NodeConf 2014: A story of aspiration and community
This year, I helped mentor NodeConf 2014, which was an amazing experience. For those not familiar, NodeConf is a much different format than the average industry conference. First, instead of a standard conference center, the venue for NodeConf is an idyllic middle schooler’s summer camp in sunny California. There’s a museum of taxidermied animals, foxes and deer wandering about, and a pond for swimming adventures. Evening activities ranged from heated games of 4 square (or absurd variants like 25 square) to s’mores, from LED firework displays to late night hacking.
NodeConf wasn’t just about having fun, though. The format of the content is just as interesting. Instead of sitting through 8 hours of presentations, NodeConf was 2 days of hands-on workshops. These represented a wide swath of technology, encompassing writing native C++ node modules, rolling your own database, doing in-browser rendering with WebGL using projective geometry, writing server-side API servers and more. These workshops were organized through the workshopper node module, which presents a terminal-based series of exercises; finishing one unlocks the next.
This year’s NodeConf was an amazing experience. I highly encourage you to get involved next year in any way you can. Mikeal Rogers puts on a fantastic conference that’s sure to delight. I, for one, am anxiously awaiting next year’s. If you want to follow along with the mentors in the meantime, I’ve made a handy twitter list.