Nodevember Brings Opportunities For NSS Alumni

Nov 29, 2017
Mandy Arola

We spent the last two days hanging out at Nodevember, meeting developers from around the country, catching up with alumni, and listening to a lot of great talks! A few of those talks came from our alumni. On day one we heard from Delaine Wendling and Matt Hamil, both from Cohort 15 (which graduated this past January).


Delaine WendlingDelaine’s session, Demystifying D3 with the Help of Shakespeare, walked us through how the JavaScript library D3 handles incoming and outgoing data. She also explained when D3 is the right data visualization tool for the job and how to get started building visualizations. And, as the title suggestions, she illustrated (literally) how this incoming/outgoing pattern aligns with the storyline of Romeo and Juliet. Make sure to check out Delaine’s slides here.


Matt’s session, React: A Romance of Many Dimensions walked us through using ReactVR to create 3D worlds in the browser and UX principles for virtual reality apps. ReactVR allows you to be immediately productive creating 3D worlds in the browser using the React APIs you’re already familiar with. You can view his slides on GitHub.

Matt HamilMatt shared, “I started working on an early version of my talk earlier this year when Kyle Welch, one of the organizers of NashReact, asked in Slack if anyone wanted to present a lightning talk before one of their meetups. I remembered that I saw a tweet about a neat technology (ReactVR) earlier that day, so I told Kyle I’d give a lightning talk on it. After he put me down on the calendar, I asked myself, ‘Why did I agree to do that? I just learned that ReactVR is a thing, why am I going to give a talk about it?’ I spent the weekend working on building a project with ReactVR and gave the lightning talk on Monday. After the meetup, Kyle encouraged me to refine the talk and submit to Nodevember. I got a number of people to review my proposal, and I was humbled when my topic was selected.”

You are never too inexperienced to get involved. You can't be accepted to give a talk somewhere if you never submit anything. - Matt Hamil


Aimee KnightDay two began the day with Cohort 4 alumna, Aimee Knight who presented the keynote It’s Not Dark Magic - Pulling Back the Curtains From Your Stylesheets. Aimee spoke about the importance of taking the time to properly debug your stylesheets and shared about the most common issues JavaScript developers face such as z-index, the cascade, and positioning in depth by diving deep into the browser’s internal rendering engine struction to see how our styles are parsed and rendered. You can view her slides on GitHub.

Speaking at conferences requires an immense amount of work, but it’s an absolutely incredible way to deep dive on a topic you’re passionate about, and share what you’ve learned with others. I’d encourage anyone, no matter what their experience level, to consider it! - Aimee Knight

In addition to awesome speakers, NSS alumni were a part of the crew planning and organizing the whole event. Among them was Nodevember Chair, Erin Page from Cohort 8 who led the charge. (Meet the full Nodevember team.) Many of the volunteers were also recent NSS grads and students.

We’re already looking forward to Nodevember 2018!

Topics: Alumni, Community