Course Review: Building A JavaScript Development Environment

Course: Building A JavaScript Development Environment, by Cory House (5hrs video tutorials, Pluralsight)

One thing which separates the professional developer from the hobbyist / student is the use of a professional development environment. If you have been learning for a while, you have probably come across references to Grunt, Gulp, Browserify, Webpack, NPM, Babel and other utilities. If you are a bit hazy about what they all mean, but you’ve got them on your mental to-learn list, then this course could be your new best friend.

The course covers the following: choosing an editor, package management, building a development web server, automation, transpiling, bundling, linting, testing and a few others.

For each topic, he discusses the pros and cons of different technologies, then suggests a first choice, and shows you step by step how to install it, set up a basic configuration and run it The ultimate goal is to build a “starter kit” which you can use for any new project. Among the chosen technologies are Visual Studio Code, NPM, Express, Local Tunnel, npm scripts, babel, and Webpack.

Some of this stuff might be overkill for fCC projects, but for me, it was great to get a handle on all these topics. It was also useful to have all of these utilities covered in one place, so you can get an overview, rather than trying to pick them up piecemeal from different blogs and docs.

Prereqs: some experience with npm and the command line is recommended.

Available on Pluralsight: 200 minutes free trial, $30/mo thereafter.

Note for Windows users: I had some trouble setting up npm scripts on my machine - the package.json file where they live seems to invoke by default cmd.exe, which was not aware of my npm installation. The solution was to add a path to the npm and node folder in windows settings - environment variables. This is probably obvious to a lot of people, but I learned it the hard way.


You can get a free 6 month pluralsight account from a free microsoft’s visual dev essentials thing.

I still have not actually completed this course since I am focusing on gamedev right now but with what I have done and knowing how good his other courses are I am sure it is a decent course.

Cory House has a lot of good pluralsight courses to look into like…

  1. Clean Code: Writing Code for Humans
  2. Building Applications with React and Flux
  3. Building Applications with React and Redux in ES6

Awesome, thanks for the info