind of project one is working on. If configuring an existing task cannot do such tailoring, the workshop would go about writing a custom task to automate such a process. All it takes is writing some logic in Node.js after all.


The attendees are expected to have intermediate knowledge of JavaScript and Node.js. For best results, it is recommended to have the latest versions of Node.js and NPM installed before attending the workshop.

Speaker bio

Himanshu is a front-end engineer at Wingify. He has been working with JavaScript for the past 5 years, and has done several projects based on front-end frameworks like Backbone, Ember.js and most recently Angular.js. His role at Wingify involves solving challenges related to data visualization, communication and performance optimization on the front-end.


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