Going to conferences is a great way for developers to keep a finger on the pulse of their industry. Recently, a good number of X-Teamers went to BrazilJS, one of the biggest JavaScript conferences south of the equator. I spoke with Diego Ferreira, Software Engineer at X-Team, to ask about his impressions of the conference.

Hi Diego! Thanks for taking the time. Can you tell me what the conference was like? Were there lots of people?

There were between 2,000-3,000 people in the audience. The experience is a bit overwhelming, and the structure barely supports it. You need to go early to find seats, otherwise you might be left standing for hours on end!

Looks really busy, I hope you weren't left standing too much. During the conference, what were some of your favorite talks and why?

I can say that these two were top of the line:

  • Mattias Johansson (of the popular Fun Fun Function YouTube channel) on Surviving death by complexity. A talk about the reasons why software dies and how a developer can live with that fact. I thought it was a great take on the necessity to rebuild stuff from time to time. It was a must-see for any Project Manager or CTO.
  • Rajat Kuma on Conditional Modules & Dynamic Bundling, A Netflix Original. On how developers can deliver a personalized experience and test UX for a constantly mutating UI. It was an awesome take on front-end UX experiments in large-scale production environments. Dynamic Environments to the max!

Sounds both complex and intriguing. What would you say is the most interesting new JS thing you learned?

How AMP uses WebWorkers and WorkerDOM to speed up JavaScript execution without blocking UI 🤯. Apparently, they use WorkerDOM to replicate the DOM for a Webworker. When the Webworker needs to update the DOM, the WorkerDOM sorts out the differential updates, and request them to the DOM as a request, so there are no blocking updates. Smart!

Snacks at the conference

From your personal experience and from listening to talks & interacting with people, what do you think is the most important development in JavaScript right now?

Ubiquity. JS is becoming one for all platforms and we are near the seamless deployment of the same code to desktop, web and mobile. That will cut a lot of corners in business development.

Imagine building Slack. You need a web app, which is your base code. You also need a desktop version that can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. And you need to port your web app code to Android and iOS.

React, Electron, and ReactNative enable you to run JS on each of those platforms, but they are currently not the same code base. I see a future where a company can build a single web app and deploy it on any platform.

Let me ask a question not related to the conference. You stayed in an AirBnB with a good number of other X-Teamers. It almost seemed like a little X-Outpost. Did you do something outside of the conference together or did the conference take up pretty much all your time?

Spending time together with the other X-Teamers was awesome. The AirBnB in question was top notch and we hung around for meals after the conference. A visit to the brewery, Italian dinner and a lunch with a great view were some of the highlights.

X-Teamers at BrazilJS

As a final question, what would you say to someone hesitant about going to conferences, someone who might be reluctant or unwilling to spend the money or the time?

Going to conferences is essential if you want to leave the comfort zone of your current work environment. Even through your feed, you're directed to seeing the same material and topics over and over.

When you go to a conference as big as BrazilJS, you get presented with new ideas and new viewpoints. That makes you a better developer even if you don't learn everything you get in touch with.

Wise words. Thank you for your time, Diego!