Evan X. Merz

musician / technologist / human being

Tagged "npm"

How to set up a computer for web development

In this post, I'm going to suggest a basic set of tools required for web development. These instructions are aimed at people who are using a desktop computer for web development.

TLDR: Install Google Chrome, Visual Studio Code, and npm

Here are links to the three tools that I think are vital to web development.

  1. Google Chrome
  2. Visual Studio Code
  3. Node (includes npm)

What tools are needed for web development?

A programmer of any sort needs two basic tools:

  1. A tool to write code.
  2. A to to run the code they have written.

Code is usually represented as text, so to write code you will need a text editor. Today most programmers use a text editor that has been adapted for the task of writing code called an Integrated Development Environment, or IDE. The IDE that most programmers prefer in 2023 is Visual Studio Code. It's developed by Microsoft, who has a long history of creating high quality products for developers.

Traditionally, code is compiled and run by a computer's operating system, however, many modern systems take code written by a developer, then run it live using a tool called an interpreter. In this series, we're going to be writing JavaScript code, then running it in the interpreter in Google Chrome or in Node.

So those are the three tools we need to install to setup a basic environment for writing code for the web:

  1. Google Chrome
  2. Visual Studio Code
  3. Node (includes npm)

Node also includes a tool that is fundamental to web development called Node Package Manager, or NPM for short. NPM is a tool for downloading chunks of code written by other programmers, or packages, and using them in your own app.


Here are some other resources and perspectives on setting up your computer for web programming.