My Experience at SydJS

I have a new, favourite group and its name is SydJS (@sydjs).

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Before arriving in Australia just over one month ago, I knew that it was critical to get myself involved in the local developer community. As a Developer Evangelist for Telerik, it’s important that I’m connecting to our customers (i.e. developers). This allows us to hear what they love (and maybe, not love quite as much) about our products. It also allows us to introduce ourselves to developers who maybe haven’t heard of us.

An effective way of connecting with developers, of course, showing up and getting involved in the local community. This can be done in a number of different ways. I find that being present and helping out are a good start. Ultimately, to become truly connected, you need to give back. (More on this in a blog post later.) It should be noted that I love developer communities regardless of my job role; there’s a good chance that I would have attended SydJS anyway. But, I digress.

Last night, I attended my first meeting of the Sydney JavaScript group (SydJS) at Atlassian. In short, what an awesome group; lots of passionate developers who care deeply about JavaScript. Oh, and beer. They definitely care about beer.

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The night’s agenda provided four presentations:

The one presentation that impressed me the most was Brian McKenna’s lap around languages that compile to JavaScript. In this session, I learned about Roy (built by Brian) and about Source Maps, which – frankly – are kinda awesome. From a .net Magazine article that highlights Source Maps:

There is detailed information on the progress of the Mozilla work over on the wiki at wiki.mozilla.org/DevTools/Features/SourceMap, and you can read about the WebKit work atbugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=63940. The Mozilla document states that this feature is targeted for release in Firefox 9.

The presentations that were delivered provided more of a high-level overview of JavaScript-related concepts. It’s wasn’t terribly low-level but that’s OK. There were a number of new members who haven’t written a great deal of JavaScript yet and I’m sure these presentations helped in their skills development.

The other thing that I impressed me was the core group of folks at Atlassian. They have passionate developers who understand why JavaScript rocks. The digs are too bad either. They also appear to pride themselves on grokking development; right down to the swag.

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But, of course, the highlight for me was this:

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You can almost hear these values recited by Morgan Freeman; “That’s goddamn right.”

So, all in all, I had a great time at SydJS and I’m already looking forward to the next meeting. Why not sign up? Registration is free and the folks are super-friendly.