Ben Ilegbodu
Ben Ilegbodu

NodeSummit 2016

23 September 2016 • Ben Ilegbodu • Comments

Ben Ilegbodu @ NodeSummit 2016 side shot

About 10 days after returning from speaking at Front Porch Austin 2016, I spoke on the Evolution of JavaScript IV panel at NodeSummit 2016. A friend of mine, Jem Young, introduced me to his manager at Netflix, Chris Saint-Amant, who was moderating the panel. Last year’s panel had Brendan Eich, Ariya Hidayat, Jafar Husain, and Yehuda Katz and focused more on the creation of the ECMAScript/JavaScript standards. Instead of discussing with creators again, Chris chose to have implementors and users instead.

On this year’s panel was Brandon Cannaday (CPO @ Losant), Stephen Fluin (Developer Advocate @ Google), Amanda Silver (Director of Program Management @ Microsoft), and myself. We all had very unique experiences and perspectives. I would argue that Amanda’s was the most intriguing because she works with the Chakra team, Microsoft’s JavaScript engine. She had lots of very cool insights about the future of JavaScript because her team actually has to implement the standards (and efficiently too). And the day before the panel, Microsoft announced that ChakraCore had just been released for MacOS & Linux. This isn’t your grandfather’s Microsoft. 😂

The panel was a lot of fun to be on. It was basically the first panel I’ve done at a conference. Technically, I was on a panel at Little Rock Tech Fest 2015, but that was impromptu because there was a cancelled talk. Plus, no one was really there anyway. This panel, on the other hand, was in the main room, which was huge!

And this was a far bigger production. We got mic’d up in a green room that was downstairs in a second overflow room. And they made us hand over our phones before going on stage. Turning them on airplane mode wasn’t even enough. I guess they’ve had enough previous issues that separating us from our beloved devices was worth it. Then we got called on stage by the MC to applause from the audience and everything. It really felt like my 15 minutes of fame!

We talked about many different things from teaching JavaScript newbies about ES6, JavaScript on embedded devices, performance of large-scale JavaScript apps, and more. I even unexpectedly got to share about how Eventbrite has tackled transitioning our code base over to ES6. But my 15 minutes of fame quickly turned to 15 minutes of shame when:

In the moment when I said it I was actually really surprised that there was so much laughter. And I didn’t understand why Stephen (the Google Developer Advocate!), patted me on the back. But only a few minutes later after we had already moved on to another topic did I realize the confusion. That’s when the embarrassment rushed in. When I said “We want people to be able to buy tickets on their crappy Android device” I wasn’t trying to say that all Android devices are crappy! I actually have a Nexus 5X that I love. I was trying to single out the low-end, crappy Android devices that really struggle to process the large-scale JavaScript apps we’re building. Oh well, you live and you learn, right?

But hey, at least I made up for it with my cool Eventbrite Engineering shirt!

The panel lasted about 45 minutes, which seems like an eternity to talk about JavaScript, but it went by surprisingly fast. I feel like our introductions took almost 10 minutes. I think we talked about a lot of great and interesting things, but my only regret is that we didn’t have more time to answer questions from the audience. I believe we only answered two or three. And due to time constraints, our answers were pretty short. I think what we discussed was interesting to the audience, but when answering audience questions we would know that what we were discussing was pertinent. Not really sure what we could’ve really done differently. Chris did a fantastic job moderating.

Anyway, to close here’s the video of the talk:

Evolution of Javascript from Node Summit on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Chris for inviting me to speak on the panel as well as NodeSummit for hosting such a huge event all about Node and JavaScript!