Starting new projects

development, productivity, tips Updated

Getting started on a new project can be fun and exciting but there can also be a lot of initial setup and plumbing required which can sometimes be quite tedious. Here are some of the tips, tricks, and templates I use to bootstrap a new project so I can get to the fun stuff sooner.

Version control #

The first step for most projects is to setup version control, my preference is git.

In my dotfiles I have some git defaults configured to help set things up the way I want, for example, the default branch that's created should be main instead of master:

# ~/.gitconfig
  defaultBranch = main

I also have my user name, email, and some other things configured so I don't have to do this manually. Starting a new repo is as simple as:

git init [project-name]

Common files #

Generate a file for your npm packages with @alangreene/readme

npx @alangreene/readme

It fills out a template with data from your package.json. Once generated you can edit as needed to suit the project.

Some other things to consider include .gitignore,,, LICENSE.

Hat tip to Tierney Cyren for the following:

npx license $(npm get init-license)
npx gitignore node
npx covgen <email> # adds the Contributor Covenant to ``
npm init -y

npx license accepts some optional args to override its default behaviour:

  • --name: defaults to name from git config, or $USER
  • --email: defaults to email from git config
  • --projectName: defaults to folder name

Node.js #

Similar to my git config, I also have some npm defaults configured to speed things up so I can run:

npm init -y

For a scoped package add --scope=<scope>, for example:

npm init -y --scope=@alangreene
  • TODO: document common starter setup with Prettier, ESLint, Jest, etc.
  • TODO: refactor init scripts as @alangreene/create for use as npm init @alangreene
    • alternatively, split out sub-types as @alangreene/create-<name> for use as npm init @alangreene/<name>
    • NOTE: to pass additional args to the initialiser: npm init <name> -- <args>
    • see (also -w for workspaces in npm@7, compare to yarn workspaces)

Templates #

GitHub now provides support for creating repositories from templates.

  • TODO: cleanup and publish Eleventy + Tailwind template
  • TODO: create homelab Docker / Kubernetes template