JSConf 2009

For several weeks I have been using tweetdeck as my standard client for Twitter, not because of any issue with twitterriffic, but for the integration of search.twitter.com feeds. I have two feeds that I track - one for Erlang and one for Javascript - due to their importance to some of the projects I am wish I was working on. One thing I quickly realized is that there is still a tremendous amount of people who have strong angst against JavaScript and seem to think of it a “sub-language”. I found this almost impossible given all the amazing things JavaScript does and its wide proliferation in nearly every environment. JavaScript is a critical element of nearly every web application framework and has been around longer than almost all of them. It is a language that exemplifies some of the core problems of modern languages in an exacerbated fashion (platform differences, security models, prototype programming, etc.) and does it in a fashion that most people can learn somewhat quickly, albeit not necessarily properly.

Then I began to think about other languages (Ruby, Java, .NET, etc.) and quickly realized that part of what makes these languages widely known and spotlighted is their community of dedicated developers. These developers generally meet at conferences and by meeting with one another they increase the visibility and excitement surrounding the language. From the conference many projects are started, videos presented, blogs written, and general knowledge conveyed that otherwise remained pocketed. There are a few things I have learned in my conference trips:

  • The more geographically and politically diverse the conference, the broader the knowledge base and wider spread of the change. 
  • The more dedicated the attendees, the more vibrant the culture and powerful the collaboration. 

So I turned this light back into the JavaScript community and realized that as a JavaScript developers there is no core conference that just focuses on JavaScript. There are many that focus on the effects or value adds of JavaScript, but not one that I could find that focused strictly on JavaScript, the language. Furthermore, there are only a handful of JavaScript User Groups in the world, which considering the widespread use of JavaScript, developers seem to have a hard time to gather around it. 

From this realization, I decided to do something crazy and set up the first JavaScript Conference dedicated to deep JavaScript technology in all facets. I am trying to find speakers for everything from server side JavaScript to Processing.js to next generation technologies to security. Its a huge gamble, especially given the market factors, but I thought it was something that needed to be done. Since releasing the concept in the wild, I have learned some interesting things about the JavaScript community:

  • NEVER USE THE WORD ROCKSTAR, OR IMAGERY OF A ROCKSTAR, OR THINK OF A ROCKSTAR. Just do not do it - I have corroborated this with other people in the community and its scary the results of this action.
  • A lot of people agree with my contention that JavaScript deserves more attention and collaboration than it currently gets despite the huge number of tutorials, blogs, and documentation - one starts to think its a case of information overload and having to sort through it all becomes too cumbersome.
  • The most exciting projects happening right now are happening in JavaScript and those working on the projects are very willing to share their knowledge.

I have to admit, I was not prepared for the reactions and excitement that this conference generated, but the response makes me a lot more confident in this conference. I am quite excited for it and the plans already, I can’t imagine where it is going to go from here. If you want to help out, please by all means contact us through the curator inquiry page on the site. We are trying to avoid sponsors similar to RubyFringe, but also would like to keep the price down, not entirely sure how we are going to pull off both - so please check the site often (as it does change almost daily).