Back in March, I had the pleasure of speaking at the NationJS Node Day Conference on my talk entitled Sweet ES6. It was adaptation of the Sugar & Spice and everything nice about ES6 talk I had given at Nodevember 2015, Little Rock Tech Fest 2015, and others. I had basically already decided to focus solely on the syntactic sugar features introduced in ES6, so I renamed the talk and description accordingly.
NationJS Node Day was a fun conference to speak at. It was my first single-track conference, so everyone who attended the conference had to hear me speak. Both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time! Also, the venue was huge with stadium seating and a wide stage:
Thankfully I had practiced going “off-notes” when I spoke at ConFoo 2016, so I was able to command the entire stage.
My talk was only supposed to be 25 minutes, which was 5 minutes less than the jam-packed version I gave at Nodevember 2015. Since Nodevember, I had given the talk two more times and those were 45 minutes & 50 minutes long. I’ve found 45 minutes to be the sweet spot length for talks. Not too short that I feel rushed, and not too long that I feel like I have to stretch the content.
I prepped the 25-minute talk, cutting out a lot of content, but held out hope that I’d be able to somehow give the full version. As it turns out, one of the speakers was sick (seems to happen with every conference), so I volunteered to speak for back-to-back slots to get 50 full minutes of speaking time. It worked out perfectly!
Even though it was mentioned at the beginning of the day that I’d be taking 2 slots, apparently Jordan Kasper (fellow speaker) missed the memo and tweeted this comment when I was at about the 30-minute mark:
People going over their time in a single track conference need to be played off stage by a chorus of the most annoying ringing mobile phones— Jordan Kasper (@jakerella) March 11, 2016
Thankfully the conference came to my aid 😀:
.@benmvp is going longer to replace a cancelled talk.— RubyNation Jun 3-4 (@rubynation) March 11, 2016
In the end, the talk was very well-received. I got to chat with folks during lunch who said they learned lots of new concepts in the talk. It seems that they way I presented the information was really helpful in enabling the attendees to grasp the direct application of the features. Destructuring seems to be everyone’s favorite:
So all in all it was great experience. I wanted to speak at the companion Browser Day taking place on September 16th, but baby girl #2 is due September 1st, so there’s no way I’d be able to make it. Maybe next year.
To close, here’s the video of the talk:
And here’s the abstract:
Learn how to write cleaner code using arrow functions, destructuring, rest parameters, and other sweet ES6 features. Oh, and don’t worry if you didn’t understand any of those terms — you soon will after this session.
Many thanks again to the NationJS team for inviting me to speak!