npm scripting: configs and arguments... and some more tricks

I’ve written two posts on npm scripting with package.json and during the course of these post I’ve picked up some tricks that I didn’t really use in the posts.

This post will hence be a bit less structured by contain some small tidbits of information for you to, hopefully, enjoy and use.

I’ll be working of the code here and add all the features I describe (as far as possible) to that repository.

[UPDATED] This, and other posts on npm scripting, has drawn a lot of attention. I wanted you to know that I have created a PluralSight course on this topic, published in late October 2015. You can find it here.

Also, don’t miss the other posts on this blog on npm scripting:

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Pre and Post hooks for npm scripting

npm is at the core of developing in Node. Most of us use it to get packages, set up the package.json etc.

But when you put it together with the vast possibilities in package.json you get another gear. Then npm can actually become a build tool - driving every aspect of your development. Without getting unwieldy and out of control.

In this post I wanted to examine one of the lesser known features of scripting with npm and package.json; pre- and post hooks. In doing so I will most likely brush on a lot of other subjects too. We’ll see how it goes.

[UPDATED] This, and other posts on npm scripting, has drawn a lot of attention. I wanted you to know that I have created a PluralSight course on this topic, published in late October 2015. You can find it here.

Also, don’t...

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Progress indicators, estimates and plans

Here in Indonesia Internet is often very slow. No, you don’t understand. VERY slow. Downloading big files, like movies on iTunes, can be a project from 4 hours to days.

The other night we wanted to watch a movie (Bamse i Tjuvstaden, it’s actually pretty good) that our kids love. We have already bought it but iTunes still downloads part of it.

The normal thing happened; the progress indicator lied. My kids were angry and I had to explain to them:

That is an estimate, a guess. They simply don't know when it's done.

As I said that I was reminded about many times I’ve been required to give estimates in other settings. In this post I wanted to examine the similarities I felt was present.

Disclaimer

Yes, this might be considered a comment in the #hashTagThatShallNotBeNamed, but as you know I’m wiser than...

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ca 10 minutes on effective meetings

I don’t like meetings. Because most meetings I’ve attended has not been great. And I’m guilty of organizing some of those meetings too.

In this presentation I talk about how to make effective meetings. There will be a lot of small advices that I’ve found useful during my consultancy. I will also briefly describe the Lean Coffee meeting format.

Here’s all the post in the series (the links will work as I post them):

Please read the reason and ideas behind the entire series in the first post.

I’ve built the presentation around...

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Creating a 'Movie credits' animation in Keynote

I’m a big fan of Keynote and use that to create all of my presentations. Although I try to keep the number of animations down to a minimum, since I think they take a lot of focus from the content, I find that a few, well placed, animations can be very effective.

In one of my recent presentation I found the “need” to do a movie credits animation. You know like the thing that rolls in the end credits after a movie or TV-show. First I thought that I’d seen that exact animation, but it turned out to be in iMovie.

A search on the intertubes didn’t give me much useful either. But it turned out to be pretty simple to do. In this post I’ll show you how

TL;DR

Basically we will just use the “Move” Action for our block of text, move it...

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ca 10 minutes on Root Cause Analysis

Throughout all the things I’ve talked about in this series; mission, vision, strategic plans and kanban there’s a underlying concept. We want to improve. We want to be better in achieving our vision.

If you want to improve you will have to be great in fixing problems. Not only fixing the problems but the actual underlying reason for the problem to occured in the first place.

Root cause analysis is a powerful tool for doing that. This is what I talk about in this presentation.

Here’s all the post in the series (the links will work as I post them):

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QA: How big is a work item?

Sometimes people email questions to me, directly. I love that (although I sometime need to postpone the answering for awhile) because it gives me such nice insight into how other teams work and function. Basically: I learn more and as you can see from the tag line of this blog… I’m into learning stuff.

The other day I got a question that I’ve heard before in variants. It’s also very reasonable and a bit complicated to answer: “How big is a work item really?”

I also got permission to publish the whole question and my answer here.

Here’s the question from their email:

We use the Jira platform for managing tickets and are using the in-built kanban board for the same. I would like to know how we can manage Subtasks within Change Requests. Would it be a good practice to have Change Requests and have subtasks...
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Getting Elixir to run on my OsX (init terminating in do_boot)

I hear more and more about Elixir from some people that I really trust and respect. That means checking-out-new-technology-time for Marcus.

Luckily installing Elixir on Os X (Yosemite 10.10, that I’m running) is super simple with Homebrew:

brew update brew install elixir 

Or is it …

Not for me as it turns out. I hope you had a better fate. This is my story.

Becasue when that was all done I ran elixir -v to check my version number and got:

"{"init terminating in do_boot",{undef,[{elixir,start_cli,[],[]},{init,start_it,1,[]},{init,start_em,1,[]}]}}" 

In the output from Homebrew I saw just a little warning but nothing that was particularly scary. So I did what every professional programmer does; searched the Internets. And on GitHub I found this issue for Elixir, which sounds exactly like that I was...

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Only help those that want help

I tweeted this the other day:

I continued to think a bit about that, especially after a little bit depressing response I got.

What would the opposite to that be? Help those that doesn’t want help. How stupid doesn’t sound? Or “Don’t help those that want help.”

I don’t know how much time and effort I’ve spent on the opposite. Trying to convince people that they need to change, when they don’t want too. Or forcing (yes, sorry … they told me to) a new process or methodology on team who were quite content with their ways and procedure.

Why do we do these things? How can anyone be this stupid? In many cases I’ve got...

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ca 15 minutes on Kanban

In this presentation I break it down to the day-to-day management of a project or team. How can we keep our focus? How can we improve? How do we even know what we are doing right now?

As no surprise to to readers of this blog this will be accomplished with kanban.

Here’s all the post in the series (the links will work as I post them):

Please read the reason and ideas behind the entire series in the first post.

It was quite a challenge and very interesting to not only boil...

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