Lint, Laugh, Love

By Josh Smith

Elevator Pitch

Software developers have enough problems to focus on without considering if they’re using the correct indentation or type of quotation marks. In this talk, I’ll share how code linting has helped me catch more bugs, write more consistent code, and ultimately stay sane as a software engineer.


Fixing and reformatting code is a mind-numbing task. Every line of code you write is an opportunity to introduce bugs and inconsistencies into your codebase. And when working with others, conflicting coding styles and preferences can take time away from focusing on building functional, secure, and performant software.

Luckily, you can get much of that time—and your sanity—back by using automated code linters and formatters. In this talk, I’ll introduce the concepts of code linting and formatting. I’ll discuss how using these tools can make your code cleaner, more consistent, and less buggy. We’ll examine the importance of using linters to develop your personal coding style, your team’s guidelines, and project-specific standards. Finally, I’ll give a brief summary of linting and formatting options for various languages, with a deeper dive into the setup my teammates and I primarily use for front end development: ESLint, Stylelint, and Prettier.


This should be a relatively straightforward presentation. I don’t intend to do any live demoing or require Internet access, so all I should need is a projector.

I have been heavily involved in developing my company’s code linting and formatting policies. I improved our linting configuration by moving it to a shareable package that we now use across all of our JavaScript-based projects. I’ve also created my own personal linting configurations for use in personal projects and development, and have made minor contributions to popular open source linting tools like ESLint.

I’m excited about giving this presentation because I’m passionate about teaching what code linting and formatting can do for developers. It saves so much time and mental overhead, and I would love to share that benefit with others. I previously gave this talk at Pittsburgh TechFest on June 2, 2018, and had a great experience doing so. You can see an attendee’s testimonial at