Brunch with Panache

A modular approach to building web apps with Brunch.

I created Brunch with Panache while working at a Chicago-based startup called Trunk Club based on my experiences scaling up an e-commerce front-end for

Developing Web Apps on Windows with Vagrant

12 minute read Updated

How to set up a Node.js development workflow on Windows using a Linux VM.

I earlier this month I spent way too much time writing an article on how to SFTP to Ubuntu Server with Sublime Text. The purpose of the SFTP effort was to set myself up for developing modern web applications on a new Windows 8 machine I bought to play SimCity 2013. And after getting everything working I realized the SFTP method had some gremlins and the file syncing reminded me of Dreamweaver—it simply wasn’t fast enough.

Lately, unless you were running a Linux machine or had the pleasure of owning a Mac with OS X, developing modern web applications has been a bit of a kludge. Enter Vagrant.

Vagrant is a tool for building complete development environments. With an easy-to-use workflow and focus on automation, Vagrant lowers development environment setup time, increases development/production parity, and makes the “works on my machine” excuse a relic of the past.

In this article I’ll explain how to set up a development environment in Windows using a virtualized Linux box, suitable for rapid prototyping. Then I’ll take it a step further and explain how to integrate a Backbone-based application framework with Vagrant and Sublime Text, greatly increasing the speed for developing modern web applications on Windows.

CoffeeScript for Tessel with Yeoman and Gulp

5 minute read Published

Learn how to transpile CoffeeScript to JavaScript using Yeoman and Gulp for use with the Tessel microcontroller

A few years back Sauce Labs co-founder Jason Huggins (@hugs) was giving a talk at js.chi(), showing us how to use an Arduino to change the color of an LED based on an input. During the talk Jason suggested those interested in microcontrollers check out Pumping Station: One up on Clybourn. So I got some friends together and we went to PS1, and learned the basics of programming an Arduino. The event was a fun experience and, later that night, netted me a working Larson Scanner. Since then I’ve procured a Raspberry PI, and started tinkering with Google Coder. And now it’s time for Tessel.

A Back-End for Backbone.js Apps

2 minute read Published

Using Ruby, Sinatra and MongoDB on Windows

After writing about Developing Web Apps on Windows with Vagrant spent some time immersing myself in Ruby and Ruby Gems. Tonight, while catching up on some articles in my Pocket, I ran across the following article from Addy Osmani: Building Backbone.js Apps With Ruby, Sinatra, MongoDB and Haml.

Sweet. In addition to Addy’s very awesome and open-source book Backbone Fundamentals, he’s also writing some useful related articles. And though I’d likely ditch haml in favor of Emblem with Swag, Addy’s article ought to be a good starting point for the Ruby newbie.

Amp Up CoffeeScript Coding with Sublime Text

3 minute read Published

Sublime Text with CoffeeScript is a JavaScript developer’s dream, but one that doesn’t evaporate in the fog of sleep shortly after waking. After learning about Sublime Text at Fluent Conf 2012 during a plenary talk from Paul Irish, I immediately began looking for ways to incorporate it into my workflow. And now, after having used it for over 8 months in my day-to-day work, I wanted to share a quick primer for those who want to amp up CoffeeScript coding with Sublime Text too.