At first, you start with the Hello World.

Barely a scratch into the essence of a language or a framework, a Hello World only represents the tip of the learning iceberg. No doubt a number of programming beginners have felt desperate, if not hopeless, after realizing its immensity. There should be no shame to it, though. Learning a programming language is hard — especially if it’s the first time. This makes it even more important to provide the right tools to help beginners get started. Usually, the next example to come after the Hello World is the Todo List exercise.

We believe that the Todo List example is a very important step. To us, it fulfills several purposes:

  • Allows the learner to effortlessly discover the basics
  • Keeps the learner interested by creating a working program/app
  • Shows the learner that the path to learn is not so winding

The Todo List is not the only way, though; there are many ways to discover a technology. Nevertheless, if properly crafted, a Todo List tutorial can propel the learner in the right direction.

We have therefore decided to launch a series of Todo List exercises. We have started with a Todo List in node.js. For this tutorial, we’ve set ourselves several constraints:

  • It should be accessible to beginners
  • Anyone should be able to complete it in less than half an hour
  • It should explain the basics
  • It should be enjoyable to work through the tutorial

Here’s an example of what you will be able to accomplish after doing the playground:


Play with it and try to plug a delete and add buttons 😉

Please check the playground, and tell us how you feel about it.

Building a Basic Todo List REST API in Node.js with Express

Do you think the exercise accomplishes its goals? Does it respect the constraints we set?

Don’t hesitate to be honest; we want to improve the tutorial and make it useful for readers. If you want to make a pull request, you’re most welcome! We truly want to make this series as collaborative as possible. Anyway, we think that anyone with a decent knowledge of a language/framework is capable of creating a Todo List, and we lack the knowledge to craft Todo List examples in a lot of languages, so we are reaching out to you.

Would you help us in continuing the series?