I came across Yeoman around a year ago and never really paid it much attention, recently I started ramping up the amount of web development I was doing and decided to go back and see what all the fuss was about. Im glad I did, Yeoman is a great way to speed up how you work and reduce the time to get projects up and running
1. Great when starting projects
Something I used to do often was copy my old boilerplate code, add all the plugins I needed, edit the html file structures to match and then deploy to a local development server where I would start development. This wouldn’t take a long time somewhere in the realm of 20/30 minutes. Yeoman makes this so simple within 2 minutes I can have a boilerplate Bootstrap website running locally ready for development.
Above and beyond this it has a live-reload feature of Grunt which is part of the Yeoman feature this means that you can have the webpage running and when you change the source code the browser will refresh with your latest changes.
Grunt can also be used to lint your JS, make sure your tests pass before deployment and generally enforce good solid code is being written locally.
It might not seem that this stuff would be hard to do manually but the time it saves is really quite visible, in-fact if it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.
The power lies within creating custom generators specific to the tasks you need automated, Addy Osmani has some generators that remove unused css from your application on compile. You can also write your very own, maybe to switch between local and production environment systems.
I am currently just opening the box to Yeoman and looking forward to exploring the power of Grunt and Bower much more, I really insist you take a look.