Node.js Interactive North America 2017: Key Takeaways

by Jerad Bitner

Node.js Interactive North America was in beautiful Vancouver B.C. this year, and the weather was exceptional. If you haven't been there yet, Vancouver is a picturesque city with lots of great food. The convention center is right on the waterfront, and with pristine parks close by, the location is seriously hard to beat. It's already been announced that the conference will be held again in the same location next year, so you might want to keep this one on your radar!

Vancouver Convention Centre
Vancouver Convention Centre (Top); Main Stage (Bottom Left); View from Inside the Conference Centre (Bottom Right)

Who was there?

While the majority of attendees were developers from various companies, these are the companies that had booths at the conference:

  • IBM - Promoting cloud services for business
  • Google - Promoting the Google Cloud Platform
  • Heroku - Promoting a PaaS solution that enables developers to build, run, and operate applications entirely in the cloud
  • Microsoft - Promoting hosting with Azure, and Visual Studio Code environment
  • NodeSource - Promoting a series of Node.js products for running Node.js safely and securely
  • sqreen - Promoting security and monitoring for web applications
  • Joyent’s Triton Compute - Promoting open source and hybrid cloud infrastructure as a service
  • npm - Need I say more?
  • Linode - Promoting cloud hosting solution for developers
  • ApostropheCMS - Promoting a CMS framework built on Node.js
  • Intrinsic - Promoting Node.js security service for your apps
  • Habitat - Promoting cloud management applications
  • HarperDB - Promoting solution for simplifying big data architecture

Conference Takeaways

Node is finally a first-class citizen in V8

Node is now a first-class citizen being supported by V8, the engine that runs JavaScript code. Previously V8's priority was only about supporting Chrome, but it is now working together with the Node community to support it. This signifies a huge support for Node from Google.

Opportunities abound

It ended up being an eye-opening event for what we see as huge opportunities. Node and JavaScript, in general, are a large market that currently has a lot of growth. This conference is a great venue to talk about Enterprise solutions. 

To illustrate the magnitude of Node's impact, you can see how many companies it powers.

Companies using Node

Node.js Certification Program

Node.js Certification Logo

A new certification program launched the first week of October 2017 during the conference to provide a baseline of expectations of this skillset: Node.js Certified Developer (NCD) Program. The program is a proctored, online test that evaluates developers' performance based on solving topic domains from a command line. This is still in “beta” but you can find more info on Github.

Open Source Governance

Node’s governance model is really great: no BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life) and it provides a grassroots feel. Yes, there are the inevitable big corporate sponsors, but Node feels like a democracy. You hear stories about community flare-ups in Node but it’s actually healthy activism, which we did not realize before attending this conference. People are engaged and their voices matter. 

The structure of the governance of Node used to be similar to Drupal with a series of BDFLs, but it is now a Board of Directors governed by a Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The Board is comprised of people from the following companies:

  • Groupon
  • Paypal
  • Intel
  • Redhat
  • Microsoft
  • Joyent
  • IBM
  • and a few other individuals

Making a case for Node.js

If you’re still trying to make a case for Node.js in your organization, have a look at some of the reasoning and guidance given by Justin Beckwith from Google who presented at this year's event:

You can find the slides for Justin's talk here.

View more sessions

You can find the recorded sessions on the Node.js YouTube channel. A full schedule listing can be found here.

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