Starter kit and reusable scripts

The JavaScript ecosystem has reached a very interesting point in its history. There are members of the community overwhelmed by the learning curve required to start a new project and based on that they express JavaScript fatigue. There are also contradicting opinions announcing renaissance of JavaScript because it became truly general purpose language and dominated front-end development. So the question is, how to take advantage of all existing tools but at the same time change the first impression in a way that makes the following joke irrelevant:

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Migrating to Jest test runner

I have already shared my comparison of two JavaScript testing solutions where I admitted that I favor Jest over Mocha. Back then, I listed all major differences between those tools summarized with advantages and disadvantages of migrating to Jest:

Pros:

  • Simpler API, less boilerplate code.
  • Flexible and easy configuration.
  • Test files executed in isolation.
  • Advanced watch mode.
  • Snapshots support = easier start with testing.
  • Code coverage.

Cons:

  • Another migration.
  • Mocha has still a bit better performance (according to my quick tests).

My analysis got very positive feedback, with only a few little concerns, so I got encouraged to take action and verify the assumptions stated. I picked two different projects to play with to ensure both of them will uniformly benefit from using Jest.

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React Native EU 2017 – my selective recap

I had an opportunity to attended React Native EU 2017 conference last month. This 2 days long event took place in my hometown Wrocław, Poland. It was a very interesting experience for me because I’m a frontend developer. I don’t have any working experience with React Native and the only mobile project I worked on was built using Apache Cordova. Anyway, I found many of the talks very attractive and I wanted to highlight some of them in this post.

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Picking Jest over Mocha – testing tools comparison

At Automattic we use Mocha to run all tests written for Calypso project which powers WordPress.com. It also includes end-to-end tests, which live in their own repository. We have been using this setup for over 3 years now. I think it is a good moment to revisit this choice. I found this unit testing tools comparison very helpful when evaluating alternatives. I strongly agree with the conclusions shared by Martin Olsson in his article:

Staying with Javascript, I think it’s hard to ignore the momentum behind Jest. I would be awesome if someone fixed #2059 though. Then again, Mocha seems to work well enough for a lot of people.

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Time to get interactive as a performance measure

I have already published one post about Progressive Web Apps (PWA) a few months back. It looks like Google is investing a lot of efforts to make it a new standard of building websites. At the last Google I/O, there were a few announcements made related to making PWA a default feature in a few popular boilerplates and CLIs for libraries like React, Preact, Polymer or Vue. I recommend watching the following presentation by Addy Osmani:

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React as a cross-platform UI

I got very excited when watching this talk for React Europe by Leland Richardson:

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Functional Light JavaScript workshop

Functionite company did an impressive job bringing JavaScript expert Kyle Simpson to their hometown Warsaw, Poland in September last year. He led You Don’t Know JS Workshops, 5 days of JavaScript classes focused on learning new skills and the best practices. I joined on the last day to attend an excellent workshop titled Functional-Light JavaScript. In this post, I wanted to share slides and my coding exercises from this course. If you are curious what topics related to functional programming were covered I strongly recommend checking notes from a similar workshop shared by Beth Allchurch.

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A journey to functional JavaScript: Part 1 – fundamentals

JavaScript has a quite fascinating history. Brendan Eich created on his own the first language prototype in just ten days. Its implementation was highly influenced by the concepts of first-class functions from Scheme and prototypes from Self. Initially, it was developed under the name Mocha, but released as LiveScript. The latter name didn’t last long either. Java was so hot back in 1995, that Netscape decided to take marketing move and rename their new language to JavaScript. This decision has greatly influenced the way JavaScript has been perceived for many years. Outward similarities to Java promoted imperative, object-oriented style among developers using it. Ideas borrowed from Scheme have always enabled using functional programming styles as well. However, it was never the case until it started to get momentum a few month ago.

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ReactJS Wrocław meetup #7

In September of this year, I experienced my first exposure to the art of public speaking. I gave a talk at ReactJS Wrocław #7 meetup. I already published my presentation on my blog and you can find it here. I’m glad that I decided to share my lessons learned while working on the Calypso project. I’m satisfied with the topic I picked, but I’m afraid I could do a way better job explaining code examples I presented. It looks like I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to work on projects based on React in the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to it and I hope to find another excuse to speak to the audience again.

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Exploring functional JavaScript

I started exploring functional programming (FP) concepts over a year ago. I have already shared my initial learning materials in one of the previous posts. It was only the beginning of my journey and today I would like to give you a much more detailed update on that topic. I picked the most interesting resources I discovered in the recent months. They helped me understand how functional programming can improve the developer’s experience when you work with JavaScript.

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