Developers spend precious little time coding. Even if we ignore irritating meetings, much of the job involves basic tasks that can sap your working day, such as generating HTML from templates and content files, compressing new and modified images, transpiling ES6 to cross-browser-compatible ES5, and so on. These tasks must be repeated every time you make a change. You may start with good intentions, but the most infallible developer will forget to compress an image or two. To spend your time on more productive taks, you need a task runner or build process.
In this guide, we’ll introduce Gulp.js. Gulp may not be the newest tool on the block, it remains one of the fastest and most flexible Node.js task runners. We’ll start out by installing Gulp and using it to carry out some basic tasks, such as compressing images, and then move on to using it for more advanced taks, like populating a database.