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#JSCampBCN 2018 — Recap and learnings

#JSCamp2018 was a two-day Javascript-focused conference held in Barcelona. It was great, and I learned a couple of things.

JSCamp was great. Following is a list of learnings I got from the talks I enjoyed the most. I enjoyed almost all of them, but I want to highlight a few.

Day 1

A Tale of Two Async (keynote) — ashley williams

Ashley is an invited expert to TC39 meetings, so she knows a thing or two about Javascript.

She explored the questions “what does Node/Rust want”. Do they have design goals? What are they made for?

I loved when she talked about the stages of learning (this slide and the next one). I think it perfectly maps my experience when learning, and the experience of the people around me. It reminded me of the “shu ha ri” term, quite used in the Agile community as a way to express this very same thing. From rules to realization, to intuition.

Building a Platform: Webpack and the Future — By Sean T. Larkin

I’ve been using Webpack 4 for a while now, but it’s always a pleasure to listen one of its creators speak about it. The passion and energy with which Sean talks about Webpack are contagious.

Entire armies of advocates and opponents exist when talking about Webpack (guess where I am), but one cannot deny that it has shaped the Frontend ecosystem and vision for good.

A Tale of Types, Classes, and Maps — By Benedikt Meurer

Benedikt eased the work a Javascript Engine does. He works on the V8 team so he knew what he was talking about. The topic is not easy, but he managed to explain them in a way I could understand almost everything.

I felt I was in college again, only this time I was enjoying it 😂.

Pro tip from Benedikt: leave the prototypes alone. Don’t mess with them. It’s both dangerous and inefficient.

Keep betting on Javascript — By Kyle Simpson

I was excited about listening to Kyle. I’ve gone through his 10-hours workshop on Advanced Javascript and also his 7-hours long Functional Light JS, so I had some expectations. And the talk did not disappoint.

I was hoping Kyle would give a technical talk, but instead, he went full philosophical and talked about the future of Javascript. He gave some context on where are we and how the language evolved baby step after baby step. And why we should always keep betting on JS.

And we made fun of jQuery and ES4, so it was a good talk after all.

Special mention — Vue+Webpack meetup with Sean T. Larkin and Eduardo San Martin (a.k.a. posva)

I’m a regular Meetup attender. I love Meetups, but as with many things, you have to dig a little to find the gems. And oh my, this Meetup was a truly amazing one. Probably one of the best I’ve ever attended.

It lasted almost… 5 hours? And it started the best possible way: A Vue core team member asking a Webpack core team member “what shall we do?”. The answer? “Build something on Vue, and then I’ll optimize it”.

So, two of my passions together, beer and pizza. No, wait. UI development and web performance optimization. And brought to us by two world-class developers and maintainers. For free. With, again, beers and pizza. Hard to believe.

They ended up almost pair programming a Vue app and optimizing it while answering questions, providing context and insights. Again: for free. With beers. 🤯

I went there with Xavi Pregona and Marc Salat so ask them — the experience was outstanding.

Pro tip: just code split all the things.

Day 2

Semantic, Searchable Webapps with Angular — Martin Splitt

Funniest talk of the event. Never heard of Martin before, and I was hoping he wouldn’t focus too much on Angular so I could benefit more from his talk. And, as if he had listened to me, his talk was both funny and informative, and he didn’t focus on Angular (actually I think only angular-cli appeared in two slides, that’s all).

Javascript and SEO don’t really like each other (too much) (yet), but we are getting there. Which gets me to the next talk…

The Bumpy Road to Universal JavaScript — Johannes Ewald

Javascript is executed on the client aaand also on the server. And we can create applications that can be executed both on the client and the server, but there are a few things that we should take into account. Johannes (another Webpack core team member!) explained what these things are, and how to fix them.

Machine Learning in the browser — Lian Li

“What? You can do that?” This was one of these talks. Lian showed us how to used Tensorflow.js to do ML in the browser. The number of WTF per minute of this talk was pretty high.

I see Machine Learning soooo faaar away from me and my skills, but it’s so interesting I always end up thinking “I should learn more things about it”.

And last but not least: many many thanks to David Pich for creating this event. It’s been amazing to watch and learn from world-class developers and doing it in Barcelona. Keep up the good work!