Shotgun: JavaScript Video Experience

Photo: Brandon Bailey — Midnight Cowboy (CC-BY-2.0)

When I started out on my path to coding, I learned primarily from books. I didn’t know anybody who knew how to code and had the patience to teach me. When I got to high school, that changed. Suddenly, I was surrounded by other coders, many of whom were much better than me.

Exposure to other coders opened up doors I’d never explored before — introduced me to computer graphics programming, 3D, and physics modeling, which I was able to take to my first programming job just out of high school writing educational software and 3D plugins for Silicon Graphics workstations.

The learning continued on the job as I watched my much more experienced coworkers deftly handle memory management issues, diagnose bugs, and stay productive.

There’s no better way to learn how to code than to code, but having some good examples to follow can supercharge the learning. Being exposed to other developers, styles, and techniques can lead to dramatic breakthroughs.

I learned a lot by riding shotgun with some great coders, and I still love to watch great coders code. I’ve done a ton of pair programming while leading development teams, but now it’s time to give back on a much bigger scale.

Shotgun with Eric Elliott is a new show that lets you ride shotgun with me while I tackle real programming challenges for real apps and libraries.

The show is only available to members of

Here’s a peek at the show notes for Episode One:

Shotgun Episode One

Teaser video:

Already a member? Watch the full episode now.

In this episode we start a brand new React project — an online course presentation engine with React. is currently powered by WordPress, but we want to provide a world-class, custom-tailored experience for students. This project is step one of an important usability overhaul.

This video is a great overview of the TDD process with React components. Some of the stuff you’ll see in this episode:

  • Unit testing with Tape
  • Auto-lint & test with watch
  • Enzyme (with a hitch)
  • Cheerio
  • Test-first methodology (Red/Green/Refactor workflow)

Commit Log

Initial code commit

  • Set up unit tests
  • Implement the first component unit test


Shotgun Episode 2: Writing Tests That Don’t Break

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Eric Elliott is the author of “Programming JavaScript Applications” (O’Reilly), and “Learn Universal JavaScript App Development with Node & React”. He has contributed to software experiences for Adobe Systems, Zumba Fitness, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, BBC, and top recording artists including Usher, Frank Ocean, Metallica, and many more.

He spends most of his time in the San Francisco Bay Area with the most beautiful woman in the world.