ApostropheCMS @ Node.js Interactive 2017

On October 3rd we filled our suitcases with a boatload of ApostropheCMS Nalgene bottles, t-shirts, stickers, and screen cleaners, and headed to Node.js Interactive in Vancouver to spread the word to our fellow JavaScript developers about our Content Management System, ApostropheCMS. It was the team’s first time sponsoring this conference and we didn’t know what to expect.

Our trip to Vancouver truly exceeded our expectations.

We talked to a bunch of amazing developers about their current content management systems, about their love for Node.js and JavaScript, and about their content management needs. It was great to hear that many people had good reasons to try ApostropheCMS for an upcoming project.

On the first day, it was clear that few attendees realized there was a great alternative to WordPress — let alone one written 100% in Javascript on top of Node.js and completely open-source. But, that was okay — telling people about all the features in ApostropheCMS was a lot of fun. We had a blast educating folks about all the interesting websites already built on top of Apostrophe and share a little bit of the history of how the project evolved. Moreover, it was gratifying when we heard the genuine excitement from so many of the people we talked to.

It was especially satisfying to share hands-on demos with folks to illustrate Apostrophe’s in-context site editing and drag-and-drop functionality. It gave us an opportunity to share some of the powerful enterprise modules that we’ve been working on. In particular, the apostrophe-workflow module enables users to build sites for a variety of languages within the same templates. We even had a chance to geek out a bit with curious developers and share code examples to show how them how intuitive it is to configure and extend Apostrophe modules. (Spoiler alert: it’s just JavaScript.)

Impact on Apostrophe’s roadmap

We received a lot of feedback into what the community’s needs are when it comes to content management. One thing that we kept hearing over and over was the need to interface with the content data via an API. Interestingly, we have also been planning to extend ApostropheCMS with a headless module, so it was great to see our project’s roadmap reflected the interests of the community.

via The Linux Foundation

As a direct result of our conversations with software engineers at Node.js Interactive we have accelerated the release of our RESTful API (aka Headless) module called apostrophe-headless. Since the conference we’ve also made some updates to Apostrophe’s README for those who want to know more before visiting the documentation, and solidified our plans for the next 3 to 6 months.

These plans include publishing themed starter sites to enable users to get up and running with a fully functional, beautiful website with minimal effort. We are working on open-sourcing a WordPress to ApostropheCMS migrator to make the switch to Apostrophe even easier. Even though deploying Apostrophe isn’t difficult, it does require a bit of DevOps knowledge, so we also plan on delivering new ways to deploy and manage ApostropheCMS without those skills.

All of the amazing speakers

Along with spreading the word about our favorite Node.js CMS, we had a bit of time to attend some amazing talks. Kim Crayton’s keynote (@KimCrayton1) addressed, head-on, some of the recent issues around diversity and inclusion with the Node.js community. She articulated “common snags” in achieving the goal of a truly welcoming community and reminded us that the road there is not easy. And on Friday, the community met to articulate its vision and work toward a more inclusive future.

via The Linux Foundation

JavaScript and npm security is, obviously, super-important to most developers, so we were excited to hear CJ Silverio (@ceejbot) from npm talk about all the big security questions npm has worked to address, and specific risks around building a package distribution ecosystem. She also discussed ways in which we can be smarter about securing our own packages for distribution. Jenna Zeigen (@zeigenvector) reminded us to always be aware of our cognitive biases when building, testing and designing software. And James Snell (@jasnell), from nearForm, gave us some insight into how the Node.js project decides what is on the project’s roadmap, and then summarized all the great features on that list, like Promisify, which shipped in Node.js 8, as well as project reporting and profiling tools.

If you are interested in viewing any of the talks noted above, or anything else from the conference, you should check them out on YouTube.

Connecting with the community and the Node.js Foundation was a true highlight and we consider this one of the best conference experiences we have had. We can’t wait to come back to Vancouver in 2018.

See you next year!

(In the meantime, hit us up on Twitter if you have any questions and don’t forget to star the project on GitHub.)

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