A few years back I got a chance to make my first contribution to a popular open source project.
Build tools come and go, but my favorite for a long time has been Brunch. Since I loved hacking Phoenix and Elixir, and that just happens to be the build tool that came with it, I jumped right in.
Why Brunch and Not Gulp, Grunt Or Webpack
What makes Brunch a superior build tool, for me, is the incredible user experience. The Brunch web site and documentation, and instructions, are incredibly easy to get anyone going.
You can quickly learn Brunch within, literally, 5 minutes.
And it doesn’t need to get very complex, unless you want it to.
So Simple An Eighth Grader Could Do It
Brunch is simpler than most of the alternatives. And it’s fun to use, and incredibly flexible.
With the exception of
make, and its derivatives like
cake, I can’t recall a build tool nearly so impressive in its opinionated but well-executed take on get things done.
So when I went through the Brunch tutorials, and was building my Phoenix app for a minimally viable product (MVP) I was working on, it was natural for me to feel more engaged with the product documentation than usual.
Clarity Matters In Technical Documentation
The Brunch project does a great job at not just delivering the tech, but packaging it up with thorough, user-friendly documentation as well.
Nonetheless, I found a small issue in one of the beginner tutorials where a newbie to Brunch could get lost.
I promptly went to work, reworking the steps, and testing things out for myself so I could figure out where the missteps were.
Brunch Makes It Easy To Contribute
Once I had what appeared to be a better way to guide the user around the pitfall I had just encountered, I went ahead and suggested some changes to the project maintainers. Within a short while, my changes were reviewed and accepted into the documentation.
Without a doubt, this community interactivity and responsiveness makes Brunch a stronger tool. Anyone can improve it, it’s constantly getting better and easier for all of us to use the tool for our varied needs.
Now, that’s open source!
About Ten Mutunhire and Programming Renegades
These are the technologies we work with most:
Node.js and React
Our founder, Ten Mutunhire, a Programming Renegade himself, is also available for keynote speeches and tech speaking engagements. Ten’s areas of focus are tips for improving developer/team productivity and happiness, and other high performance strategies for tech teams. For speaking requests, contact us here