5 Reasons to Try bitHound for Your Next JavaScript Project

OCT 13, 2015 • Written by Andrea Goulet

At Corgibytes, we love diving into existing codebases and making them better. Whenever we start a new project, the first step is getting our bearings and inspecting the codebase. It’s kind of like doing a home inspection when you buy a new house — it gives you an idea of the type of work you’ll have ahead of you.

When a JavaScript project comes our way, we’ve found bitHound to be a fantastic tool to help us understand where we can have the most impact on a project. We love them, and not just because their company also has a dog in their name. So what makes bitHound stand out from other static analysis tools out there? We’re glad you asked.

Analyzes Dependencies and Versions to Keep Code Secure

This is huge. Huge, huge, huge. As a codebase grows, dependencies develop which can put your codebase at risk of being outdated, unsupported, or susceptible to a vulnerability. bitHound gives you insight into the impact third party code has on your app as a whole and warns you when there are risks so you can select the right packages. Knowing about vulnerabilities is a big part of making your codebase more stable and bitHound’s dependency analysis is a great place to start.

Gets Useful File Insights to Squash Bugs

As much as we like to think our code is perfect, there are often places where we can improve it. bitHound warns you when there are ignored errors, complex code, duplicate functions, and lint. It even warns you when there is suspicious code that might have bugs. Being aware of these code smells makes a big difference in the long run and helps you create cleaner code.

Keeps Track of Technical Debt with TODO and HACK Comments

We love this one. Have you ever written a TODO comment in the code, but forgotten about it? Too often these actionable tasks get buried because they’re difficult to track. Well, not anymore. bitHound finds all of your TODO and HACK comments and stores them as issues. This is useful for two reasons. First, you don’t have to context switch when you’re developing code and you stay in your zen-like flow state. Also, when you are ready to focus on knocking out your tech debt, you have everything organized in one place.

Easy to Set Up

We favor tools that are intuitive and easy to use, and bitHound gets high marks from us. Just connect your Bitbucket or GitHub account and you’re ready to go. You can also open issues for what you discover using the tool, which is great for managing your workflow.

Free for Open Source Projects

If your project is open source, using bitHound is free, so you really don’t have an excuse. For private projects, the pricing is really reasonable for what you get and you can start with a two-week free trial. They’re serious about security and privacy and just all around good people, too.

bitHound is a solid tool that you should seriously consider for any JavaScript project. We use it, like it, and think you will too. Best of all, we’ve had an opportunity to connect with them in person and score you a discount. When you sign up on bitHound, send an email over to corgibytes@bithound.io using ‘CANINES UNITE’ in the subject line and you’ll get your first month free!

So tell us: have you used bitHound? What’s your experience been? What problems have you identified and how has it helped your projects?