ExpressWorks: an Automated Express.js/Node.js Workshop and Tutorial

TL;DR: ExpressWorks is an automated Express.js/Node.js workshop.

ExpressWorks is an automated Express.js/Node.js workshop.

ExpressWorks is an automated Express.js/Node.js workshop.

During fun times at NodeConf 2013 one of the workshops was stream-adventures by @substack and @maxogden. It’s done in the form of an old text-based console game. Recently, it was metamorphosed into with the addition of learning resources on LevelDB, Node itself and other topics. The menu and validation framework was abstracted into the workshopper library.

Inspired by all these resources, I put together ExpressWorks during our 36 hour hackathon at DocuSign. You can visit or While for those who have Node.js (and NPM) installed already, this simple command will do the trick:

$ sudo npm install -g expressworks@latest

In case you have any suggestions or found bugs (I’m sure there are some!), submit GitHub issues at

Here is the list of exercises as of now (they’ll be more later!).

Hello World

Create an Express.js app that runs on localhost:3000, and outputs “Hello World!” when somebody goes to root ‘/home’.

process.argv[2] will be provided by expressworks to you, this is the port number.


Create an Express.js app with a home page (/home) rendered by jade template engine, that shows current date (toDateString).

Good Old Form

Write a route (‘/form’) that processes HTML form input (

) and prints backwards the str value.


Apply static middleware to server index.html file without any routes. The index.html file is provided and usable via process.argv[3] value of the path to it. However, you can use you’re own file with this content:

      <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/main.css"/>
      <p>I am red!</p>

Stylish CSS

Style your HTML from previous example with some Stylus middleware. The path to main.styl file is provided in process.argv[3] or you can create your own file/folder from these:

    color red

The index.html file:

      <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/main.css"/>
      <p>I am red!</p>

Param Pam Pam

Create an Express.js server that processes PUT /message/:id requests, e.g., PUT /message/526aa677a8ceb64569c9d4fb.


Reading blog posts is good, but watching video courses is even better because they are more engaging.

A lot of developers complained that there is a lack of affordable quality video material on Node. It's distracting to watch to YouTube videos and insane to pay $500 for a Node video course!

Go check out Node University which has FREE video courses on Node:

[End of sidenote]

As the response of this request return id SHA1 hashed with a date:

    .update(new Date().toDateString().toString() + id)

What’s in Query

Write a route that extracts data from query string in the GET /search URL route, e.g., ?results=recent&include_tabs=true, and then transforms outputs it back to the user in JSON format.


Write a server that reads a file (file name is passed in process.argv[3]), parses it to JSON and outputs the content to the user with res.json(object).

Best Regards,
Azat Mardan
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
Azat Mardan avatar
To contact Azat, the main author of this blog, submit the contact form or schedule a call at and we can go over your bugs, questions and career.

4 thoughts on “ExpressWorks: an Automated Express.js/Node.js Workshop and Tutorial

  1. Pingback: Express.js Fundamentals - Modern Web

  2. Pingback: Node.js FUNdamentals: A Concise Overview of The Main Concepts | webapplog: Full-Stack Software Engineering

  3. Pingback: Express.js FUNdamentals: An Essential Overview of Express.js | webapplog: Node.js, Express.js and JavaScript Tutorials

  4. daslicht

    I wish there would be a kind of IntelliSense/Codecompletion for JavaScript
    …so that you can just access variables needed on the Client, via CodeCompletion on the ServerSide. :) Coding without remembering VariableNames,just hit ctrl+space done.
    This would be much more fun.

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