Better front-end automation with npm scripts: a reading list

I'm going to be doing a few posts following up on my talk, Advanced Front-End Automation with npm scripts, but in the mean time, here are some excellent resources for learning about npm scripts and good systems design:

Articles and talks on systems design

  1. The Systems Bible by John Gall is a humorously cynical take on why large systems tend to fail, and what to do about it.
  2. I learned about the above via @ceejbot's talk Cheating Gall's Law, which has some amazing ideas about dealing with complexity in software design
  3. Simple Made Easy, a talk by Rich Hickey. Required watching if you really want to understand simplicity, not just say the words ;)

Articles about using npm as a build tool

  1. Substack's task automation with npm run. It's a little old (2013), but it was the thing that put this idea in my head.
  2. How to use npm as a build tool by Keith Cirkel. A lot of great practical tips, including windows compatibility.
  3. My own article on how executables work in npm scripts
  4. An article on using npm as a build tool in Japanese, by the author of npm-run-all
  5. npm's documentation on using scripts, also run script. There is so much here/in the source code I didn't mention -- worth checking out!


  1. @mysticatea's npm-run-all. You should try this!
  2. @rebeccaorg's in-publish, a tool that helps you run tasks differently in dev environments v.s. published packages;
  3. If you want to check out an example package.json, take a look at this file on one of my new projects