JSConf Last Call

Originally published Dec 7, 2015·Tagged #conferences, #javascript, #web-development

I spent this past weekend at JSConf Last Call, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My coworkers Jackson and Zeke flew down from Boston, and I drove from Tallahassee to the exquisite Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Even though it was a cloudy, blustery day, it was still an ideal spot for everyone to get together and talk shop.

The talks were all top-notch. A few stuck out in my mind; presented here in no particular order:

  • Jed Schmidt BoroJS. This was the talk I'll remember for a long time after this conference. I follow many of the BoroJS folks on Twitter, and this was all about how they created their clubs and arrived at their current format. Especially with JSConf US ending, this talk is indispensible for anyone looking to create a community.
  • Thomas Watson Emulating Printers. This deceptively plain-titled talk turned out to be an awesome dive into how Thomas discovered printer emulation by poking around with ZeroConf and TCP servers. Very entertaining, and he gives some inspiration for your own projects at the end. (I'm particularly tempted by "Print to Kindle"...)
  • Chris Gomez Faster filtered arrays in CanJS. Another deceptively-titled talk, this one was a really cool deep dive on optimizing list filtering using red-black trees.
  • Todd Gandee and Glenn Goodwin Creative Borrowing. This talk, presented as a fast-paced comedic dialog, questioned where we draw the line between "borrowing" and "stealing" code, why we need this distinction, and what it really means to "borrow" code.
  • Patrick D Kettner Modern Websites for the Modern Web. Patrick, of the Modernizr project, was part of the effort to update their website. This presentation shows some of the decisions they made, and how clever choices enabled them to really quickly build cool functionality later.
  • Dustin Long and Andrew Reitano JavaScript the NES. These two built a bridge for peering into the RAM of a running NES game on original hardware, then developed a really cool interface for modifying the game in realtime. They gave several examples, ranging from showing hidden powerups, to giving extra lives, to a "Twitch Plays NES" styled demo where the audience could press buttons on their phones to activate different glitches in the game.
  • Martin Naumann Multiplayer WebVR. In the swag bags for the conference, every attendee got a yellow JS-branded Google Cardboard. This talk demonstrated a multiplayer virtual environment (complete with horses) and then walked through all the pieces that were in motion to make it happen.

Videos for the Track B talks have already been posted to YouTube.

Oh, by the way: there were also golf carts.

Nothing makes you feel like part of a community more than seeing some of your personal heroes racing around at 15 MPH pretending to throw blue shells at each other.

JSConf Last Call really brought the whole conference series to a grand close. Hopefully someone picks up the reins and continues this fantastic event.