Node Summit is a NodeJS* focused conference that takes place in San Francisco every year where NodeJS experts from around the world gather together in the same place for a week.
The conference is strongly focused on techniques and engineering. There were over 1000 attendees and 80 speakers this year from some of the world’s biggest tech companies. The conference was divided into 3 parts. Day Zero is basically additional conferences where it’s less crowded and you can actually have a chat with the speakers. Main Conference days are the core of the Node Summit with 3 tracks in parallel and some keynotes in-between. Training days are two days of half-day training sessions on NodeJS and other FullStack related technologies. I was lucky enough to have an early bird ticket which included Day Zero and Main Conferences days. It took place the week of the 23rd July.
Following is a mix of my personal feelings about what I saw with the stuff that I learned when I was there.
Integration and feedback of NodeJS
Needless to say, a lot of the usual big tech companies were present. But what’s interesting is that a lot of non-tech ones were there to talk about Node and what they’re doing with it. A good example of this was presented by Alex Grigoryan who heads up engineering for the Online Grocery business at Walmart Labs. They’re using use Node and other technologies for the Walmart grocery app proving the maturity of the technology at production level.
This maturity featured in quite a few talks like those on internationalization modules (Alolita Sharma, AWS), microservice platform creation feedback (Joe Groseclose, Spring) or how Node is helping the BBC to enter voice first formats (Sarah Jessica Leivers, BBC). Thanks to Matteo Collina I discovered a really useful tool suite called https://clinicjs.org/ which I’ve tested since I got back. It’s a powerful profiling suite that’s really helpful in understanding what’s under low performance node and how to optimize it.
NodeJS has evolved so quickly thanks to its large, welcoming community. The top NodeJS contributors were there encouraging everyone to contribute to NodeJS or to give feedback on what they want to see in future versions.
The NodeJS Community is extremely open with lots of free tutorials, courses and meet-ups.
During Day Zero, I went to the San Francisco Nodeschool workshop where it was nice to code and get feedback from the experts in the room. Check out https://nodeschool.io/ to see what you can learn.
Regarding Node JS, the await and promise of async were at the center of a lot of talks. The end of callback hell is near. Other new things were the addition of async_hook (James Snell, nearForm) and N-API (Arunesh Chandra, Microsoft) in the latest versions of Node. These open up a lot of possibilities in terms of tracing, maintenance and performance enhancement. In the Snell talk mentioned earlier he obviously spoke about the support of HTTP/2 in Node and how we can use it (see also his blog on this).
The idea of open talk panel discussions that focused on one topic with multiple speakers and one moderator worked really well. The focus meant that the different points of view were easy to get across as well as the differing expectations of NodeJS. Kudos to the organizers of the summit who did a great job. The summit really was made to make it easy to learn more about Node, coding, new frameworks and tools. I hope to make it back next year.