At Atlassian, we have a quarterly company-wide hackathon called ShipIt. On the last one (a few days ago), I got together with two of my colleagues and decided to try and build a HipChat addon. We wanted to explore the new glances and addons capabilities and see if we could build something cool with them.

After a brief, 5 minute research (we only had one day to build the addon, after all), the atlassian-connect-express looked to be the more user-friendly and advanced. Their getting started guide is fantastic, you get a running addon that says hello in 5-10 minutes. It also uses NodeJS, which is a platform that I wanted to learn more about, so this gave me the perfect excuse.

The getting started guide asked for node, redis, and ngrok. I didn’t have the first two installed on my work machine, and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of installing it, configuring it, etc. Why do all that if I already have docker installed? Instead, I wrote this docker-compose file:

version: '2'
services:
    redis:
        command: redis-server --appendonly yes
        image: redis
        ports:
        - "6379:6379"
        volumes:
        - ./data:/data
    web:
        build: .
        environment:
        env_file: .env
        ports:
        - "8080:8080"
        depends_on:
        - redis

With this, running docker-compose --build up gave me a fully functional working environment in no time. As soon as we started to write our addon code we started to see a big problem in our workflow. Every time we wanted to try the new code, we had to stop the containers, run docker-compose --build up again, and wait the 2-3 seconds it took to start over.

Waiting 3 seconds per debugging cycle it’s not a lot, but it gets annoying very quickly. Fortunately, a quick google search brought up that someone in the Node community had already solved that problem with nodemon. I followed the instructions and updated my package.json script to look like this:

{
  "name": "hello-world",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "private": true,
  "scripts": {
    "start": "node app.js",
    "watch": "nodemon"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "atlassian-connect-express": "^1.0.10",
    "atlassian-connect-express-hipchat": "^0.3.5",
    "atlassian-connect-express-redis": "^0.1.6",
    "body-parser": "^1.15.2",
    "compression": "^1.6.2",
    "cors": "^2.7.1",
    "errorhandler": "^1.4.3",
    "express": "^4.14.0",
    "express-hbs": "^1.0.1",
    "lodash": "^4.13.1",
    "morgan": "^1.7.0",
    "request": "^2.72.0",
    "rsvp": "^3.2.1",
    "static-expiry": "^0.0.11",
    "uuid": "^2.0.2",
    "nodemon": "^1.10.0"
  }
}

Restarted my containers, wrote some more code, saved my files, and nothing happened. nodemon refused to do its magic. I spent a few minutes reading the documentation, double checking all my configurations, restarting my containers and the docker service a few times (hey, you never know) until it hit me. Since we were using docker, the source code files were being copied over, so nodemon was monitoring the files inside the container, not the ones on my machine.

Added the source code as docker volumes on my docker-compose file, restarted the containers, and nodemon started to reload the process every time I saved a file.

version: '2'
services:
    redis:
        command: redis-server --appendonly yes
        image: redis
        ports:
        - "6379:6379"
        volumes:
        - ./data:/data
    web:
        build: .
        command: npm run watch
        env_file: .env
        ports:
        - "8080:8080"
        depends_on:
        - redis
        volumes:
        - ./app.js:/usr/src/app/app.js
        - ./routes:/usr/src/app/routes
        - ./public:/usr/src/app/public
        - ./views:/usr/src/app/views
        - ./lib:/usr/src/app/lib

Once we had this up and running, our workflow became much more efficient. Every time we reached a certain milestone, it was only a matter of pushing the container into our registry and let the container service reload our containers in the production instances, hands-free. success

Hope it helps!

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