July 15, 2013 - by Rachel Balik
The point of NodeConf this year, the goal, was to expose people, in an accessible hands-on way, to something that they never would have thought that they could do. - Isaac Schlueter
At the end of June, the Node community headed to Walker Ranch for the fourth annual NodeConf, an informal conference devoted to connecting developers and facilitating forward-thinking conversations about Node.js. This year’s conference involved intense coursework - with eight sessions held over the course of two days - and intense communing with nature. Above all, it highlighted the community’s enthusiasm for both rigorous learning and bonding as humans (or animals, as Isaac Schlueter suggested in his NodeConf blog post.)
Isaac also noted that in nature, “you are bonded in a way that email and IRC can never achieve.” While nature levels the playing field and helps to create a conference experience that’s celebrity-free, it also seems to inspire the community to achieve beyond their expectations. Isaac noted in the course he taught on Node Core, when he moved quickly, his students powered through to catch up rather than falling behind. It seems that pressure can be a strong motivator, even in an otherwise relaxed environment.
Pressure was on for the teachers, too, as they all had to teach the same class eight times. Isaac said he initially told Mikeal Rogers that he thought he’d be only person willing to do that, but there were seven others who also jumped on board, including our own Max Bruning.
Max taught a session on debugging in Node.js using DTrace. Max gave his students a set of five labs, expecting that they’d only complete the first during the course then explore the rest of the labs in office hours or at home. He details all five labs in his Bruning Questions blog post.
Assisting Max were Joyent engineers TJ Fontaine and Joshua Clulow. Joshua was not only impressed with the students' classroom activity and conversations he shared about Node and Joyent's latest release, Manta, but also many stars but one can see a mere hour outside the city. Read more on his blog here.
While we urge you to read all three of these blogs, if you're more in the "a picture is worth a thousand words" camp, head on over to our Google + page and check out the NodeConf photo album.