My ForwardJS Workshop Summary


It was a great week in SF for forwardJS. I was exposed to a bunch of ideas and technologies that I haven’t been able to spend much time on previously, and I got to see San Francisco for the first time to boot. The conference was set up as one day of the actual conference, and 4 days of workshops. My favorite part was by far the workshops because it enabled me to dive into interesting aspects of web programming, and get hands on assistance by experts in the area.

All the instructors share their stuff on github, so In case anyone is interested in the materials I’ve laid out each workshop I took and link to class materials and resources.

Day 1: Modern Async Programming with Jed Borovik

This was a good intro to the features that JavaScript is providing around asynchronous programming. He live-coded interacting with Javascript's event loop apis nextTick and setImmediate, and then went into creating a basic promise library from scratch. For the last part of the day we got into Generators and explored how to effectively use them. He did a good job of engaging us as he was coding to make sure we were following along and understood what was going on.

Day 2: Functional Programming in JavaScript with Brian Lonsdorf

This was my first real foray into functional programming and it was a good one. Brian is a great teacher and gave us a good mix of teaching and exercises to introduce us to these concepts. He even had a beer with us after :-)

Day 3: ClojureScript with Priyatam Mutivarti

This class was an excellent compliment to the functional JavaScript class, because it focused in more on the Clojure philosophy of functional programming, who's foundation is the "S-expression". Priyatam showed use how you can use this very basic concept to program in a very efficient and effective way. It was a very small class as well as very hands-on. We covered a ton of material, and even got as far as getting me an Om development environment set up.

Day 4: React and ES6 with Brian Holt

Brian was an entertaining speaker and gave us an overview of es6 features dovetailing into creating an example movie browsing app using React. This was a great intro to the concepts that have given React a lot of buzz over the last couple years. It was also interesting to compare and contrast how react does components with what I'm doing in my day job with Ember, maybe enough for a separate post;-).