A Fast, Scalable Front-End Build System Pattern with Gulp

Short Form


Gulp is an excellent task runner for building smaller front-end projects, but how does it measure up to larger applications like REI.com? How do you make it fast? How does it scale?

The front-end development team at REI would like to share a pattern for a fast, scalable front-end build system we use on REI.com!


Front-end web development is maturing. We now have server-side JavaScript with Node.js, package management with NPM, and task runners like Grunt and gulp.

Gulp is an excellent streaming task runner for building smaller projects, but when working with larger applications like REI.com, speed and scalability must be considered.

The front-end development team at REI would like to share a pattern we came up with to achieve a fast, scalable front-end build system for REI.com, based on the cascading patterns of Apache Maven.


front-end, build, scale, gulp, javascript

Speaking experience

- Open Source Bridge 2010: “Building Interactive Displays with Touchscreen 2.0” (http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/404)

- Beaver Barcamp 2010, 2011, 2012: “How to Hotwire Your Car”, “Twitswarm: A distributed Twitter Bot Platform”, and “Combining Wikis and Blogs” (http://beaverbarcamp.org/)


  • Best face only


    I write software for REI.com, and have been a long-time contributor and advocate for open source. I spoke at Open Source Bridge in 2010 with the OSU Open Source Lab, and would love to attend again on behalf of REI!


      • Title: REI's Expedition into Open Source
      • Track: Business
      • Room: B202/203
      • Time: 11:0011:45am
      • Excerpt:

        The software engineers at REI build, maintain, and operate the cooperative’s digital retail infrastructure, from our mobile apps to REI.com, and it runs on open source. We see many benefits to open sourcing our code, but it’s uncharted territory for REI.

        This is our journey preparing the cooperative to contribute our code back to the open source community.

        Will we be successful? What have we learned? You’ll find out!

      • Speakers: Rob McGuire-Dale