Tony Edwards

CityJS Trip

- 4 mins

April 5th 2024 saw the CityJS community descend on London’s Royal Geographic Society for 2024’s rendition of the community JavaScript conference. It was an awesome day of talks, workshops, and conversation that culminated in my favourite ever take-home message from an event.

The day started with a gentle stroll to the venue, taking in the sights of Kensington Park. In keeping with the bird theme of the talk being delivered later that day, I managed to record my first ever parakeet. . . a welcome addition to the MIDI Birds dataset.

Kensington Park

At the conference, instead of continually being in a session, I opted to wander the halls talking to attendees and sponsors. Somehow it quells the existential dread of the imminent visit to the stage. Thankfully, there were some cool stands to offer a distraction, with the Sentry one particularly useful. A current MAUI project is using Crashlytics for error capturing during the test phase. It was good to get a walk through of an alternative option, and the three month trial should be enough to properly evaluate the offer.

I didn’t get to try the Apple Vision Pro on the Living Spec stand, but the students who’d travelled up from Plymouth University made good use of it. Some had been skeptical of the technology when it was discussed in class but were blown away by experiencing it with their own eyes.

Of the talks I did see, a few stood out. Roy Derks gave a high level run through of some LLM magic which might prove useful in the near future.

Roy Derks at CityJS 2024

Daniel Roe’s talk on upcoming features gave some insight in the future of Nuxt, which is soon to appear in my Open Source coding path.

Daniel Roe talking about NUXT 4

Kathleen’s talk was a perfect blend of useful information and sheer bedlam. Knowing the behind the scenes story of the day leading up to the slot, it was great to see the talk come together.

Kathleen talking about accesibility

The conference closed with a great sentiment from Jason.

Jason speaking at CityJS

My contribution to the day seemed well received by the audience. By the end of the talk, there were healthy chuckles rippling throughout the room, and I can guarantee it contained the loudest moments of the day. As the after lunch slot, the aim is always to energise the crowd a little. I think this quote from Sara Viera says it best:

Everyone’s more excited now. . . or just more awake because of all the screaming!

With a late start, a pause for the sound technicians, and my poor time tracking when switching between things. . . my session overran a touch. This had a knock on effect for the speakers for the rest of the event. For the rest of my speaking career, I will remember the face of Simon from Vercel when I saw him straight after my talk. I’ll get flashbacks to that moment if I ever consider running over at a conf again in the future.

CityJS speaker swag

Courtesy of the striking train unions, I was treated to an extra day in London. After low-key speaker brunch at Troubadour, I took a stroll in Regent’s Park. In keeping with the reason for my visit to the capital, I honed in on the local birds.

Birds at Regents park, London

The highlight of the event has to be the students. A small gaggle had snuck in on scholarship tickets, travelling up from Plymouth University for a few days. Much like my first visit a conference, it’s brought the software industry to life in a way that’s hard outside of this setting. Getting them up onto stage during my talk will hopefully be a memory they’ll cherish for years to come.

Plymouth University Students at CityJS

The conference trip as a whole was superb. It was nice to be surrounded by JavaScript nerds once again, and the quality of the event shone through. Seeing new parts of the capital was really nice, and as a first time visitor to the cities major parks, I was suitably impressed.

Can’t wait for the next trip to the capital.

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