About Nicholas C. Zakas

Recent Posts

Node.js and the new web front-end

Front-end engineers have a rather long and complicated history in software engineering. For the longest time, that stuff you sent to the browser was “easy enough” that anyone could do it and there was no real need for specialization. Many claimed that so-called web developers were nothing more than graphic designers using a different medium.... […]

Understanding ECMAScript 6 arrow functions

One of the most interesting new parts of ECMAScript 6 are arrow functions. Arrow functions are, as the name suggests, functions defined with a new syntax that uses an “arrow” (=>) as part of the syntax. However, arrow functions behave differently than traditional JavaScript functions in a number of important ways: Lexical this binding –... […]

That time the lights went out at Etsy

I was preparing for my talk at Etsy’s Code as Craft series this past Tuesday. The room was starting to fill and we had about 10 minutes before I was to start. I took out my laptop and found, much to my dismay, that it wouldn’t work with the projector. For anyone who’s done any... […]

Understanding how you provide value

As a geeky teenager, I watched in envy as all the pretty girls started dating the jocks, the rebels, and the mysteriously popular kids who didn’t seem to have any discernible talent. I, like most guys in my situation, would sit and watch and daydream about the day that those girls would want to date... […]

Introducing ESLint

A long time ago, JSLint was the state of the art in JavaScript linting technology. Then JSHint came along as a fork and took over due to increased flexibility. I welcomed JSHint as my linter of choice and used it everywhere, happily submitting patches and customizing which rules to apply based on the project. At... […]

The case for setImmediate()

One of my favorite new APIs that has been beaten about is setImmediate(). While I’ll concede the naming is completely wrong, the functionality is completely awesome. The basic idea is to tell the browser that you want some JavaScript code executed after the last UI task in the event loop completes. To put it more... […]

Internet Explorer 11: “Don’t call me IE”

This past week, Microsoft officially unveiled the first preview of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.11. Doing so put to rest a whirlwind of rumors based on leaked versions of the much-maligned web browser. We now know some very important details about Internet Explorer 11, including its support for WebGL, prefetch, prerender, flexbox, mutation observers,... […]

eval() isn’t evil, just misunderstood

In all of JavaScript, I’m not sure there is a more maligned piece than eval(). This simple function designed to execute a string as JavaScript code has been the more source of more scrutiny and misunderstanding during the course of my career than nearly anything else. The phrase “eval() is evil” is most often attributed... […]

On the politics, cargo-culting, and maintainability of JavaScript

There has recently been a renewed focus on what I’ve come to call the anti-convention movement in JavaScript. It seems like once or twice a year, someone either does a talk or writes an article saying that all of the things so-called JavaScript experts tell you are wrong and you should do whatever you want.... […]

GitHub workflows inside of a company

Recently I asked engineers to share their experiences working with GitHub at companies. I’ve always used GitHub for open source projects, but I was interested in learning more about using it professionally and how one’s development workflow might change given all of GitHub’s capabilities. I set up a gist1 so people could leave the answers... […]