Getting Serious with JavaScript

Hudl recently hosted a developer meetup with a talk given by Matt Steele. The talk was titled Treating JavaScript Like a Real Language with an alternative title of What Zelda taught me about Front End Engineering.

The crux of the talk had to do with the inherent challenges and perils of JavaScript and the necessity to treat it as a real language by using the kinds of tools and tricks of the trade that we employ with other languages like Java, C++, etc. It was an engaging talk with a whirlwind of technologies and tools, so I thought I would take this opportunity to transcribe the tools and technologies into a blog post.

Development and Syntax


  • Jasmine – a behavior-driven development framework for testing JavaScript code
  • Sinon.js – Standalone test spies, stubs and mocks for JavaScript. No dependencies, works with any unit testing framework.
  • JS-ImageDiff – JavaScript / Canvas based image diff utility with Jasmine matchers for testing canvas

Build Tools

  • Grunt – a task-based command line build tool for JavaScript projects
  • Yeoman – a robust and opinionated set of tools, libraries, and a workflow that can help developers quickly build beautiful, compelling web apps
  • Jenkins – an open-source continuous integration server



Beyond Javascript

  • CoffeeScript – a little language that compiles into JavaScript
  • TypeScript – a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript for application-scale JavaScript development

Missing Something?

Do you do a lot of JavaScript? Have we neglected to mention something that you would swear by? Join the conversation at HackerNews or hit me up on Twitter.

Check out the slides from the talk and as well as a video of the talk. Also, Matt does a lot of cool stuff, so keep tabs on him via or @mattdsteele.

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