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.
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.
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!
There are some notable bright spots due to the pandemic. Because of the shift to virtual conferencing, users from all over the globe are now able to take advantage of industry seminars and workshops in ways that previously were not financially or geographically appropriate.
OpenJS World: New dates for 2021 and Dates announced for 2022
OpenJS World, the OpenJS Foundation’s annual, global event, will now be taking place on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. With so many virtual events, we know that Zoom fatigue is real. A wonderful community event, JS Nation, is now taking place on our original date. We had the flexibility to help alleviate the fatigue and to spare the community from this good problem of having so much great content from which to choose – so we are moving our event up.
OpenJS World 2021 will continue to take place as a free, virtual experience, and with keynotes premiering from the OpenJS Foundation YouTube Channel and sessions to be published immediately after. 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. The event will also feature additional engagement opportunities, such as Slack chats and live workshops, mixed throughout.
In addition, we are so excited to announce that OpenJS World is coming back, in person, for 2022!
Save the date for June 6-8, 2022 in Austin, TX. Get ready for great content, delicious BBQ, and a honkey tonk good time as we can’t wait to welcome our communities back in person, while keeping our global reach with more virtual connections.
Want to find out how to successfully submit a talk to OpenJS World? The OpenJS Foundation’s monthly AMA this time focused on OpenJS World and dug into some of the do’s and don’ts when submitting a talk. The deadline to submit is February 22, 2021. Moderated by members of the OpenJS World Program Committee, the AMA aimed to share insight into submitting talks and successfully presenting at OpenJS World.
The OpenJS Foundation’s annual conference is happening June 9, speaker submissions now open!
Today, we are excited to announce several keynote speakers, open the Call for Papers, and share the event sponsorship prospectus.
OpenJS World 2021 will take place as a free, virtual experience, and with keynotes premiering from the OpenJS Foundation YouTube Channel and sessions to be published immediately after. 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. The event will also feature additional engagement opportunities, such as Slack chats and live workshops, mixed throughout.
Initial Keynote speakers
Anna Lytical, Digital Coding Educator, Drag Queen, and Google engineer Cian Ó Maidín, CEO of NearForm Lin Clark, Senior Principal Software Engineer at Fastly Scott Hanselman, Partner Program Manager at Microsoft
Call For Papers
CFPs are open! If you have a session that you’d like to submit, please do so by February 15, 2021. Submit your talk here. The conference will cover a range of topics for developers and end-users alike including frameworks, security, serverless, diagnostics, education, IoT, AI, front-end engineering, and much more.
This year, the OpenJS Foundation is offering event sponsorship as an exclusive OpenJS Foundation membership benefit. If you are interested in becoming a member of the OpenJS Foundation, this is a great time to join! Learn more about membership here and check out the event prospectus for details and benefits.
Thank you to our current members and event sponsors for supporting the OpenJS Foundation and OpenJS World!
Interested in participating online in OpenJS World? Register now.
Thank you to the OpenJS World program committee for their tireless efforts. We are honored to work with such a dedicated and supportive community!
A recent technology trend is “Low-code/No-code tools” which helps developers who have great ideas and eagerness create their own applications. Node-RED is a great example of a Low-code/No-code tool. NodeRED is suitable for industrial IoT, Web of Things, smart city projects, education, and prototyping.
This conference features a great line up of speakers talking about their use cases and technologies using Node-RED. Talks will be in Japanese or English. The conference has been organized by Node-RED users groups Japan with input from community members around the globe including United Kingdom, Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan.
– “A mechanism to grow OSS Eco-System – Linux Foundation – OpenJS Foundation – Node-RED”, Noriaki Fukuyasu, Linux Foundation Japan
– “Looking to the future of Node-RED”, Nick O’Leary, IBM
– “DevOps with Node-RED. How to quickly turn an idea into a service.”, Masanori Usami, Uhuru
– “Node-RED suitable for education in the no-code era”, Wataru Yamazaki, Uhuru
– “Utilizing IoT interoperability and Node-RED based on the Web of Things standard”, Kunihiko Toumura, Hitachi, Ltd.
– And the other 15 great sessions!
More than 200 attendees have registered for the conference. Everyone can join the free event virtually via the web. We look forward to seeing you there, virtually!
Day two of OpenJS World followed suit with day one and included so many wonderful keynotes and sessions. We know nothing beats an in-person event, but this came pretty close! If you missed the day one highlights, check out this blog.
Before we dive in, a special thanks to our wonderful sponsors who made the event possible:
Thanks to Diamond Sponsor IBM, Gold Sponsors Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Google, Silver Sponsors Red Hat/OpenShift and SoftwareAG, Bronze Sponsors Heroku, Profound Logic, Sentry and White Source.
We kicked off day one with NASA Astronaut, Christina Koch. Christina talked through her year-long stay in space, her training, and how tech has evolved in space explorations. She even answered some community questions! Check out this interview we conducted with Christina for even more info.
Day two featured many great talks featuring more than 25 breakout sessions and workshops. Presenters from many industries across companies and open source projects gave some really interesting and informative talks. To see all the replays, check out our YouTube Playlist.
Thanks and (fingers crossed) see you in Austin in 2021
The OpenJS World team and community truly pulled together to make this event fantastic. There were some bumps along the way, as we transitioned an in-person event to a 100% virtual one, but we are fortunate to have an amazing community, including our Program Committee, there to support and guide us.
Thanks also to all who tuned. If you are not already, please consider becoming a member. There’s lots of value in OpenJS Foundation membership. To learn more, check out our website.
JP: You spent nearly a year in space on the ISS, and you dealt with isolation from your friends and family, having spent time only with your crewmates. It’s been about three months for most of us isolating at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We haven’t been trained to deal with these types of things — regular folks like us don’t usually live in arctic habitats or space stations. What is your advice for people dealing with these quarantine-type situations for such long periods?
CK: Well, I can sympathize, and it can be a difficult challenge even for astronauts, and it can be hard to work through and come up with strategies for. For me, the #1 thing was making sure I was in charge of the framework I used to view the situation. I flipped it around and instead about thinking about all the things I was missing out on and the things that I didn’t have available to me, I tried to focus on the unique things that I did have, that I would never have again, that I would miss one day.
So every time I heard that thought in my head, that “I just wish I could…” whatever, I would immediately replace it with “this one thing I am experiencing I will never have again, and it is unique”.
So the advice I have offered since the very beginning of the stay at home situation has been finding that thing about our current situation that you truly love that you’ll know you will miss. Recognize what you know is unique about this era, whether it is big, or small — whether it is philosophical or just a little part of your day — and just continually focus on that. The biggest challenge is we don’t know when this is going to be over, so we can quickly get into a mindset where we are continually replaying into our heads “when is this going to be over? I just want to <blank>” and we can get ourselves into a hole. If you are in charge of the narrative, and then flip it, that can really help.
I have to say that we are all experiencing quarantine fatigue. Even when it may have been fun and unique in the beginning — obviously, nobody wanted to be here, and nobody hopes we are in this situation going forward, but there are ways we can deal with it and find the silver lining. Right now, the challenge is staying vigilant, some of us have discovered those strategies that work, but some of us are just tired of working at them, continually having to be our best selves and bringing it every day.
So you need to recommit to those strategies, but sometimes you need to switch it up — halfway through my mission, I changed every bit of external media that was available to me. We have folks that will uplink our favorite TV shows, podcasts, books and magazines, and other entertainment sources. I got rid of everything I had been watching and listening to and started fresh with a new palette. It kind of rejuvenated me and reminded me that there were new things I could feast my mind on and unique sensory experiences I could have. Maybe that is something you can do to keep it fresh and recommit to those strategies.
JP: I am stuck at home here, in Florida, with my wife. When you were up in the ISS, you were alone, with just a couple of your crewmates. Were you always professional and never fought with each other, or did you occasionally have spats about little things?
CK: Oh my goodness, there were always little spats that could affect our productivity if we allowed it. I can relate on so many levels. Being on the ISS for eleven months, with a lot of the same people in a row, not only working side-by-side but also socializing on the weekends, and during meals at the end of the day. I can relate because my husband and I were apart for almost two years if you take into account my training in Russia, and then my flight. Of course, now, we are together 24 hours a day, and we are both fortunate enough that we can work from home.
It is a tough situation, but at NASA, we all draw from a skill set called Expeditionary Behavior. It’s a fancy phrase to help us identify and avoid conflict situations and get out of those situations if we find ourselves in them. Those are things like communication — which I know we should all be doing our best at, as well as group living. But there are other things NASA brought up in our training are self-care, team care, leadership, and particularly, followership. Often, we talk about leadership as an essential quality, but we forget that followership and supporting a leader are also very important. That is important in any relationship, whether it is a family, a marriage, helping the other people on your team, even if it is an idea that they are carrying through that is for the betterment of the whole community or something like that. The self-care and team care are really about recognizing when people on your team or in your household may need support, knowing when you need that support, and being OK with asking for it and being clear about what needs you may have.
A common thread among all those lines is supporting each other. One way, in my opinion, the easiest way to get yourself out of feeling sorry for whatever situation you might be in is to think about the situation everyone else is in and what they might need. Asking someone else, “Hey, how are you doing today, what can I do for you?” is another way to switch that focus. It helped me on my mission, and it is helping me at home in quarantine and recognizing that it is not always easy. If you are finding that you have to try hard and dig deep to use some of these strategies, you are not alone — that is what takes right now. But you can do it, and you can get through it.
JP: I have heard that being in the arctic is not unlike being on another planet. How did that experience help you prepare for being in space, and potentially places such as the moon or even mars?
CK: I do think it is similar in a lot of ways. One, because of the landscape. It’s completely barren, very stark, and it is inhospitable. It gives us this environment to live where we have to remember that we are vulnerable, and we have to find ways to remain productive and not be preoccupied with that notion when doing our work. Just like on the space station, you can feel quite at home, wearing your polo shirt and Velcro pants, going about your day, and not recognizing that right outside that shell that you are in is the vacuum of space, and at any second, things could take a turn for the worse.
In Antarctica and some of the Arctic areas that were very isolated, should you have a medical emergency, it can often be harder to evacuate or work on a person in those situations than even working on the ISS. At the ISS, you can undock and get back to earth in a matter of hours. At the south pole, weather conditions could prevent you from getting a medevac for weeks. In both situations, you have to develop strategies not to be preoccupied with the environmental concerns but still be vigilant to respond to them should something happen. That was something I took away from that experience — ways to not think about that too much, and to rely on your training should those situations arise. And then, of course, all the other things that living in isolation gives us.
The one thing that I found in that realm is something called sensory underload. And this is what your mind goes through when you see all the same people and faces, you keep staring at the same walls, you’ve tasted all the same food, and you’ve smelled all the same smells for so long. Your brain hasn’t been able to process something new for so long that it affects how we think and how we go about the world. In these situations, we might have to foster new sensory inputs and new situations and new things to process. NASA is looking into a lot of those things like reality augmentation for long-duration spaceflight, but in situations like the Arctic and Antarctic, even bringing in a care package, just to have new things in your environment can be so important when you are experiencing sensory underload.
JP: The younger people reading this interview might be interested in becoming an astronaut someday. What should the current, or next generation — the Gen Y’s, the Gen Z’s — be thinking about doing today — to pursue a career as an astronaut?
CK: I cannot wait to see what that generation does. Already they have been so impressive and so creative. The advice I have is to follow your passions. But in particular, what that means is to take that path that allows you to be your best self and contribute in the maximum possible way. The story I like to tell is that when I was in high school, I was a true space geek, and I went to space camp, and there we learned all the things you need to do to become an astronaut.
There was a class on it, and they had a whiteboard with a checklist of what you should do — so everyone around me who wanted to be an astronaut was just scribbling this stuff down. And at that moment, I realized if I were ever to become an astronaut, I would want it to be because I pursued the things that I was naturally drawn to and passionate about, and hopefully, naturally good at. If one day that shaped me into someone who could contribute as an astronaut, only then would I become truly worthy of becoming one. So I waited until I felt I could make that case to apply to become an astronaut, and it led me to this role of focusing on the idea of contributing.
The good news about following a path like that is even if you don’t end up achieving the exact dream that you may have. Whether that’s to become an astronaut or something else that may be very difficult to achieve, you’ve done what you’ve loved along the way, which guarantees that you will be successful and fulfilled. And that is the goal. Eyes on the prize, but make sure you are following the path that is right for you.
JP: Some feel that human-crewed spaceflight is an expensive endeavor when we have extremely pressing issues to deal with on Earth — climate change, the population explosion, feeding the planet, and recent problems such as the Coronavirus. What can we learn from space exploration that could potentially solve these issues at home on terra firma?
CK: It is a huge concern, in terms of resource allocation, so many things that are important that warrant our attention. And I think that your question, what can we learn from space exploration, is so important and there are countless examples — the Coronavirus, to start. NASA is studying how the immune system functions at a fundamental level for humans by the changes that occur in a microgravity environment. We’re studying climate change — numerous explorations, on the space station and other areas of NASA. Exploration is enabled by discovery and by technological advances. Where those take us, we can’t even determine. The camera in your smartphone or in your tablet was enabled by NASA technology.
There are countless practical examples, but to me, the real answer is bigger than all of that — and what it can show us is what can be accomplished when we work together on a common goal and a shared purpose. There are examples of us overcoming things on a global scale in the past that seemed insurmountable at the beginning, such as battling the hole in the ozone layer. When that first came out, we had to study it, we had to come up with mitigation strategies, and they had to be adopted by the world, even when people were pointing out the potential economic drawbacks to dealing with it.
But the problem was more significant than that, and we all got together, and we solved it. So looking towards what we can do when we work together with a unified purpose is really what NASA does for us on an even bigger scale. We talk about how exploration and looking into space is uplifting — I consider it to be uplifting for all across the spectrum. There are so many ways we can uplift people from all backgrounds. We can provide them with the tools to have what they need to reach their full potential, but then what? What is across that goal line? It is bigger things that inspire them to be their best, and that is how NASA can be uplifting for everyone, in achieving the big goals.
JP: So recently, NASA resumed human-crewed spaceflight using a commercial launch vehicle, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. Do you feel that the commercialization of space is inevitable? Is the heavy lifting of the future going to come from commercial platforms such as SpaceX, Boeing, et cetera for the foreseeable future? And is the astronaut program always going to be a government-sponsored entity, or will we see private astronauts? And what other opportunities do you see in the private sector for startups to partner with NASA?
CK: For sure. I think that we are already seeing that the commercial aspect is playing out now, and it’s entirely a positive thing for me. You asked about private astronauts — there are already private astronauts training with a company, doing it at NASA through a partnership, and having a contract to fly on a SpaceX vehicle to the ISS through some new ways we are commercializing Low Earth Orbit. That’s already happening, and everyone I know is excited about it. I think anyone with curiosity, anyone who can carry dreams and hopes into space, and bring something back to Earth is welcome in the program.
I think that the model that NASA has been using for the last ten years to bring in commercial entities is ideal. We are looking to the next deeper set, going back to the moon, and then applying those technologies to go on to Mars. At the same time, we sort of foster and turn over the things we’ve already explored, such as Low Earth Orbit and bringing astronauts to and from the space station to foster a commercial space industry. To me, that strategy is perfect; a government organization can conduct that work that may not have that private motivation or the commercial incentives. Once it is incubated, then it is passed on, and that is when you see the commercial startups coming.
The future is bright for commercialization in space, and I think that bringing in innovation that can happen when you pass off something to an entirely new set of designers is one of the most exciting aspects of this. One of the neat examples of that is SpaceX and their spacesuits — I heard that they did not consult with who we at NASA use as our spacesuit experts that have worked with us in the past. I think that is probably because they did not want to be biased by legacy hardware and legacy ways of doing things. They wanted to re-invent it from the start, to ensure that every aspect was re-thought and reengineered and done in a potentially new way. When you’ve been owners of that legacy hardware that’s difficult to do — especially in such a risky field and in a place where something tried and true has such a great magnetic draw. So, to break through the innovation barrier, bringing commercial partners onboard is so exciting and important.
JP: Let’s get to the Linux Foundation’s core audience here, developers. You were an engineer, and you used to program. What do you think the role of developers is in space exploration?
CK: Well, it cannot be understated. When I was in the space industry before becoming an astronaut, I was a developer of instrumentation for space probes. I built the little science gadgets and was typically involved in the sensor front-end, the intersection of the detectors’ physics and the electronics of the readouts. But that necessitated a lot of the testing, and it was fundamentals testing. Most of the programming I did was building up the GUIs for all the tests that we needed to run, and the I/O to talk to the instruments, to learn what it was telling us, to make sure it could function in a wide variety of environmental states and different inputs that it was expected to see, once it eventually got into space.
That was just my aspect — and then there is all the processing of the data. If you think about astronomy, there is so much we know about the universe through different telescopes, space-based and ground-based, and one of the things we do is anticoincidence detection. We had to come up with algorithms that detect only the kind of particles or on wavelengths that we want to identify, and not the ones that deposit energy in different ways that we are trying to study. Even just the algorithms to suss out that tiny aspect of what those kinds of X-Ray detectors on those telescopes do, is entirely software-intensive. Some of it is actual firmware because it has to happen so quickly, in billionths of a second, but basically, the software enables the entire industry, whether it is the adaptive optics that allow us to see clearly, or the post-processing, or even just the algorithms we use to refine and do the R&D, it’s everywhere, and it is ubiquitous. The first GUIs I ever wrote were on a Linux system using basic open source stuff to talk to our instruments. As far as I know, there is no single person who can walk into any job at NASA and have no programming experience. It’s everywhere.
JP: Speaking of programming and debugging, I saw a video of you floating around in the server room on the ISS, which to me looked like a bunch of ThinkPad laptops taped to a bulkhead and sort of jury-rigged networked there. What’s it like to debug technical problems in space with computer systems and dealing with various technical challenges? It’s not like you can call Geek Squad, and they are going to show up in a van and fix your server if something breaks. What do you do up there?
CK: That is exactly right, although there is only one thing that is inaccurate about that statement — those Lenovos are Velcroed to the wall, not taped (laugh). We rely on the experts on the ground as astronauts. Interestingly, for the most part, just like an IT department, just like at any enterprise, the experts, for the most part, can remotely login to our computers, even though they are in space. That still happens. But if one of the servers is completely dead, they call on us to intercede, we’ve had to re-image drives, and do hardware swaps.
JP: OK, a serious question, a religious matter. Are you a Mac or a PC user, an iOS or an Android user, and are you a cat or a dog person? These are crucial questions; you could lose your whole audience if you answer this the wrong way, so be careful.
CK: I am terrified right now. So the first one I get to sidestep because I have both a Mac and a PC. I am fluent in both. The second — Android all the way. And as the third, I thought I was a cat person, but since I got my dog Sadie, I am a dog person. We don’t know what breed she is since she is from the Humane Society and is a rescue, so we call her an LBD — a Little Brown Dog. She is a little sweetheart, and I missed her quite a bit on my mission.
JP: Outside of being an astronaut, I have heard you have already started to poke around GitHub, for your nieces and nephews. Are there any particular projects you are interested in? Any programming languages or tools you might want to learn or explore?
CK: Definitely. Well, I want to learn Python because it is really popular, and it would help out with my Raspberry Pi projects. The app that I am writing right now in Android Studio, which I consulted on with my 4-year-old niece, who wanted a journal app. I’m not telling anyone my username on GitHub because I am too embarrassed about what a terrible coder I am. I wouldn’t want anyone to see it, but it will be uploaded there. Her brother wants the app too, so that necessitated the version control. It’s just for fun, for now, having missed that technical aspect from my last job. I do have some development boards, and I do have various home projects and stuff like that.
JP: In your keynote, you mentioned that the crew’s favorite activity in space is pizza night. What is your favorite food or cuisine, and is there anything that you wished you could eat in space that you can’t?
CK: My favorite food or cuisine on Earth is something you can’t have in space, sushi, or poke, all the fresh seafood type things that I got introduced to from living in American Samoa and visiting Hawaii and places like that, I missed those. All the food we have in space is rehydrated, or from MREs, so it doesn’t have a lot of texture, it has to have the consistency of like mac and cheese or something like that. So what I really missed is chips — especially chips and salsa. Because anything crunchy is going to crumble up is going to go everywhere. So we don’t have anything crunchy. Unfortunately, I have eaten enough to have made up for without chips and salsa since I was back.
JP: Thank you very much, Christina, for your time and insights! Great interview.
Other keynote speakers included
Cassidy Williams, Principal Developer Experience Engineer, Netlify who gave her keynote on, “Learning By Teaching for Your Community”
Prosper Otemuyiwa, Co-founder & CTO, Eden who talked about “Media Performance at Scale.”
Keeley Hammond, Senior Software Engineer, InVision, who spoke about Electron’s journey as an OpenJS Foundation hosted project.
Malte Ubl, Principal Engineer, Google, spoke about the AMP project
Dr. Joy Rankin, Research Lead at the AI Now Institute and Research Scholar at New York University, sat down with Kris Borchers to discuss “How (not) to Save the World with Tech”
OpenJS World Project News
We are thrilled to share that both AMP and Electron have graduated from the incubation program!
AMP Project Graduates Incubation Program
Today, during OpenJS World keynotes, Malte Ubl, Principal Engineer at Google, the creator of AMP, and a member of the AMP Project’s Technical Steering Committee, announced the AMP Project has graduated from the Foundation’s incubation program. AMP entered incubation in October of 2019 and during this time, the collaboration between the project and the Foundation has been very beneficial. Graduating from the OpenJS Foundation Incubation program signals more opportunities for growth and diversity for the open source AMP project and its developers. In becoming a full-fledged OpenJS Foundation project, AMP can better deliver on its vision of delivering “A strong, user-first open web forever.”
Electron Project Graduates Incubation Program
Today at OpenJS World, Keeley Hammond, Senior Software Engineer at InVision, and a member of the Electron governance team, took the keynote stage and let the world know that Electron has successfully graduated from the Foundation’s incubation program and is now an Impact Project. Electron entered incubation in December of 2019, at the last OpenJS Foundation global conference in Montreal. This is an important step as it shows real growth, maturity, and stability for the popular web framework, which is used for building desktop apps across multiple platforms.
Today we featured more than 30 breakout sessions across a variety of topics from AI to application development and project-specific talks. A replay of each of these talks is available within the OpenJS World event platform. You will need to register for the event or login to the platform to access these sessions. To find the replay, navigate to the home page, click into the topic area, and find the talks on demand. We are also posting on the OpenJS YouTube on Monday June 29, 2020.
Engaging Virtually Through Fun and Games
OpenJS World Day Two, and Collab Summit
We are just getting started this week! Please join us tomorrow as we kick off our keynote sessions with Christina Koch, NASA Astronaut! Tomorrow will be another fantastic day, a trend to continue into the OpenJS Collab Summit on Thursday (Project Day) and Friday (Cross-Project Day).
Finally, and certainly not least of all, we send our sincerest THANK YOU to our sponsors who have made this event possible. This year has been challenging for so many and having sponsors come through and support this event is extremely appreciated.
Thanks to Diamond Sponsor IBM, Gold Sponsors Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Google, Silver Sponsors Red Hat/OpenShift and SoftwareAG, Bronze Sponsors Heroku, Profound Logic, Sentry and White Source.
Since 2016, Beth Griggs has been working as an Open Source Engineer at IBM where she focuses on the Node.js runtime. Node.js is an impact project in the OpenJS Foundation. Beth is a Node.js Technical Steering Committee Member and a member of the Node.js Release Working Group where she is involved with auditing commits for the long-term support (LTS) release lines and the creation of releases.
What was your first experience of Node.js?
I joined the party a little late, my first experience of Node.js was while completing my final-year engineering project for my Bachelor’s degree in 2016. My engineering project was to create a ‘living meta-analysis’ tool that would enable researchers, specifically psychologists, to easily combine and update findings from related independent studies. I originally implemented the tool using a PHP framework, but after some time I realized I wasn’t enjoying the developer experience and hitting limitations with the framework. Half-way through my final year of university, I heard some classmates raving about Node.js, so I decided to check it out. Within a few weeks, I had reimplemented my project from scratch using Node.js.
How did you start contributing to Node.js?
I rejoined IBM in 2016, having spent my gap-year prior to university at IBM as Java Test Engineer in their WebSphere organization. I joined the Node.js team in IBM Runtime Technologies who at the time were responsible for building and testing the IBM SDK for Node.js. From running the Node.js test suite regularly internally, my team identified flaky tests that needed fixing out in the community – which turned in to some of my first contributions to Node.js core.
Over the next few years, our team deprecated the IBM SDK for Node.js in favor of maintaining these platforms directly in the Node.js community. Around the same time, Myles Borins offered to mentor me to become involved with the Release Working Group, with a view of becoming a Node.js releaser (Thanks Myles!). Since then, that’s the area of Node.js where most of my contributions have been focused.
What has changed since you first started to contributing to Node.js?
One of the biggest changes is the emphasis on onboarding new contributors to major parts of the project. Getting new names and faces onboarded in a position where they can actively contribute to Node.js, and also an increase in socializing how people can contribute in ways other than code.
Documentation of the internal contributor processes has improved a lot too, but there’s still room to improve.
What are you most excited about with the Node.js project at the moment?
I’m really enjoying the work that is happening in pkgjs GitHub organization where we’re building tools for package maintainers. I’m excited to see the tools that come out of pkgjs organization and the Node.js Package Maintenance team.
There are so many great talks (although, I’m a little bias as I was in the content team). I’m really looking forward to the keynote with Christina H Koch, a NASA astronaut. And also, the ‘Broken Promises’ workshop by James and Matteo from NearForm.
What does your role at IBM include other than contributing to the Node.js community?
A wide variety of things really, no week is ever full of the same tasks. I’m often preparing talks and workshops for various conferences. Alongside that, I spend my time researching common methods and best practices for deploying Node.js applications to the cloud – specifically focusing on IBM Cloud and OpenShift. I often find myself assisting internal teams with their usage of Node.js, and analyzing various IBM offerings from a typical Node.js Developer’s point of view and providing feedback. I’m also scrum master for my team, so a portion of my time is taken up with those responsibilities too.
What do you do outside of work?
Most often hanging out with my dog, Laddie. I’m a DIY enthusiast – mainly painting or upcycling various pieces of second-hand furniture. Since the start of lockdown in the UK, I have also been writing a book which is a convenient pass time. Big fan of replaying my old PS1 games too.
Where should people go to get started contributing to the Node.js Project?
Go to https://www.nodetodo.org/, which is a website that walks you through a path towards your first contribution to Node.js. As long as you’re a little bit familiar with Node.js, you can start here. The other option is to look for labels on repositories in the Node.js GitHub organization tagged with ‘Good first issue’.
Alternatively, you can join one of our working group sessions on Zoom and start participating in discussions. The sessions are listed in the nodejs.org calendar. If you’re specifically interested in the Node.js Release Working Group, I run fortnightly mentoring/shadowing sessions that you’re welcome to join.