January JavaScript Meetup in Philly

In January 2020, I attended my first JavaScript Meetup in Philadelphia at the office of Sidecar, a company specializing in e-commerce.

It was on the first day of my trip to the US, and I was quite tired, so I forgot to take photos of the event, which I now regret. The speakers were exciting, and the crowd young and engaged.

I was utterly surprised to discover that the first speaker at the Meetup was Jonathan Belcher (aka JB) from Automattic Inc. of WordPress fame. Having no idea the company was in any way connected to JavaScript, I initially thought that I was mixing things up. However, I soon recognized the WordPress logo on JB’s backpack and was relieved of all doubt, preparing to be blown away by his presentation. He spoke about writing optimized JavaScript code using examples, which I found simple enough despite my primary experience being in PHP, not JS. The real action though started during the break, when JB was surrounded by skilled JS developers, and a truly worthwhile discussion ensued.

The second presentation was by Will Vedder who spoke about the React Concurrent mode. His main conclusion was that it was better to show users old content while new content was being prepared than to have them see a “beautiful” preloader. The Concurrent mode was lauded as the best tool for that.

The last session by Petrell Vereen about AssemblyScript and TypeScript was the most technical of all, with lots of examples and practical detail. We were all exhausted and happy to recharge on some good pizza after it.