Little Rock Tech Fest 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Little Rock Tech Fest 2015

Last month on October 16th I had the opportunity to give my first technical talk in a public setting at the Little Rock Tech Fest 2015. My talk was entitled Sugar & Spice and Everything nice about ES6 and it was based on the Learning ES6 series.

I think the talk went well. The audience overall wasn’t particularly JavaScript savvy so it was a challenge to explain improvements to JavaScript with ES6 when folks were unfamiliar with ES3/ES5. There were a handful of knowledgeable folks that got something out of it, however. But it ended up being a blessing because I got great practice and it was a positive learning experience. I learned two main things from the talk:

First, as much as I want to, I cannot explain the whole world. Even though I had 50 minutes (which feels like a long time) there are 30+ features added to ES6 so there was no way I could even adequately explain half of them. I think I ended up trying to explain half of the features and it was just way too much. Way too much for me and way to much for the audience.

Second, I realized that when I am explaining how a piece of technology works, the why is just as important (if not more important) than the how. I can explain how destructuring works to the cows come home, but if I don’t properly explain why we as JavaScript developers should use it, most people won’t feel any sense of motivation to learn.

I just gave a shorter 30-minute version of the talk at Nodevember 2015 where I did focus on the why as well as narrowing the scope of the talk. As a result, it went a whole lot better (for me and the attendees). If you’re looking to learn more about ECMAScript 6, I would suggest watching that video instead. However, if you want to see the Little Rock Tech Fest video, here you go!

You can find the PDF slides here:

Hopefully this will be the first of many, many more to come!

Ben Ilegbodu

Ben is a Christian, husband and father of 2 girls, with a dozen years of experience developing user interfaces for the Web. He currently is a Principal Frontend Engineer at Eventbrite on the Frontend Platform team, focused on improving their React-based design system and frontend infrastructure. Ben also enjoys playing basketball, DIY, watching movies, and tweeting / blogging about his experiences with new web technologies.