OpenJS World Keynote: Breaking Transmission Chains with JavaScript

By September 7, 2021Blog, OpenJS World

During OpenJS World, which was held virtually June 2-3, we heard from many inspiring people involved in all areas of technology. In this keynote series, we will highlight the key points from the keynote videos. We hope to get a highlight of the speakers in a way that allows for people to hone in on the part of the talk that interests them the most.

Cian Ó Maidín, President and Founder of Nearform, covered how Nearform built a popular exposure notification app. Nearform designs, builds and operates web mobile and cloud platforms at scale. They are firm believers of open source and have been contributors to the Node.js and React ecosystem.

Early last year, Ó Maidín developed a chest infection and flu after returning from a trip. Shortly after, his wife began displaying similar symptoms. He remembered having a discussion with his wife where he predicted that this coronavirus would be soon labelled as a pandemic. A few weeks went by and he received a call from the health services executive in Ireland asking for Ó Maidín’s help to build an exposure notification application. He brought his team together and they built the Covid Tracker.

When building the app, the development team agreed on empowering people, prioritizing privacy, and creating trust and transparency as core principles. Plus make it user-friendly. The app itself helps track the number of people with symptoms and contact tracing. 

In his concluding remarks Ó Maidín mentioned how the success of the app has led to more organizations approaching Nearform, and so they wanted to make it open source and to roll out the technology as quickly as possible. He also stated how this has made them better equipped and ready to face the challenges that may come with the next pandemic.

Full video here

Broken down by section:

Panel introduction 0:14

What is Nearform 0:47

Story of building the exposure notification app 1:46

The call 6:03

Developing Covid Tracker 6:50

Principles 7:11

Journey from March 22nd – July 6th 8:50

What the app looks like 10:11

Scaling 12:58

Covid Green 14:51

Milestones 16:07

Summary 18:05

Closing thoughts and call to action 18:51