R/GA @ JSConf 2012

R/GA had a great presence this year at JSConf 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Mojitos were flowing and mechanical bulls were bucking. The roughly 250 JavaScript devs in attendance were pretty psyched when they were each given a Nexus S running Mozilla’s open source OS, B2G. Excitement continued with two days of inspiring talks and demos given by some of the industry’s best and brightest. Here are some standouts from JSConf 2012’s amazing line-up:

  • Paul Irish (@paul_irish), of HTML5 Boilerplate and Modernizr fame, gave an informative talk on the current and future state of JavaScript tools. He demoed the awesome capabilities of Chrome Canary‘s developer tools: source maps, remote debugging, and touch event emulation. All in all, it was probably the most applicable talk of JSConf 2012. A fancy slideshow can be found here.
  • You might think a talk entitled “node.js” would be about server-side JavaScript. Presenter Brian Ford’s (@brixen) presentation was more about philosophy. After several controversial statements such as “We suck at conflict” and “Node.js will reproduce the last 15 years of Ruby’s mistakes”, he left the crowd with a recommendation for the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and plenty to ponder.
  • In one of the funnier talks at JSConf 2012, Jake Archibald (@jaffathecake) explained the inner workings of HTML5’s AppCache and how to apply it to a website without losing one’s mind. Anxiously awaiting video for this one; the slides don’t do it justice.
  • If you’re of the mindset that the browser is king, then Remy Sharp’s (@rem) talk would be right up your alley. Humorous and entertaining, Remy expressed his vision of a future where browsers have no borders and JS devs rule the world.
  • Daniel Henry Holmes Ingalls, Jr. gave a fascinating demonstration of his browser-based runtime and development environment, the Lively Kernel. It was inspiring to see what such a passionate and accomplished programmer can build using JavaScript.
  • What do pirates, privacy, and politics have to do with JavaScript? Not a whole lot at first glance, until the closing speaker of JSConf 2012 commanded a standing ovation. In an epic closing, Richard Falkvinge (@falkvinge), founder of the Pirate Party, hit upon the points that JS devs care about: open source, net neutrality, and the power of the people.

It’s clear that there has never been more momentum behind the JavaScript community and we’re looking forward to seeing what JSConf has to offer next year. See you there.