JSDayIE 2019: Get To Know Your Organiser – Remo Jansen

JSDayIE is coming to Dublin on the 20th of September 2019. It’s the only conference of its type in Ireland so we caught up its organiser, Remo Jansen to find out more.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m originally from Sevilla in Spain but I’ve been living in Ireland for almost a decade now. I’ve been working with Microsoft and JavaScript technologies almost my entire professional career. 

In my free time, I have done a lot of work with the JavaScript community. I have worked on some open source projects, organise meetups and published three books about TypeScript.

How did you first become interested in JavaScript and TypeScript?

I started to work with JavaScript around 2010. Some companies that had been working for many years with server-side rendering with technologies such as JSP or ASP started to switch to client-side rendering with technologies such as AJAX and Handlebars. The goal was to reduce loading times and create responsive user interfaces.

As the projects evolved and grew in size, managing the increasing complexity of a JavaScript application became harder and harder. It was then when I decided that I wanted to learn more about JavaScript and how to manage large JavaScript codebases.

This journey led me to learn about many aspects of JavaScript such as module systems and eventually lead me to TypeScript. This is not a surprise since TypeScript has been designed with the primary goal of reducing the maintainability burden of large JavaScript applications.maintainability.

You hold the status of Microsoft MVP. How does that feel and what was involved in achieving this goal?

Becoming a Microsoft MVP is a dream come true. I became a fan of Microsoft when I was just a kid and I got the first Xbox as a present from my parents. I enjoy gaming and my dream was to become a game developer.

Visiting the Microsoft office in Redmon was something that I used to dream about back then. When you become an MVP, Microsoft invites you to a private conference for all the MVPs in the world that takes place in Redmond. It is a very exciting experience and the first trip is something that I will never forget.

To become an MVP you need to do some work that benefits the developer community. For example, you can publish free training material, open-source projects, organise or speak at meetups and conferences, publish books.

All these activities help other members of the community to learn something new. Then, if you have done a lot of these contributions you can be nominated and Microsoft will pick the top contributors of each country and each category. My category is the JavaScript and TypeScript category.

If someone has never experimented with JS, where’s a great place to start?

I would recommend taking one of the courses by Wes Bos, he is a very good communicator and he is particularly good training beginners. The most obvious course to get started with is “ES6 for everyone” https://es6.io/.

What is your top-tip for excelling as a developer?

I would recommend reading books about design patterns and best practices. You can learn the entire API of a programming language but to be a good developer you need to learn much more than the language. You need to learn the tools, common mistakes, best practices, common patterns. Then I would recommend using all this knowledge with two big warnings always in mind:

 

  • Keep it simple: Don’t try to add stuff to your stack just because it sounds cool or because you want to play with something new. Don’t overthink about “What if…” write the minimum amount of code that you can write in the most simple way possible and move on to the next feature.

 

  • Do not re-invent the wheel: Don’t try to come up with your own framework or wrapper. Stick to proven projects with many years of development and many active developers. Follow the most common patterns and stick to the rule book. Don’t try to create your own.

What is one of the hardest technical challenges you’ve ever encountered and how did you overcome it?

Learning about some concepts in programming have been very challenging, in particular, learning about Functional Programming after being an Object-oriented guy for many years has been very difficult because it required me to change my mind about some ideas that I have strongly believed for many years. Also, managing large mono-repositories that share components and dealing with code erosion is an ongoing technical challenge for me.

Why JSDayIE?

I felt that I would like to join a tech conference for web engineers without having to take a flight to a different country and spend a fortune on flights, hotels, etc. So JSDayIE was born. 

There was a need for something like this at home (Ireland). Also, the JavaScript community in Ireland is huge so I thought that I was most likely not the only one feeling like this so I decided to give it a go. I’m very happy because the reception has been very positive.

JSDayIE 2019

What can people expect from JSDayIE?

JSDayIE should be a fun day in which you will have the opportunity to learn about some of the latest JavaScript technologies and meet other members of the community.

You will have an opportunity to meet the speakers in person and hopefully, bring home with you some new ideas that will help you to be a better engineer.

You’re obviously passionate about supporting the JS community. Where does this interest come from and why is it so important to you?

I just enjoy interacting with other developers. I feel that the best way to learn is by doing a presentation or writing a tutorial. When you share your knowledge you have to structure it in a way that is easy for others to understand.

This process leads you to improve your own understanding. I think the main reason I enjoy doing this is that I really enjoy learning, not just about programming but about just about everything.

Also, sometimes you get people to thank you online for your content and it is a very rewarding experience.

Where can people get tickets for JSDayIE 2019?

The Super Early Bird and Early Bird tickets are now sold out but you can still get a Regular ticket for JSDayIE at https://www.jsday.org/tickets

Where can people find and follow you online?

You can find me online on Twitter as @RemoHJansen

Search for live JavaScript jobs here now. 

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