jsPoland conference

November 22, the day after NG Poland, I’ve attended a second conference, this time on issues related to the entire JavaScript language. I expected topics related to frontend and backend, purely technical and inspirational, presenting the possibilities of the language now and in the future. My expectations were right, so everyone could find something for themselves. Many speakers had given the day before, so I knew the presentations would be valuable – and I was not disappointed. I would like to tell you about the JS Poland conference as seen through my eyes.

The presenters had 20 minutes to present their topic. The place of the conference remained unchanged – in the room of Prime Minister Multikino located in Złote Tarasy. Like at Ng Poland, the theme was Terminator, although the conference did not end with the projection of the latest film in this series.

Each of the speakers had 20 minutes to speak and often it was not enough. Many speakers went beyond this time, although I admit that it was for the benefit of us, the listeners. I am glad that the organizers showed forgiveness and did not stop the presentation. It is worth noting that there have been changes in the announced agenda – this was the case, for example, with Michael Hladky. Unfortunately, the longer the conference lasted, the harder it was for me to stay focused, especially on issues that were completely unknown to me or very distant. I noticed that I wasn’t an isolated case. I assume that it was the effect of shortened breaks because the day before the feelings were different.

Unlike the NG Poland conference, more emphasis was put on speeches intended to inspire, give food for thought or show the possibilities and future of the language, which was reflected in the number of topics that were called “future”. The cross-section of issues was really big, so I will talk about a few of them.

Presentations

Out of so many speeches, I decided to point out the ones that were most remembered for various reasons.

I don’t understand micro-frontends – Luca Mezzalira

I have to admit that the conference began with a bang because the first speech concerned a fairly fresh topic, which is micro-frontend. The origin of this presentation and article was a discussion between Luca and React guru Dan Abramov regarding the purpose of the existence of micro-frontend. The audience found out what micro-frontend is, what problems it solves, which it generates, as well as the pros and cons of the approach. Curious?

The future of RxJS – Michael Hladky

Michael during his speech shared some interesting information, among which the most interesting is the creation of a Chrome plugin dedicated to RxJS! It promises to be a completely new era of debugging streams and tap driven development will become a thing of the past. In addition, we learned how the scheduled function converts ObservableInput to the new Observable with the selected scheduler, what is animationFrame and what are the benefits of using it when animating a page.

However, these are not the only changes regarding schedulers – in the future RxJS version TestScheduler and VirtualTimeScheduler will be completely rewritten.

The Future of Machine Learning & JavaScript – Asim Hussain

Machine Learning has been growing in popularity for several years, so it’s no wonder that thanks to the TensorFlow.js library it has come to the most popular programming language, which is currently JavaScript. In his presentation, Asim presented what a neural network is and how it is taught, what are models and why we need them. Or maybe you are interested in what do we actually need neural networks for? Fortunately for this question, Asim knows the answer.

Controlling a swarm of drones with NodeJS – Jasper Schulte

Only a few years ago, hardly anyone knew what a drone was. Currently, this name hardly surprises anyone. The way of controlling drones may be surprising, and more precisely the fact that we can control their movement using JavaScript. We don’t have to limit ourselves to one device, we can have a whole bunch under our control, as Jasper showed in his speech. Live presented the basics of control from the code level, and then, using a previously prepared interface in the browser, fired four drones. Each of them could move independently. Is it soon to be equipped in every smart home was to be a drone controlled by a smartphone and “bringing” e.g. food from the kitchen …? You can find a similar Jasper instance here.

The Man Who Sold the Amp or How to Process Music with JS – Vitalii Bobrov and Become a JavaScript Electronic Music Producer – Nir Kaufman aka Uncle State

Can a programmer be also a musician? Of course! Vitalia Bobrov kidnapped the audience by playing an electric guitar connected to … a laptop. Using the native Web Api browser, he created a program that lets you apply effects to the waves generated by a connected guitar. Blues, jazz, rock in a minute? No problem for Viatlia! You can find the presentation here, and playing the demo here. However, if the guitar is not a strong point, how about electronic music created on the basis of … JavaScript code? Nir Kaufman aka Uncle State presented how to easily create a music editor in the browser using the Tone library. Now anyone can become an electronic music star!

Nucleon – How to measure performance in Complex Systems Development – Jeppe Hedaa

The holy grail of every management team is a precise measurement of the effectiveness of development teams. Is there a formula for this? Is there any data that would indicate specific factors affecting employee performance? In his speech, the head of 7N faced these questions and honestly answered them, based on statistical data from scientific research and the results obtained in his own company. Particularly interesting for me was the method of examining the employee’s fit to the team, consisting of five layers:

  • experience/business understanding,
  • skills/knowledge,
  • behavioural capacity,
  • personality,
  • cognitive capacity.

For a description of what is behind these layers and the problem of measuring the effectiveness of development teams, see Jeppe Hed’s book, which can be found here.

UI & UX Tips for better Front-End – Grzegorz Róg

Everyone who has created an interface for users in their lives knows how important their satisfaction with working in a given application is, which often translates into the success of a given platform. Grzegorz in his presentation directed a large dose of knowledge on how to create a visual layer so that it is a nightmare for the user. He presented in a very funny way anti-template designing page elements, e.g. forms. As for an artistically talented person, each case was adorned with humorous graphics, thanks to which, apart from learning, there was a lot of laughter too! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the slides from the conference.

After the conference…

People who were short on one day of the conference had the opportunity to sign up for the workshops the next day. There were four topics to choose from:

  • TypeScript (advanced),
  • Serverless React with GraphQL and AWS Amplify,
  • Build Desktop Application with Electron,
  • Hook up your React.

Summary

After the NG Poland conference, I had a huge appetite for another dose of knowledge, inspiration and broadening my horizons at JS Poland. My hunger was fully satisfied thanks to well-chosen presentations. Thanks to conferences such as this, I have the opportunity to meet language enthusiasts, specialists in the field and topics that I would not come across in my everyday life.

I very much hope that next year I will be able to participate in this event!

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Michał Wajer

Software Developer at Aspire Systems Poland. He began his adventure with Angular in the summer of 2018. In his free time, he learns the secrets of Vue, RxJS and TypeScript. Enthusiast of sport (most of all running) and speedway.