The Philosophy Behind NodeDay

March 06, 2014 - by Lenny Markus, Engineer, PayPal

Since the launch of krakenJS in September, there’s been a ton going on: great JavaScript and Node.js conferences, meetups, hackathons, talks, trainings and other events. Good times, great people and useful information to be sure, but there seemed to be something missing.

Isaac Schlueter noted in his talk at NodeSummit 2013 how the Node user base has shifted drastically over the past year. Based on npm stats, he showed that peaks of activity switched from weekend nights, into a more familiar territory: Weekdays, nine to five.

The nametags on attendees at these conferences and events have changed. Instead of seeing individuals on a quest for personal knowledge, I’ve started seeing employees being sent by their companies to figure out how to make this Node.js thing work for them.

Node.js might have started as the sole domain of the curious, the bold, the weekend warriors who love to be on the bleeding edge of technology; those who go home after work to learn new stuff. Well, that is no longer the case. Node has been adopted within the industry.

As I’ve attended events, I’ve been struck by how much interest there was that PayPal started using Node.js. While we were certainly not the first company to do so, we were among the biggest to take the plunge.

People are hungry for information. Topics like “How to write a Node App” are no longer sufficient. They want to hear “How to write a BIG Node App. And how to deploy it. And how to scale it.”

To get to where we are today on our Node journey, we’ve had to clear technical, political and cultural hurdles. We have some answers to these questions, but we’re not the only ones who do.

Node.js is built around a thriving and vibrant open source community. Many individuals have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into it; but as this ecosystem continues to evolve we as a company also have a responsibility to be good corporate citizens and contribute to it. Open sourcing Kraken was a first step, but there is still more that we can do.

NodeDay was born out of a quick conversation, because the idea is such a natural fit for the times: Bring together people from pioneering companies and organizations that have embraced (or are thinking about embracing) Node and allow them to share information, best practices, advice, tips, tricks, and horror stories. Anything and everything that is relevant to the enterprise.

This conference is not aimed at individual developers. It’s for the companies that see Node as a viable technology to embrace, but are not quite sure how to go about it; for those who are ready to move from toy projects and pilots to major rollouts.

While we don’t presume to have all the answers, we will contribute enthusiastically to the Node ecosystem. And we hope other companies will follow our lead. A stronger industry presence gives more credibility to Node – which will in turn benefit the industry.

Won’t you join us?

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