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Proposing: Test-Driven Javascript Screencast

15 Mar, 2012

Update, May 14th: The Kickstarter is live! Back the screencast here.

Update, March 20th: The votes are in and it looks like this project is a go. The average vote was 3.91 (very good, considering what a high bar 5 stars was) and about 25% of readers voted. I'm off to figure out the details--expect more news from me in early May. Thanks again!


The response to my Let's Play: Test-Driven Development screencast has been pretty good. I've had over 88,000 video views and it's the most popular part of my site. The conversations about design and architecture have been pretty great, too.

There's just one problem: it's written in Java and Swing.

Don't get me wrong. I like Java. It's just not, um, the most... exciting programming language out there. Nor is Swing today's most relevant technology. And while I like to think I've shed light in some dark corners with my GUI testing and incremental design episodes, TDD in Java is fairly well understood.

So let's do something harder and more relevant. How about series on test-driven development in Javascript, HTML, CSS, and Node.js?

Let's Code: Test-Driven Javascript

I'm thinking of starting out with a 32-episode "season." As with Let's Play TDD, I'd be coding a real application and commentating live. Each episode would be about 15 minutes long. That makes the whole season a full day of programming, enough time for me to cover a lot of interesting topics, especially since I cut out or condense research time and experiments.

Here's what I plan to include:

  • Test-driven client-side Javascript development, including look & feel (I've TDD'd SVG charts, drag-and-drop, and more in Javascript).
  • Test-driven server-side Node.js development.
  • Automated cross-browser & cross-platform testing, including Windows, Mac, and iPad.
  • Automated regression testing of HTML & CSS aesthetics.
  • Automated build and deployment, including linting & validation, merging, and minification.
  • Javascript design and architecture.

I've solved all of the hard problems on this list before, except for the automated regression testing of HTML & CSS aesthetics. We'll also have a discussion forum for people to post their thoughts and ideas. Full source code will of course be included with each episode.

The Catch

Too good to be true? Well... a bit. Doing this project right means putting a lot of time into it. So I'm looking at crowdfunding the series through something like Kickstarter. Before I do that, I want to get a sense of whether this is worth pursuing at all. That's where you come in.

Vote Below

Rate this essay to indicate your support for crowdfunding the first season of Let's Code: Test-Driven Javascript.

Ratings are at the bottom of the page, across from the "Comments" link. Rate from one to five, where five is best, like this:

  • ***** Shut up and take my money!
  • **** If the price is right, I'm there.
  • *** Meh... there's potential, but I'll wait to see what other people say first.
  • ** I'd watch if it were free, but I can't see spending money on it.
  • * Nope. Not interested.

In the comments, share your thoughts and ideas about this screencast. What aspects are most interesting to you? What else would you like me to include? How much should other people pay for the season after it's been funded?

Thanks for your help! I'll be looking at the number of ratings as well as the average score, so please vote and tell your friends!