This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to co-represent Skookum Digital Works at the second annual NodeConf SummerCamp, held at the Walker Creek Ranch in drop-dead gorgeous Petaluma, CA.
I won't go into the exact details of what went down, since you can read about that by fellow camp-mate Tim Caswell in his blog post about the event.
But here's what I can say: I had a blast!
Day 2 made my brain hurt. I'll be honest: I went into the conference with the expectation that I would be learning lots of tips and tricks to help enhance my own Node abilities. Instead, I got a rare, insider's view of the process of taking a programming language to the next level. The talks were about hearing from the community - what does it need, what does it want, and what can it do without. The Core Contributors listened intently, explaining why they made the decisions they did, what they were (planning on) working on, and what the community could do to help them out (hint: it's Open Source! Do it yourself. ;-))
Unfortunately, most of the talks were over my head. At my level, I haven't needed streams or domains or many of the other topics that were discussed. And there were certainly moments when I felt like I was in the wrong place. But on the plus side, I now have a really good idea of what's in store for me as my Node ability progresses. It's like having a treasure map before anyone else knows that there's even any treasure... mwahaha!
By lunchtime, I knew that if I was going to get anything out of the conference, I was going to have to step up my own game and start asking questions. (Those who have met me know - I'm not shy when it comes to getting information!) Given that my goal for the experience was to walk out knowing how to up my Node game, I started asking around:
- How do I get better?
- What do I need to do/know to improve?
- Are there any shortcuts?
- (And, specifically to the Core Contributors:) How do I get to be as good as you? (It's like the adult way of asking, "Can I be you when I grow up?")
Here are the answers:
- Code. Hack. Read.
- Code. Hack. Read.
- No. Code. Hack. Read.
- Code. Hack. Read. All. The. Time.
More specifically, though, here are some of my tweets from the conference:
I think that last tweet just about sums it all.
Day 3 was bittersweet. We had a morning of hacking (read: final conversations with the ridiculously awesome people who attended), followed by a bus ride back to San Francisco. Armed with the knowledge that I need to code more, hack more, and read more, I spent a non-insignificant amount of time collecting reading materials. I finally got a copy of "The Crockford Book", downloaded the Node source code onto my iPhone, and tagged a bunch of modules that were mentioned more than 10 times throughout the conference. I've got a LOT of reading to do!
So, all in all, I had a great time. Thanks in particular to @mikeal and his awesome wife @annaemaier for organizing! And thanks also to all the Core Contributors and community members who helped this young Noder stay on the path to being awesome!
Now, if only I could get myself back on east coast time... hmph.