The Ultimate Developer Event: Backbone.js and CoffeeScript

Today at The Ultimate Developer Event, Chad Pytel is leading a workshop on building client-side web applications with Backbone.js and CoffeeScript. Chad is CEO of thoughtbot, a web and mobile design and development firm that has locations across the globe.

The workshop is being attended by 17 full-time developers with various programming backgrounds. Most attendees have previously worked with frameworks including: Rails, Google Web Toolkit, Pyramid, and JavaScriptMVC. The goal of the workshop is to cover:

  • How to build client-side web applications with Backbone.js.
  • The different pieces of Backbone.js (Models, Views, Router, and Templates) and how they fit together to build great applications.
  • How to effectively use Backbone.js Event binding to create dynamic applications.
  • Using CoffeeScript instead of JavaScript.

Chad began the workshop by explaining what Backbone.js is and how it works:

“Backbone.js is a client-side JavaScript web application Framework, ideally suited for making single-page web applications. Single-page web applications are sometimes hard to spot because they can actually swap out the entire page... the entire contents of the body are being re-rendered, as if you had re-rendered the entire page, except it is much faster and quicker because there is actually no server side communication happening.”

He then discussed some key syntax differences between JavaScript and CoffeeScript, that is when the similarities with Ruby/Python became evident. After highlighting these differences, we hopped in to the project at hand, creating our single-page web application. Below is a picture of Matt Mongeau, who works with Chad as a developer at thoughtbot, troubleshooting with an attendee.

As we continue to code away and Chad details Backbone.js event binding processes, here is where my coverage ends. For more information on Backbone.js and CoffeeScript check out the links below to thoughtbot blog posts relevant to this topic:

Be sure to read the next Events article: The Ultimate Developer Event: 4 Keys to Building Better REST APIs