Are YOU Ready for JSConf US 2014?

This post was written by Social Tables’ Manager, Communications, Claire Harrington, CMP.

I want to introduce this blog with a quick, highly ironic (and terribly embarrassing) story about…me.

  • I own (or have owned) nearly every type of “i” product on the market – iPad, iPhone, iPod.
  • I am a student of Codeacademy.
  • I work for a successful tech startup.

Sounds like I know a thing or two about tech, right?

That’s a no. I’m what you call a terrible, horrible, no good fraud. My Apple collection is thanks to my tech-savvy mother. I’ll flunk out of Codeacademy. I’m still trying to figure out how I got hired at Social Tables.

In truth, if Social Tables’ awesome Product Team wasn’t here to save me from every single misguided click (a daily occurrence), I would be walking around with a Moleskine and a pocket full of quarters to use in case I needed to make a call.

My engineering/wizard colleagues are so good at what they do that not only are they attending the annual U.S. JavaScript Conference next week, but two of them are also going to play professor (!).


In an effort to better understand their hyper-intelligent world that I can never be a part of, I asked them about what their expectations are for JSCONF:

Ed, as the VP of Engineering, tell me why it was important to you to bring your entire team to JSConf:

Ed: JSConf is an amazing event for anyone who makes software for the web. People from all over the world go to it to learn and network. I’m especially excited for my team to learn about some of the engineering challenges that Social Tables has not yet had to deal with, but will need to be educated on for the future.

Matthew, you told me earlier that, “innovation doesn’t live in a box”. How do you expect JSConf to assist in your understanding of new ideas?

Matthew: As attendees of JSConf we will be challenged by a variety of views and exposed to new ideas that will help us rethink how we develop future products for Social Tables. Additionally, it will help shape our vision for the improvements we are set to be undertaking on our current products in the coming months.

Yalcin, this is your first JSConf – what session are you most excited about?

Yalcin: You clearly haven’t looked up anything about this conference. If you did, you would know that there is a session called “NodeCopter”, which is the obvious answer to this question.

CH: Yalcin, I don’t know what language you’re speaking.131201231606-vo-amazon-drone-delivery-system-00005818-story-top

Yalcin: (Palm to forehead) Programming a drone Claire. Programming. A. Drone.

CH: Like, the thing that Amazon is going to deploy to expedite my shoe order?

Yalcin: I can’t talk with you anymore.

So much judgment…speaking of sessions, Matthew, tell me about the session you’re presenting:

Matthew: I just returned from a short stint that saw me working remotely in Africa, so my session is titled, “Social Tables Swaziland”. It will be a deep dive into what it takes to work remotely as an engineer.

CH: Remote is an understatement, but you clearly did a great job – you came back to a promotion!

Matthew: It was a great experience and something I think others should experience. I really think remote work requires a different way of thinking, and I’m hoping to pose questions that help people rethink their own office policies to find a way to make remote work, remote workers and remote managers effective.

CH: This sounds great! When will you be speaking?

Matthew: On May 28th at 12 pm!

Ed: Hey now, I’m speaking, too!

CH: Sorry, Ed, I was, uhh, just going to pop by and talk to you about your talk on “Engineers as Makers, Not Order Takers” – let’s hear what you have in store!

Ed: My presentation is about the engineering culture at Social Tables. Compared to other companies, we give everyone a lot of responsibility. We do that in an effort to proactively identify – and continuously solve – problems our customers may have.

CH: Sounds like your team is onto something…

Ed: I think a lot of responsibility is a really good thing.

Outside of your colleague’s sessions, will any of you make time for networking?

Rami: Absolutely. In fact, JSConf is crucial for our engagement with the larger Javascript community. Growing our individual networks is incredibly important to the success of our entire team. Our peers often provide great insight into aspects of our jobs that we may never consider, which aids in our professional development. Also, our shared love of ‘nerding out’ and discussing similar passions often yields itself to the creation of new friends – and possibly colleagues!

CH: Well that’s good, because we’re hiring!

Rami: We sure are – hoping to find some great people to join us!

unnamed-1It has come to my attention that you will all be sharing a single room. How comfortable are you with the prospect of living in a 5-person fraternity for 3 days?

Ed: I share a room (our Product Team room) with 5 dudes every day! I call shotgun on the rollaway bed.

CH: Is that allowed?

Matthew: It sounds like living in a dorm again. That said, JSConf is basically 3 days of lectures and projects. Dorm + lectures = college?


CH: I feel like this is going to end poorly for someone.

Rohit: Ah, c’mon Claire, think of it like this: it should help develop camaraderie and team spirit! Plus, it’ll be an opportunity to learn more about my teammates.

CH: Your office is pretty cozy – what can you learn that you don’t know already?

Rohit: There is a world of opportunity here! Who snores, who doesn’t do their laundry, who has the most game…

Clearly our team is excited to be heading to Amelia Island for this conference, and they look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions about the JSConf schedule, check out the great list of speakers, here.

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