4 fast ways to run JavaScript

February 14, 2019

I like to learn new things.
When I experiment, I need a fast way to run a code snippet, do some debugging and figure out what is working and what is not.
Depending on the situation and mood 🌅 I switch between these setups:


Most of the time I will write the code in my code_notes repository. I have the simplest VSCode configuration possible:

  "type": "node",
  "request": "launch",
  "name": "single file",
  "program": "${file}"

With this config, VSCode will run currently opened file in the debugger.
Just hit F5 and look for the output in DEBUG CONSOLE.
Of course, you will have all the debugging goodies - read more here

VSCode + Quokka.js

To have ‘live reload’ for code evaluation check out Quokka.js

Quokka.js is a rapid prototyping playground for JavaScript and TypeScript. It runs your code immediately as you type and displays various execution results in your code editor.

I use it when I am just starting out with an idea. It really helps to understand what effect has each line of the code.

Chrome Snippets

Sometimes the quickest way to run JavaScript is in Chrome directly.
logTree Just open Developer Tools, switch to Sources tab and create a new code snippet.
Snippets might be hidden under the >> icon. Remember to wrap the code in {} to have a new local scope on each run.

Python Tutor

python tutor Don’t be fooled by the name! It can run JavaScript also. And it even has a live mode too.
The cool thing about this tool is that it visualizes what is happening at each step.
It’s great for educational purposes. link

Maciek ☁️

Written by Maciek ☁️ who works in Cracow and has a passion to build useful things.