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Kirill Buga JS developer 26.11.2014

Brief overview of DotJS and its headliners’ thoughts on the future of javascript

The first thing I’d like to bring your attention to is the location of the Conference. No, no, I do not want to talk about how beautiful Paris Opera is with its huge hall, red velour fabric, and a magnificent, beautiful stage. It is the location which was unusual: it is situated on a side street in the usual narrow alley. It’s like you are just walking around the streets in Paris and then bam – you’ve decided to go to the opera. Probably that’s what a typical Parisian does on typical day.

The first thing we saw reaching the Opera was a huge queue, on both sides of the street. As I said above, because street is narrow, these people almost blocked the road for cars. If didn’t know that all those people were developers, I would think that Parisians like Opera so much, and wait in the queues on Monday morning. Passing by, my colleague Nikita calmly said - "Look, Addy Osmani is standing in line." WHAT?? Senior Developer Programs Engineer at Google is just standing in line? Even though we were in Paris at the largest JavaScript conference in Europe, it was still surprising.

After a while, being already a few steps away from the door, we understood why there were two lines, not one. In fact they are divided alphabetically according to the names – A-K left queue, L-Z – right one. It was handwritten on a white paper hanging on the front door. Well, thank you! I'm at a conference where developers find out information from the paper. Anyway, we had to change the line and wait for our turn again.

Inside, there was simple registration procedure, where I got a participant badge (it was even checked once), T-shirt and stickers, it was real developers’ heaven! It seemed all the cool companies in the world have gathered here, telling you about their latest developments, and showing colorful banners, sharing tips and free subscription. JetBrains, Zengularity, AuthO, Google Devs, WordPress - guys, you are just awesome. Thank you for sponsoring the conference.

And now, closer to the point - the conference. There were many speakers, each talked about different things, but at some point it occured to me that most of the speakers came to this event with the slogan - "Hey, I wrote a cool npm module and today I'll be working on its PR." Letting alone that I was strongly against it, or that it ruined my impression – it was just strange. However, there were guys who really surprised, inspired, and I just liked them.

One of them, for example, the first speaker - James Halliday aka Substack. At first glance, he seemed to me very strange and shocking - he waved his arms, jumped and revealed mixed feelings. It seemed that he was rather playing in the theater than standing on stage with a serious technical report. Have you noticed that he looks like Steve Jobs in his youth? Michael Stern should have taken him as a main character for his film.

Thanks God James is not a Hollywood actor but a very cool developer and he did prove it in the next 15 minutes.

His report was about offline client applications that

continue working even if the server is shut down. Thus, some queries can be cached, and that’s allows to reduce the load on the server and make certain parts (and perhaps the entire application) offline. He so skillfully mastered the keyboard that, at times, his words simply  were not catching up to his actions.

The second man, whom I have mentioned - Angus Croll. To be honest – I wasn’t impressed by him at first, but I felt that he would tell something interesting. I was right. Despite the fact that his report belonged to JS only indirectly, those were really cool 15 minutes. He cited some funny stories from his book, quotes and messages. His sense of humor is awesome. The audience applauded him standing at the end of the performance, it was totally worth it.

Well, the third top speaker, in my opinion, is - Joe McCann - CEO in NodeSource. Here is when I felt all the charm of a technical conference. Joe described some hidden features of NodeJS platform, which I did not know before. He showed in practice the flags that you can use when running a NodeJS web server, as well as how they can be used to improve the performance of NodeJS applications. From him I learned how to interact with the C ++ code of JS among NodeJS, and change these flags "on the fly" at runtime.

In between sessions, I not only talked to the cool guys enjoing French cookies (they were just what I expected), but learned about new cloud services, protocols, editors, frameworks. In addition, I talked in person to the guys from Google, JetBrains, Mozilla.

There were a lot of cool speakers, which I, unfortunately, did not mention, but still they gave me a lot of bright and positive emotions. For example, at the beginning of the conference a girl came up and asked to sit down next to us– nothing special. When presenter on the stage said: "Soledad Penadés, Senior engineer at Mozilla is invited to the stage". She silently got up and went up to the stage. We could not understand what had just happened. However, that is another story ... 🙂

DotJS made a huge impression on me. I was surprised by the level of preparation and organization. I liked that the coolest JS developers from all over the world - are just normal people who are happy to communicate, share new ideas, give advices. Thanks once again to the organizers of the conference, and thanks to Binary Studio, which gave me an opportunity to dive into the world of JS.