JSHeroes 2018 | Cluj-Napoca

Technical May 20, 2018

Last month I participated at the largest tech conference solely dedicated to JavaScript from Romania, called JSHeroes. It took place in the beautiful city of Cluj-Napoca, the city that I’ve proudly called home for the last four years.

It was an awesome experience, filled with useful knowledge and insight concerning the current state of JavaScript as a language and all the frameworks that the JS developer community uses.

There were a lot of subjects and topics on which the speakers presented and in the following lines, I will try to give a brief summary about what the topic tackled, accompanied by the speaker’s presentation and recorded video.

So let’s get started!

Day 1

Sketching in the Browser
Mark Dalgleish, DesignOps @LeadSEEK

Presentation | Video

Mark talks about the ongoing challenge of today’s industry of keeping developers and designers in sync. We look at react-sketchapp, how to bring version control to Sketch files with Kactus & Node and most importantly, learn about html-sketchapp.

XSS, CSRF, CSP, JWT, WTF? IDK ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dominik Kundel, Developer Evangelist @Twilio

Presentation | Video

“About XSS, CSRF, CORS, JWT, HTTPS, SPAs, REST APIs and other weird abbreviations, how to protect yourself and your users from the new generation of Bobby Tables.”

Fontastic web performance
Monica Dinculescu, @Google

Presentation | Video

Monica talks about web typography and the beauty of it. We learn about the Mitt Romney web font problem, FOIT (Flash of invisible text), FOUT (Flash of unstyled text), and how to avoid them.

A Guide to Instant Loading Angular Apps
Mashhood Rastgar, Technical Lead @Recurship

Presentation | Video

The topic that renders on everybody’s lips inside the Angular community, how to reduce the loading time && bundle size. AOT (Ahead of time) compiling, build optimizer, lazy loading, service workers and what the future holds – the mighty Ivy renderer.

What the v…DOM?
Stefan Judis, Developer Evangelist @Contentful

Presentation | Video

Demystifying the Virtual DOM concept and shedding some light on the “magic” that happens behind it.

The exciting future of React
Kristijan Ristovski, Trainer @React Academy

Presentation | Video

About what the newest version brings with it, from a complete rewrite of the core, to error boundaries, portals, fragments and what the future of React holds.

Teleport your application
Paul Brie, Head of R&D @Evozon

Presentation | Video

“The talk will present Teleport, a new platform allowing developers to collaborate and to generate and maintain all their front-end codebase for React and React-Native.”

Reasons to give React Native a(nother) try
Brent Vatne, Software Developer @Expo

Presentation | Video

Why you should give React Native a(nother) try? Brent presents us a couple of valid reasons why we should pick it “app”, nearly three years since its initial release.

Advanced Redux – Design Patterns and Practices
Nir Kaufman, Principal Frontend Developer @500Tech

Presentation | Video

IMHO, one of the best talks from this year’s edition. Nir talks about Redux and how it is based on concepts and patterns that emerged and were introduced in the industry nearly 20 years ago. We go through design patterns concerning micro services and messaging systems and how we can use them in the context of modern SPAs.

Meta Vue Framework
Sébastien Chopin, CTO @ORION

Presentation | Video

How to build blazing fast Vue.js apps with the help of Nuxt.js.

Vue.js and Serverless
Sarah Drasner, Senior Developer Advocate @Microsoft

Presentation | Video

Serverless Functions + Vue.js + Nuxt.js

Day 2

A red LEGO brick is always red: components on the web
Jack Franklin, Frontend Engineer @Thread

Presentation | Video

Jack reminds us that we should consider a front-end web application as a tree of components, rather than distinct pages, thus leading to a more testable, maintainable and reliable codebase. Fully encapsulated component == reusable lego brick.

The Dream of Styleguide Driven Development
Sara Vieira, Full Stack Developer @YLD

Presentation | Video

Sara woke up in her hotel room 10 minutes before starting her presentation. But that didn’t stop her to give a pasionate and full of information presentation. We talked about styleguide driven development and how this dream-state topic can become a reality. React Styleguidist, Storybook, Figma and other awsome stuff.

Recursion, Iteration, and JavaScript: A Love Story
Anjana Vakil, Engineering Learning & Development Lead @Mapbox

Presentation | Video

“Recursion and iteration are two alternative paradigms for solving problems by breaking them down into smaller chunks; this talk is a deep dive into how these paradigms work, and how JS supports them both.”

V8 internals for JS developers
Mathias Bynens, V8 Engineer @Google

Presentation | Video

Mathias’s presentation also qualifies in the top best JSHeroes presentations of 2018. He gives us an insight into how the internals of V8 work and how can this knowledge help us improve the run-time performance. We learned the kind of elements that exist in V8, SMI, Doubles, Regular elements and the fact that they can be either Packed or Holey. At one point we got to see a HOLEY_SMI_ELEMENT that is called a (COW). Hol(e)y cow …

How to make your LEDs better listeners
Stephanie Nemeth, Frontend Developer @Werkspot

Presentation | Video

Stephanie lit up the room. Literary. She tells us her story, how she got into Arduino and started to stick LEDs to about everything that she had and then be able to control them through an app. Big topic handled, the MQTT protocol.

Making The Terminal Great Again
Liran Tal, Engineering Manager @Nielsen Marketing Cloud

Presentation | Video

Liran teaches us how to build our own beautiful, powerful and super-shiny Command-Line Interface with the help of Node.js and React.

Even Stensberg, Informatics Student @Arctic University of Norway

Presentation | Video

“Being a developer shouldn`t be hard. You should create a file and start developing. But if you`d want to develop like a hipster, it would mean tooling, a lot of tooling. The talk will focus on how maintainers should reduce the entry requirements to build modern applications with as little configuration as possible.”

Ives van Hoorne, Software Developer @Catawiki

Presentation | Video

Ives’s presentation also is part of the top best and could also qualify as #1. The first thing that amazed me about Ives was that his website is written in AngularJS (v 1.3.15). The second one, I found out from his website description, that he is is (at the time of writing this article) 21 years, 5 months and 5638 seconds old. Thirdly, he created CodeSandbox. The last one was mind blowing, it being a live online code editor that has a feature called shared collaboration across the entire project. If you want to find out more, check out the video.

Serving for the win – Deployments and hosting for the rest of us
Phil Hawksworth, Developer Relations @Netlify

Presentation | Video

Phil gave the funniest talk of all, thus qualifying by default into the top best. But the topic that he tackled also brought him extra points. We discussed how we can ease the path towards production and how to easily preview, stage, test, sign-off, deliver and evolve. All accompanied with case studies of real-life projects.

And also, Phil is responsible for marking us for life, for sharing the hidden knowledge that all URLs actually start with “AITCH TEE TEE PEE DOUBLE MEH“. Check the video if you want to know what that is about (around min 19).

Virtual reality for every developer!
Shagufta Gurmukhdas, Software Engineer @HSBC Technology India

Presentation | Video

“A-Frame is an open source web framework which enables creating VR experiences with simple HTML and little JS without much efforts. You’ll learn how to use it to create fantastic VR applications which can even be multi-user/real-time and also get inspired from some usecases.”

Package Quest: the journey of a package from the npm registry to your computer
Jeffrey Lembeck, Senior Services Engineer @npm, inc.

Presentation | Video

“Ever wonder what happens when you `npm install` something? Follow an odyssey across the wires as our hero client embarks on an adventure to bring you the software that you need, right when you ask for it. After this talk you’ll have a better understanding of the course a package takes – helping you understand architecture that works at scale as well as being able to troubleshoot package installation problems.”

My two cents

This year’s conference was a real two-day quest into the deep water that JavaScript holds as a programming language. I personally consider that we, as a community of day-to-day users of this modern dynamic programming language, currently are in a vantage point that can only bring consistence in our procedures, patterns to our coding style and a overall state of happiness when talking about front-end. We are on the right path, but we still have a few miles to go until the finish line.

I am glad that there was a central, common feeling this year, that coding, and especially in JS (and the frameworks that it supports) should be possible out of the box, without all of the clutter, mess and configuration hell that it brings with it. Basically, if you just want the banana, you should be able to get it without (seeing) the gorilla or the entire jungle.

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Florin Tomozei

Software Engineer and Storyteller