I’d been playing with various code bins and online IDEs for a while, but I was having trouble finding best practices.
What’s the best way to organize my Node.js code?
Programming has a lot of personal preferences that come along with it (for example, a laptop is not a phone, so trackpad scrolling should only be in a downward motion). After lots of iterations, this is my workflow when I go to write in Node.js.
I keep everything in
~/Documents/Projects, and create a new directory. Sometimes I browse my Projects folder and don’t remember what things are from the name. I suppose this isn’t exactly unique in the code world, though…
Inside of my new directory, the first thing I do when starting a new command line node project is to run
This command starts a utility that creates a
package.json file for the project. When you run it, you’ll be prompted for the answers to several different questions. Hitting enter will accept the default, which is fine. The only thing I change is setting the entry point to
src/index.js. If you hit enter too fast, you can always manually edit the
package.json file later.
Next I create the
src folder with
mkdir src. I like to put my source code in this directory to avoid having the
node_modules directory indexed when I’m using my editor later. I also run
touch src/index.js to create a placeholder for the file. If I’m writing a program that has output, I’ll also create an
output directory in the root of the project.
Even if I’m not planning on uploading my code to GitHub, I typically will start tracking by running
git init in the root of my project. This will create an empty repository so you can start tracking changes. If you decide to add a GitHub repo later, you can edit the git config to get it set up.
When creating a new repository on GitHub, I initialize it without a README or
.gitignore file in favor of doing them myself manually later.
To add a GitHub repo to the project later, run
git remote add origin firstname.lastname@example.org:username/repo-name.git
I typically add a
.gitignore file that contains the following:
From here, I open up
src/index.js and start hacking!