NodeConf London 2016

Earlier this month ,11th May, I went to my first tech conference, NodeConf London. I have to admit that the day before I didn’t even know that I would end up attending the conference.

Luckily, opportunities can wait around every corner. I was looking through some documentation and decided to have a break, when I came across a post on Slack. Rainey from #techgivers offered a free ticket to the conference. As soon I read the post, I contacted Rainey.

As a recent PhD dropout, I am trying to find my path into the tech industry. Some days I feel lost and confused. What technologies should I learn in more detail? What’s trending now? So I try to embrace every opportunity to learn new things, and find out more about up-to-date technologies.

A tweet controlled belt , version tracking, and even some cooking advice

Having never gone to a tech conference before, I didn’t know what to expect. My experience surpassed my expectations. The conference had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. A few speakers encouraged us to cherish diversity, acceptance, develop a versatile personality, and have interests apart from coding. The venue was great, the conference was at the Barbican Center. I had to mention the lovely indoor garden, an ideal place for networking and eating lunch.

The magnificent indoor garden at the Barbican

The talks ranged from motivational talks to rather technical ones. The conference covered diverse topics: peer-to-peer systems, avoiding release paralysis, microservices, supporting the workflow and making ES6 happen (or not).

@nodebotanist and her magic belt!

Already the first speaker, @nodebotanist managed to wake us up. Anybody from the audience could add a colour to her belt sending a simple tweet with the tag #NodeSash with any CSS parseable colour. In my opinion it was a great idea to get us involved! Later another speaker, Emily had a device, where we could also send some colours to a led. She even showed us the code behind her device.

Nikhila Ravi gave a talk on serverless architecture. I was familiar with the concept, but knew nothing about the technological details. The talk itself was engaging and educational, although here afterword was the most surprising. Nikhi promoted her blog on South Indian cuisine. The last thing I expected to hear during NodeConf was cooking advice. I have recently fallen in love with Indian spices and cuisine. I will definitely try the turmeric milk hot chocolate recipe.

Node.js in space and BBC micro:bit!

BBC’s developer team has been using node technologies since 2012. They talked about their 8 principles to keep their website fast reliable and scale-able. They stressed their points with some impressive real life examples.

Time Peake watching live rugby from space! Pictoure source: ‏Twitter @astro_timpeake

My favorite was how node technologies helped to push the boundaries of broadcasting, BBC takes credit for the first live-streaming to space. Tim Peake British astronaut happens to be a huge rugby fun. The enthusiastic programmers at BBC and node technologies enabled him to watch the Six Nations Championship aboard the International Space Station. Pretty cool,right?

The speakers only mentioned BBC micro:bit in a half-sentence, which was enough to make me google it. BBC micro:bit is a handheld, fully programmable computer being given free to every Year 7 child across the UK. As young children we got a poetry book from the Hungarian government. Micro:bit makes such more sense! I wish I had had micro:bit as a kid. I could imagine myself programming it all day long.

It’s undoubted that e have to adapt to the changing world. Nowadays you can commonly come across phrases like coding is the new literacy, which resonates with a quote I read the other day.

“Everyone needs computer programming. It will be the way we speak to the servants.”
 — John McCarthy
In my opinion micro:bit can be a great step forward to encourage more kids to code.

Conclusion

As a newbie to node technology, I wasn’t sure what to expect from NodeConf. I walked away with a list of new ideas, technologies to check out. Thank you Rainey, #techgivers, and NodeConf London for the opportunity!

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