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Interview with Jory Burson, Community Director, OpenJS Foundation on Open Source Standards

By Announcement, Blog, Standards

Jason Perlow, Editorial Director of the Linux Foundation, chats with Jory Burson, Community Director at the OpenJS Foundation about open standardization efforts and why it is important for open source projects. This post initially appeared on the Linux Foundation Blog.

JP: Jory, first of all, thanks for doing this interview. Many of us know you from your work at the OpenJS Foundation, the C2PA, and on open standards, and you’re also involved in many other open community collaborations. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into working on Open Standards at the LF?

JB: While I’m a relatively new addition to the Linux Foundation, I have been working with the OpenJS foundation for probably three years now — which is hosted by the Linux Foundation. As some of your readers may know, OpenJS is home to several very active JavaScript open source projects, and many of those maintainers are really passionate about web standards. Inside that community, we’ve got a core group of about 20 people participating actively at Ecma International on the JavaScript TCs, the W3C, the Unicode Consortium, the IETF, and some other spaces, too. What we wanted to do was create this space where those experts can get together, discuss things in a cross-project sort of way, and then also help onboard new people into this world of web standards — because it can be a very intimidating thing to try and get involved in from the outside. 

The Joint Development Foundation is something I’m new to, but as part of that, I’m very excited to get to support the C2PA, which stands for Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity; it’s a new effort as well. They’re going to be working on standards related to media provenance and authenticity — to battle fakes and establish trustworthiness in media formats, so I’m very excited to get to support that project as it grows.

JP: When you were at Bocoup, which was a web engineering firm, you worked a lot with international standards organizations such as Ecma and W3C, and you were in a leadership role at the TC53 group, which is JavaScript for embedded systems. What are the challenges that you faced when working with organizations like that? 

JB: There are the usual challenges that I think face any international or global team, such as coordination of meeting times and balancing the tension between asynchronously conducting business via email lists, GitHub, and that kind of thing. And then more synchronous forms of communication or work, like Slack and actual in-person meetings. Today, we don’t really worry as much about the in-person meetings, but still, there’s like, this considerable overhead of, you know, “human herding” problems that you have to overcome. 

Another challenge is understanding the pace at which the organization you’re operating in really moves. This is a complaint we hear from many people new to standardization and are used to developing projects within their product team at a company. Even within an open source project, people are used to things moving perhaps a bit faster and don’t necessarily understand that there are actually built-in checks in the process — in some cases, to ensure that everybody has a chance to review, everybody has an opportunity to comment fairly, and that kind of thing. 

Sometimes, because that process is something that’s institutional knowledge, it can be surprising to newcomers in the committees — so they have to learn that there’s this other system that operates at an intentionally different pace. And how does that intersect with your work product? What does that mean for the back timing of your deliverables? That’s another category of things that is “fun” to learn. It makes sense once you’ve experienced it, but maybe running into it for the first time isn’t quite as enjoyable.

JP: Why is it difficult to turn something like a programming language into an internationally accepted standard? In the past, we’ve seen countless flavors of C and Pascal and things like that.

JB: That’s a really good question. I would posit that programming languages are some of the easier types of standards to move forward today because the landscape of what that is and the use cases are fairly clear. Everybody is generally aware of the concept that languages are ideally standardized, and we all agree that this is how this language should work. We’re all going to benefit, and none of us are necessarily, outside of a few cases, trying to build a market in which we’re the dominant player based solely on a language. In my estimation, that tends to be an easier case to bring lots of different stakeholders to the table and get them to agree on how a language should proceed. 

In some of the cases you mentioned, as with C, and Pascal, those are older languages. And I think that there’s been a shift in how we think about some of those things, where in the past it was much more challenging to put a new language out there and encourage adoption of that language, as well as a much higher bar and much more difficult sort of task in getting people information out about how that language worked. 

Today with the internet, we have a very easy distribution system for how people can read, participate, and weigh in on a language. So I don’t think we’re going to see quite as many variations in standardized languages, except in some cases where, for example, with JavaScript, TC53 is carving out a subset library of JavaScript, which is optimized for sensors and lower-powered devices. So long story short, it’s a bit easier, in my estimation, to do the language work. Where I think it gets more interesting and difficult is actually in some of the W3C communities where we have standardization activities around specific web API’s you have to make a case for, like, why this feature should actually become part of the platform versus something experimental…

JP: … such as for Augmented Reality APIs or some highly specialized 3D rendering thing. So what are the open standardization efforts you are actively working on at the LF now, at this moment?

JB: At this exact moment, I am working with the OpenJS Foundation standards working group, and we’ve got a couple of fun projects that we’re trying to get off the ground. One is creating a Learning Resource Center for people who want to learn more about what standardization activities really look like, what they mean, some of the terminologies, etc. 

For example, many people say that getting involved in open source is overwhelming — it’s daunting because there’s a whole glossary of things you might not understand. Well, it’s the same for standardization work, which has its own entire new glossary of things. So we want to create a learning space for people who think they want to get involved. We’re also building out a feedback system for users, open source maintainers, and content authors. This will help them say, “here’s a piece of feedback I have about this specific proposal that may be in front of a committee right now.”

So those are two things. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m still very new to the Linux Foundation. And I’m excited to see what other awesome standardization activities come into the LF.

JP: Why do you feel that the Linux Foundation now needs to double down its open standards efforts? 

JB: One of the things that I’ve learned over the last several years working with different international standards organizations is that they have a very firm command of their process. They understand the benefits of why and how a standard is made, why it should get made, those sorts of things. However, they don’t often have as strong a grasp as they ought to around how the software sausage is really made. And I think the Linux Foundation, with all of its amazing open source projects, is way closer to the average developer and the average software engineer and what their reality is like than some of these international standards developing boards because the SDOs are serving different purposes in this grander vision of ICT interoperability. 

On the ground, we have, you know, the person who’s got to build the product to make sure it’s fit for purpose, make sure it’s conformant, and they’ve got to make it work for their customers. In the policy realm, we have these standardization folks who are really good at making sure that the policy fits within a regulatory framework, is fair and equitable and that everybody’s had a chance to bring concerns to the table — which the average developer may not have time to be thinking about privacy or security or whatever it might be. So the Linux Foundation and other open source organizations need to fit more of the role of a bridge-builder between these populations because they need to work together to make useful and interoperable technologies for the long term. 

That’s not something that one group can do by themselves. Both groups want to make that happen. And I think it’s really important that the LF demonstrate some leadership here.

JP: Is it not enough to make open software projects and get organizations to use them? Or are open standards something distinctly different and separate from open source software?

JB: I think I’ll start by saying there are some pretty big philosophical differences in how we approach a standard versus an open source project. And I think the average developer is pretty comfortable with the idea that version 1.0 of an open source project may not look anything like version 2.0. There are often going to be cases and examples where there are breaking changes; there’s stuff that they shouldn’t necessarily rely on in perpetuity, and that there’s some sort of flex that they should plan for in that kind of thing.

The average developer has a much stronger sense with a standardization activity that those things should not change. And should not change dramatically in a short period. JavaScript is a good example of a language that changes every year; new features are added. But there aren’t breaking changes; it’s backward compatible. There are some guarantees in terms of a standard platform’s stability versus an open source platform, for example. And further, we’re developing more of a sense of what’s a higher bar, if you will, for open standards activities, including the inclusion of things like test suites, documentation, and the required number of reference implementations examples.

Those are all concepts that are kind of getting baked into the idea of what makes a good standard. There’s plenty of standards out there that nobody has ever even implemented — people got together and agreed how something should work and then never did anything with it. And that’s not the kind of standard we want to make or the kind of thing we want to promote. 

But if we point to examples like JavaScript — here’s this community we have created, here’s the standard, it’s got this great big group of people who all worked on it together openly and equitably. It’s got great documentation, it’s got a test suite that accompanies it — so you can run your implementation against that test suite and see where the dragons lie. And it’s got some references and open source reference implementations that you can view.  

Those sorts of things really foster a sense of trustworthiness in a standard — it gives you a sense that it’s something that’s going to stick around for a while, perhaps longer than an open source project, which may be sort of the beginnings of a standardization activity. It may be a reference to implementing a standard, or some folks just sort of throwing spaghetti at a wall and trying to solve a problem together. And I think these are activities that are very complementary with each other. It’s another great reason why other open source projects and organizations should be getting involved and supporting standardization activities.

JP: Do open standardization efforts make a case for open source software even stronger? 

I think so — I just see them as so mutually beneficial, right? Because in the case of an open standards activity, you may be working with some folks and saying, well, here’s what I’m trying to express what this would look like — if we take the prose — and most of the time, the standard is written in prose and a pseudocode sort of style. It’s not something you can feed into the machine and have it work. So the open source projects, and polyfills, and things of that sort can really help a community of folks working on a problem say, “Aha, I understand what you mean!” “This is how we interpreted this, but it’s producing some unintended behaviors”, or “we see that this will be hard to test, or we see that this creates a security issue.”

It’s a way of putting your ideas down on paper, understanding them together, and having a tool through which everybody can pull and say, Okay, let’s, let’s play with it and see if this is really working for what we need it for.”

Yes, I think they’re very compatible.

JP: Like peanut butter and jelly.

JB: Peanut butter and jelly. Yeah.

JP: I get why large organizations might want things like programming languages, APIs, and communications protocols to be open standards, but what are the practical benefits that average citizens get from establishing open standards? 

JB: Open standards really help promote innovation and market activity for all players regardless of size. Now, granted, for the most part, a lot of the activities we’ve been talking about are funded by some bigger players. You know, when you look at the member lists of some of the standards bodies, it’s larger companies like the IBMs, Googles, and Microsofts of the world, the companies that provide a good deal more of the funding. Still, hundreds of small and midsize businesses are also benefiting from standards development. 

You mentioned my work at Bocoup earlier — that’s another great example. We were a consulting firm, who heavily benefited from participating in and leveraging open standards to help build tools and software for our customers. So it is a system that I think helps create an equitable market playing field for all the parties. It’s one of those actual examples of rising tides, which lift all boats if we’re doing it in a genuinely open and pro-competitive way. Now, sometimes, that’s not always the case. In other types of standardization areas, that’s not always true. But certainly, in our web platform standards, that’s been the case. And it means that other companies and other content authors can build web applications, websites, services, digital products, that kind of thing. Everybody benefits — whether those people are also Microsoft customers, Google customers, and all that. So it’s an ecosystem.

JP: I think it’s great that we’ve seen companies like Microsoft that used to have much more closed systems embrace open standards over the last ten years or so. If you look at the first Internet Explorer they ever had out — there once were websites that only worked on that browser. Today, the very idea of a website that only works on one company’s web browser correctly is ridiculous, right? We now have open source engines that these browsers use that embrace open standards have become much more standardized. So I think that open standards have helped some of these big companies that were more closed become more open. We even see it happen at companies like Apple. They use the Bluetooth protocol to connect to their audio hardware and have adopted technologies such as the USB-C connector when previously, they were using weird proprietary connectors before. So they, too, understand that open standards are a good thing. So that helps the consumer, right? I can go out and buy a wireless headset, and I know it’ll work because it uses the Bluetooth protocol. Could you imagine if we had nine different types of wireless networking instead of WiFi? You wouldn’t be able to walk into a store and buy something and know that it would work on your network. It would be nuts. Right?

JB: Absolutely. You’re pointing to hardware and the standards for physical products and goods versus digital products and goods in your example. So in using that example, do you want to have seven different adapters for something? No, it causes confusion and frustration in the marketplace. And the market winner is the one who’s going to be able to provide a solution that simplifies things.

That’s kind of the same thing with the web. We want to simplify the solutions for web developers so they’re not having to say, “Okay, what am I going to target? Am I going to target Edge? Am I going to target Safari?”

JP: Or is my web app going to work correctly in six years or even six months from now?

JB: Right!

JP: Besides web standards, are there other types of standardization you are passionate about, either inside the LF or in your spare time? 

JB: It’s interesting because I think in my career, I’ve followed this journey of first getting involved because it was intellectually interesting to me. Then it was about getting involved because it was about  making my job easier. Like, how does this help me do business more effectively? How does this help me make my immediate life, life as a developer, and my life as an internet consumer a little bit nicer?

Beyond that, you start to think of the order of magnitude: our standardization activities’ social impact. I often think about the role that standards have played in improving the lives of everyday people. For the last 100 years, we have had building standards, fire standards, and safety standards, all of these things. And because they developed, adopted, and implemented in global policy, they have saved people’s lives. 

Apply that to tech — of course, it makes sense that you would have safety standards to prevent the building from burning down — so what is the version of that for technology? What’s the fire safety standard for the web? And how do we actually think about the standards that we make, impacting people and protecting them the way that those other standards did?

One of the things that have changed in the last few years is that the Technical Advisory Group group or “TAG” at the W3C are considering more of the social impact questions in their work. TAG is a group of architects elected by the W3C membership to take a horizontal/global view of the technologies that the W3C standardizes. These folks say, “okay, great; you’re proposing that we standardize this API, have you considered it from an accessibility standpoint? Have you considered it from, you know, ease of use, security?” and that sort of thing.

In the last few years, they started looking at it from an ethical standpoint, such as, “what are the questions of privacy?” How might this technology be used for the benefit of the average person? And also, perhaps, how could it potentially be used for evil? And can we prevent that reality? 

So one of the thingsI think is most exciting, is the types of technologies that are advancing today that are less about can we make X and Y interoperable, but can we make X and Y interoperable in a safe, ethical, economical, and ecological fashion — the space around NFT’s right now as a case in point. And can we make technology beneficial in a way that goes above and beyond “okay, great, we made the website, quick click here.”

So C2PA, I think, is an excellent example of a standardization activity that the LF supports could benefit people. One of the big issues of the last several years is the authenticity of media that we consume things from — whether it was altered, or synthesized in some fashion, such as what we see with deepfakes. Now, the C2PA is not going to be able to and would not say if a media file is fake. Rather, it would allow an organization to ensure that the media they capture or publish can be analyzed for tampering between steps in the edit process or the time an end user consumes it.  This would allow organizations and people to have more trust in the media they consume.

JP: If there was one thing you could change about open source and open standards communities, what would it be?

JB: So my M.O. is to try and make these spaces more human interoperable. With an open source project or open standards project, we’re talking about some kind of technical interoperability problem that we want to solve. But it’s not usually the technical issues that cause delays or serious issues — nine times out of ten; it comes down to some human interoperability problem. Maybe it’s language differences, cultural differences, or expectations — it’s process-oriented. There’s some other thing that may cause that activity to fail to launch. 

So if there were something that I could do to change communities, I would love to make sure that everybody has resources for running great and effective meetings. One big problem with some of these activities is that their meetings could be run more effectively and more humanely. I would want humane meetings for everyone.

JP: Humane meetings for everyone! I’m pretty sure you could be elected to public office on that platform. <laughs>. What else do you like to do with your spare time, if you have any?

JB: I love to read; we’ve got a book club at OpenJS that we’re doing, and that’s fun. So, in my spare time, I like to take time to read or do a crossword puzzle or something on paper! I’m so sorry, but I still prefer paper books, paper magazines, and paper newspapers.

JP: Somebody just told me recently that they liked the smell of paper when reading a real book.

JB: I think I think they’re right; I think it feels better. I think it has a distinctive smell, but there’s also something very therapeutic and analog about it because I like to disconnect from my digital devices. So you know, doing something soothing like that. I also enjoy painting outdoors and going outside, spending time with my four-year-old, and that kind of thing.

JP: I think we all need to disconnect from the tech sometimes. Jory, thanks for the talk; it’s been great having you here.

Project News: Node.js v 16 Available

By Announcement, Blog, Node.js, Project Update

The Node.js Project, a hosted project of the OpenJS Foundation, has announced the release of Node.js v 16. Highlights include the update of the V8 JavaScript engine to 9.0, prebuilt Apple Silicon binaries, and additional stable APIs.

You can download the latest release from https://nodejs.org/en/download/current/, or use Node Version Manager on UNIX to install with nvm install 16. The Node.js blog post containing the changelog is available at https://nodejs.org/en/blog/release/v16.0.0.

Initially, Node.js v 16 will replace Node.js 15 as our ‘Current’ release line. As per the release schedule, Node.js 16 will be the ‘Current’ release for the next 6 months and then promoted to Long-term Support (LTS) in October 2021. Once promoted to long-term support the release will be designated the codename ‘Gallium’.

As a reminder — Node.js 12 will remain in long-term support until April 2022, and Node.js 14 will remain in long-term support until April 2023. Node.js 10 will go End-of-Life at the end of this month (April 2021). More details on our release plan/schedule can be found in the Node.js Release Working Group repository.

A new major release is a sum of the efforts of all of the project contributors and Node.js collaborators! Congrats to all who made it possible!

Read the full blog with all the details on the Node.js blog.

OpenJS World 2021 Schedule Announced!

By Announcement, Blog, Event, OpenJS World
Text "OpenJS World 2021 Virtual Experience, June 2, 2021" over geometric lines.

The OpenJS Foundation is excited to announce the full schedule for OpenJS World 2021, the Foundation’s annual global conference. On June 2, developers, software architects and engineers from all around the world as well as maintainers and community members from OpenJS Foundation hosted projects such as AMP, Fastify, Electron, and Node.js will tune in to network, learn and collaborate.

The conference will include inspiring keynotes, informative presentations, and hands-on workshops that are aimed to help the OpenJS community better understand the latest and greatest of JavaScript technologies.

This year’s event will be broadcasted on YouTube, where we invite attendees to watch live and engage with the community via Slack. This format will allow for an on demand, “Netflix style” experience with a specific premier time and flexibility for international audience viewing, as well as more discussion opportunities with speakers. We’ll kick off the day at 9:00 am PT with a keynote stream, with sessions premiering in tracked playlists after the keynotes finish. Tracks include Security, Development, Performance, Community Building, Automation / CI/CD, Testing and General.

The full schedule can be found here: https://openjsworld2021.sched.com/ 

Keynote speakers

  • Anna Lytical, Sickeningly Entertaining and Educational Coding Drag Queen & Engineer at Google
  • Ashlyn Sparrow, Learning Technology Director and Lead Game Designer at University of Chicago | Ci3
  • Beth Griggs, IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software, IBM
  • Cian Ó Maidín, President, Nearform
  • Jenny Toomey, International Program Director, Technology and Society, Ford Foundation
  • Jerome Hardaway, Executive Director, VetsWhoCode
  • Joe Sepi, Open Source Engineer & Advocate, IBM
  • Michael Dawson, Node.js lead for IBM and Red Hat
  • Robin Bender Ginn,  Executive Director, OpenJS Foundation
  • Saron Yitbarek, Founder, Disco
  • Scott Hanselman, Partner Program Manager, Microsoft, Hanselminutes
  • Todd Moore, Open Technology, IBM Developer and Developer Advocacy, IBM
  • Zainab Ebrahimi CEO, Florish

Session Highlights Include:

Interested in participating online in OpenJS World? Register now. 

Our OpenJS World Slack channels are now open! We invite you to come and sign up for your favorite session tracks and stay up to date on the Live Q and A sessions that will be announced soon. Join our Slack channel here: https://slack-invite.openjsf.org 

Thanks to our wonderful Foundation members and sponsors for all they do to support open innovation through the OpenJS Foundation.

Thank you to the OpenJS World 2021 program committee for their tireless efforts in bringing in and selecting top-tier keynote speakers and interesting and informative sessions. We are honored to work with such a dedicated and supportive community!

WebdriverIO: OpenJS Foundation Live Q &A

By AMA, Blog, Project Update, WebdriverIO

WebdriverIO was created to allow users to automate any application written with modern web frameworks, as well as native mobile applications for Android and iOS. WebdriverIO is a Project hosted at the OpenJS Foundation

Members of the WebdriverIO team recently joined the OpenJS Foundation for a live Q and A on YouTube. This aimed to give insight into how WebdriverIO works as well as where it expects to go in the future. This was moderated by Christian Bromann, and included insights from Kevin Lamping, Erwin Heitzman, and Wim Selles. Users were able to ask questions via Twitter and live YouTube chat. 

Questions ranged from how users can participate in the WebdriverIO project with no technical background to best practices for storing credentials and variables. 

The full AMA is available here: OpenJS Foundation AMA – Webdriver

Timestamps

0:00 Brief Introduction

0:59 Moderator Introduction

6:30 Donation Announcement

14:00 Why doesn’t Web.io support JEST?

17:40 Can I contribute with no background knowledge?

22:45 Could you mock responses through selenium grid?

24:14  Web.io for mobile apps?

25:50 Udemy/Coursera

29:58 best way to categorize test suite

30:55 How to achieve a good test environment?

34:08 Best practice for variables 

35:28 Where to store credentials

36:00 Testing Accessibility with WDIO

41:26 Could we ever see WebdriverIO use AI?

43:30 Sync Mode

48:38 Layer Automation

50:50 Who owns WDIO?

54:00 Where do you see Webdriver in 5 years?

To learn more about Webdriver and how you can get involved, please visit their website here

Node-RED Version 1.3 Available Now!

By Blog, Node-RED, Project Update

Node-RED, the flow-based programming tool, has released version 1.3 as of April 2021. Node-RED is a growth project at the OpenJS Foundation.

Node-RED is a low code method of programming event driven applications. Flow-based programming creates networks that lend themselves to visual representation, making it a more accessible way of programming. JavaScript functions can be built using a rich text editor, and a built-in library allows access to useful functions, templates or flows for re-use.

Visualization of browser-based, flow-based programming creating networks

Node-RED was originally created in 2013 by members of IBM’s Emerging Technology Services group and has been in open source development since. It is one of the founding projects of the JS Foundation in 2016 and came into the OpenJS Foundation through the 2019 merger with the Node.js Foundation. 

Users of Node-RED include Hitachi, Veritone, Go-IoT, Handy.ai, and many more.

Notable changes in Node-RED 1.3 include relabelling of tabs, nesting references in Change/Switch nodes, and a new plugin framework for Node-RED. To make it easier for developers to use extra npm modules, users can now set their function nodes to be automatically run and defined in their code. It is also now possible to configure a Change or Switch node to nest references to message properties. The new configuration of Change nodes is cleaner and easier to read. 

The new plugin framework for Node-RED allows for easier customization and feature addition. This feature is still in its infancy, but will serve as the backbone for new iterations. Extra functions are implemented via plugin as opposed to code, keeping the core code smaller and allowing for users to be more selective over what “extra” features they want. For now, there are two types of new plugins available. Editor theme plugins which make installing and enabling new themes easier, and library source plugins which allow for configuring of additional libraries within the editor. 

To learn more about the 1.3 release, you can read about it on the Node-RED website here

2021 LiFT Scholarship applications are now open!

By Blog, Certification and Training

Scholarships apply to all LF Training Courses and Certification Exams including Node.js Trainings and Certifications.

Are you interested in exploring training or certification opportunities but do not otherwise have the ability to do so? The Linux Foundation is hosting The Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship Program, which could be your chance to take that training or even become a Node.js Certified Developer.  

White text on blue background.

For more than 10 years, this program has been providing promising up-and-coming developers the unique opportunity to take training or certification exams to give them a professional leg up. The goal of the program is to increase access to open source training, expand diversity in technology and create a clear pathway to the most in-demand and lucrative jobs in the IT industry.

Check out this profile on Prosper Opara, a LiFT Scholarship recipient, and Node.js Certified Developer.

Applications for this scholarship are due by 11:59pm US Pacific on April 30, 2021.

Go here to learn more about other recipients: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/diversity-inclusivity/lift-scholarships/

Apply to the LiFT Scholarship program here: https://forms.gle/TDmCNyA3JdfKtWSH9 

Reaching New Heights with Node.js Certification

By Blog, Certification

An interview with Prosper Opara, Junior Fullstack Engineer at Deimos Cloud, on the Node.js Certification experience.
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prosper-opara/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kodekage

Quote from Prosper Opara in white text on a green fading to blue background. Quote reflects the value of Node.js Certifications.

The OpenJS Node.js Application Developer certification (JSNAD) is the ideal certification for Node.js developers with two or more years of experience working with Node.js. Certifications and Training are a good way to stay on top of current industry skills and standards, as well as test your own abilities. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get certified, test your skills, and improve your resume, you can do so here.

We wanted to talk with someone who had recently taken the certification, and hear exactly what the process was like and what the benefits are. We talked with Prosper Opara, a Junior Fullstack Engineer at Deimos Cloud. Opara is a Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship recipient, which gave him the opportunity to prepare and sit for the certification exam. LiFT Scholarships provide opportunities to up-and-coming developers and sysadmins who show promise for helping shape the future of Linux and open source software but do not otherwise have the ability to attend training courses or take certification exams. 

Opara is full-stack JavaScript developer and a self proclaimed “agnostic developer” who doesn’t say “no”  to learning and working with new technology stacks.

One overarching theme in Opara’s answers is the strong value that the JSNAD exam had for his resume and duties at his current position. 

Main quote: “…The certification has helped solidify my claims to proficiency in Node.js and that’s a big booster to achieving my goal and getting promoted.”

Why did you want to be certified? 

I’m a junior engineer and recently just started working full time for a cloud focused company huge on employees getting professional certifications. Deimos Cloud funds certification efforts for employees, that’s how serious we take certifications at Deimos Cloud! I was lucky enough to get the Linux Foundation Lift scholarship before joining my current team, the whole certification focus at Deimos spurred me into taking getting professional certifications more seriously. I took  the JSNAD exam and passed. 

What was the test JSNAD testing experience like? 

The test experience for me felt like a white board interview (haha), I actually sat for and took the exam twice. The first time I was a bit tense and forgot to test my code solutions most of the time because I felt (I still feel) the 2hrs was pretty short for the certification methodology. It’s pretty tense (haha), but then on my retake I was very comfortable, more relaxed and luckily had time to test most of my code solutions. Nothing is perfect, but I’d rate my overall test-taking experience 7/10.

How has completing the JSNAD certification impacted your work? 

The certification greatly helped improve my confidence in my skills as a Node.js developer, and my team members trust me more with Node.js related projects (because I’m certified). I’m hoping to make more money in future before my certification becomes invalid, haha. But I have gotten a couple Node.js specific job offers already.

What are your next steps? 

I’m currently working towards becoming a senior engineer (that’s really the next big thing for me now). In addition to my ability to solve technical problems with code, the certification has helped solidify my claims to proficiency in Node.js and that’s a big booster to achieving my goal and getting promoted.

Thank you to Prosper Opara for these responses. We’re looking forward to hearing more about your promotions and new challenges. Good luck!

If you are interested in applying for a LiFT scholarship, lean more here:https://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/about/diversity-inclusivity/lift-scholarships/. Deadline to apply is April 30th.

Each certification exam comes with a free exam retake and for a limited time, a free testing environment preview to even better prepare folks to take the exam.

Additionally, all Node.js Training and Certifications are deeply discounted until April 9th. Learn more here: https://openjsf.org/certification/ 

Project News: NativeScript v8.0

By Blog, NativeScript, Project Update

New version signals growth and evolution

This week, the NativeScript, an incubation project at the OpenJS Foundation, shipped version 8. NativeScript is an open source community driven framework which empowers JavaScript developers with access to native platform APIs directly. This release will include some major upgrades including streamlined development with a JavaScript-focused stack and improved efficiency with iOS and Android development, which is especially timely given feature parity is of utmost importance. Additionally, v8.0 will make cross-platform development effective, practical, and fun. Read the project’s blog here.

“NativeScript brings together the convenience of web development with the capabilities and performance of the native mobile world,” said NativeScript Technical Steering Committee member, Stanimira Vlaeva.

What’s new?

Users can expect the following updates in the latest release: 

* Official Apple M1 support

* webpack5 support

* First class a11y support

* CSS box-shadow support (requested since 2015!)

* CSS text-shadow support

* New `hidden` binding property for more performance dialing cases

* New official eslint rules for NativeScript projects

* New `RootLayout` container – offering more dynamic creative view development

* New @nativescript/debug-ios package for deep view level investigations on your simulator or device

* New @nativescript/apple-pay plugin

* New @nativescript/google-pay plugin

* New website and revamped docs to better represent the current and future of NativeScript

* The first official NativeScript Best Practices Guide

* and more streamlining of core to further prepare for continual evolutionary enhancements

NativeScript 8.0 will bring some valuable benefits including 

  • Reducing the costs with multiple platform deliveries and enhance long term maintenance of TypeScript based tech stacks
  • The ability for managers to engage with the large JavaScript resource workforce
  • The ability to integrate with any popular frontend framework that teams would like to use

This new release signals solid footing for growth and natural modern JavaScript evolutions by addressing some of the oldest requested features. These include adding structural integrity with official eslint package, adding support for creative view development via new RootLayout, affirming broad use case applicability via new Capacitor integration, support for latest webpack5 and a revamped website and documentation refresh,  to name a few.

Get Involved!

Come join the fun! Git clone https://github.com/NativeScript/NativeScript and experiment with the source for any desire you may have. Get involved in public discussions surrounding NativeScript via the RFCs board: https://github.com/NativeScript/rfcs/discussions. Join Discord channel to be in touch: https://discord.gg/RgmpGky9GR

Project Update: nvm ships new version.

By Blog, nvm, Project Update

Today nvm released v0.38.0! This latest release includes new `nvm install` features, bug fixes, and updates to documentation.

Major updates include: 

  • Improvements to nvm install: OpenBSD source builds are now parallelized; nvm install -b will skip compiling from source
  • Bug fixes:
    •  nvm exec: ensure — stops argument parsing
    • fix variable issues on some shells; avoid conflicts with oh-my-zsh global variables
    • fix npm exec on older versions of npm 7
    • fix lts/-1 aliases being off-by-one
  • Lots of documentation improvements
  • Cloning the repo on windows should no longer fail due to test filenames

Check out the release notes: https://github.com/nvm-sh/nvm/releases/tag/v0.38.0

Node.js Certifications and Training Sale

By Announcement, Blog, Node.js

Node.js Certifications and Training Sale + New Preview of Testing Environment

Training and certifications are some of the most valuable investments we can make in ourselves, to both sharpen our skills, but also to show prospective employers, and the world, that you have what it takes as a developer. Now is a great time to invest in yourself, or in your engineering team. Starting March 29 through April 9, the OpenJS Foundation, in partnership with the Linux Foundation, will be discounting all Node.js Certification and Training. 

Node.js logo

Limited offer: check out the new preview testing environment
Today, in partnership with the LF,  we are rolling out a free Node.js Environment Preview beta exam, which focuses on our Node.js certifications, the OpenJS Node.js Application Developer (JSNAD) and OpenJS Node.js Services Developer (JSNSD). 

One of the most frequent requests we receive is to preview what the certification exam experience is like before actually sitting for an exam. Whether you get tripped up from text anxiety or low bandwidth, running through this Node.js Environment Preview will make you more familiar with the look and feel of the certification exam experience. This way you will know what to expect so you can focus on your Node.js knowledge.

This Node.js Environment Preview beta is available for a limited time — we have 4,000 free coupons to give away. Try it out and see how you performed on this self-graded environment preview. And don’t pass up this big sale.

Full sale details

Discounts include 

What’s included with certifications?

  • 12 month exam eligibility    
  • Free exam retake
  • Digital badge and PDF certificate upon passing

What’s included in online trainings?

  • Hands-on labs & assignments
  • Video content
  • 12 months of access to online courses
  • Discussion forums
  • Digital badge and PDF certificate upon completion

Node.js Certifications

Certifications are excellent ways to validate your own development skills to yourself, employers, and the world. 

The OpenJS Node.js Application Developer certification is ideal for the Node.js developer with at least two years of experience working with Node.js. For more information and how to enroll: https://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/jsnad/

The OpenJS Node.js Services Developer certification is for the Node.js developer with at least two years of experience creating RESTful servers and services with Node.js. For more information and how to enroll: https://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/jsnsd/

Node.js Trainings

Feel confident in taking your exams with the Node.js Training courses. These courses help prepare developers for the Node.js certification exams. 

This course provides core skills for effectively harnessing a broad range of Node.js capabilities at depth, equipping you with rigorous skills and knowledge to build any kind of Node.js application or library. While by design the training content covers everything but HTTP and web frameworks, the crucial fundamentals presented prepares the student to work with web applications along with all types of Node.js applications.

This course provides a deep dive into Node core HTTP clients and servers, web servers, RESTful services and web security essentials. With a major focus on Node.js services and security, this content is an essential counterpart to the Node.js Application Development (LFW211) course, and will prepare you for the OpenJS Node.js Services Developer (JSNSD) exam.

If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, check out more information at this link