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Diversity Scholarship Recipient talks Node+JS Interactive

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OpenJS Foundation is excited and proud to offer the Node+JS Interactive Diversity Scholarship. The Node+JS diversity scholarship program provides support to those from traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in the technology and/or open source communities (including, but not limited to: persons identifying as LGBTIQ, women, persons of color, and/or persons with disabilities) who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the event for financial reasons.

The scholarship application deadline is August 30, 2019. If you have been considering applying, don’t delay! For details, check out the application form.

To learn more about Node+JS Interactive from the vantage point of a previous diversity scholarship recipient, we asked Amanuel Ghebreweldi to give us his thoughts on attending the event.

What did you get out of attending Node+JS Interactive?

Since this was my first foray into the Node.js Community and Canada, I had meticulously worked out a schedule of which talks and workshops I want to attend. The plan was to attend those talks and workshops that are most relevant to my knowledge and skills. But my flight got canceled, and I arrived later at the conference with jetlag straight from the airport. So, I decided instead to go with the flow and attend rather talks covering unfamiliar topics (and try to stay awake 🙂 )

In retrospect, it was the right choice because it allowed me to learn more about things outside of my comfort zone like IoT, ML, and Kubernetes, etc. And it made me realize how vast the Node.js and JavaScript ecosystem has become.

One of my highlights was Code + Learn, where I made my first Node.js core contribution. The whole setup of the event was great. Also, out of curiosity, I briefly attended Contributor Days. It was really interesting to get a rare “behind-the-scenes” look at the foundation and community.

Would you recommend attending? 

Yes, absolutely. It was a well-organized conference with many friendly faces, excellent speakers, and a broad range of topics covered (and Vancouver, Canada is wonderful 😉 )

What would you tell folks considering applying for the Diversity Scholarship? 

If you have the chance, go and apply for the scholarship! NodeJS + Interactive was a fantastic experience. The best moment I had during the conference was when I looked around and saw faces who looked like me and were interested in the same things as me. I felt absolutely inspired! I’m so thankful I had an opportunity to attend all the way from Germany.

With the deadline closing soon, head over to the application form and apply today! Good luck to each applicant and we hope to see you in December!

Kris Borchers Joins the OpenJS Foundation Board as First Community Director

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The OpenJS Foundation is pleased to welcome Kris Borchers as the board’s representative from the Cross Project Council (CPC). 

Kris is an experienced leader and advisor who works to build and strengthen relationships with and between some of the largest corporations and most creative individuals that are using, creating and sharing open-source technology. He is now leveraging those skills to help drive adoption of an inner source culture within Azure and across all of Microsoft.

Kris is no stranger to open source communities or JavaScript and has held many leadership positions including the executive director of the JS Foundation and jQuery Foundation, as well as advising organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Mojaloop project and OASIS as part of their Open Projects Advisory Council. His experience spans a broad coverage area including managing websites and web applications early in his career to leading engineering teams developing enterprise open source mobile tools, to running a successful consulting business to leading nonprofit organizations supporting some of the most widely used open source projects in the world. 

Along the way, Kris earned a Master of Applied Computer Science and an MBA. In conjunction with his hands-on experience, these help him view things with a strategic eye while building relationships and empowering technical leadership to drive an organization’s open source strategy.

As the Board of Directors’ CPC representative, Kris says his goal is to serve the community to the best of his abilities. He’s looking forward to being a conduit between the board of directors and the project community and intends to be the projects’ voice in all board discussions while bringing the board’s thoughts and guidance back to the community.

Kris says, “Having run an open source foundation for a number of years gives me an understanding of the business, legal, and strategic processes involved in operating the OpenJS Foundation,” said Kris. “I’ve also worked closely with many of the current board members and Linux Foundation staff who support the foundation. I’m excited to jump right in and be a productive member of the board right away.”

Kris’ fascination with the JavaScript language began from his very his first exposure to it, and it was through JavaScript that he was introduced to open source. When asked what draws him to JavaScript and open source, Kris says, “I think the thing that really draws me in is the people side of the open source community and specifically the people in the open source JavaScript community. I have made some of my best friends through this community and that welcoming nature is something I want others to experience.” Ultimately, Kris wants the OpenJS Foundation to be the place people think of when they hear “open source JavaScript projects”. He feels it should be the clear place JavaScript projects go when they have reached the point where they need the support that a foundation can provide. 

A First Look at the Node+JS Interactive Schedule

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The Node+JS Interactive schedule is live! Node+JS Interactive is an annual event that brings the wider Node.js and JavaScript communities together to collaborate face-to-face, network, and share their experiences deploying IoT, serverless, cloud native and progressive web apps, and much more. The conference takes place from December 11-12, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.

Attendees will benefit from face-to-face interaction discussing a variety of important topics like accessibility and internationalization. Additionally, the program will provide content that is appealing to a broad spectrum of members of the JavaScript ecosystem including topics like Node.js, frameworks, best practices and success stories from some of the world’s biggest companies deploying innovative applications at massive scale. Register here by September 20, 2019 to save up to $549USD on registration. 

The OpenJS Foundation is excited to share the initial schedule today. A few sessions to look forward to include:

  • Looking at the Future of Express: Using and Contributing to Express in 2020 – Wes Todd, Senior Software Engineer, Netflix
  • Node.js 12: A Decade of Node.js – Beth Griggs, Open Source Engineer, IBM
  • Hacker-Powered Data: The Most Common Security Weaknesses and How to Avoid Them – Miju Han, Director of Product Management, HackerOne
  • The State of the Art in Localization – Eemeli Aro, Library Developer, Vincit
  • Hands-on Intro to Kubernetes (and OpenShift) for JS Developers – Jan Kleinert, Developer Advocate, Red Hat & Ryan Jarvinen, Developer Advocate, Red Hat

There are plenty more to come, which will cover everything from diagnostics testing to progressive web applications to security and more.

As always, thank you to our awesome sponsors for supporting Node+JS Interactive!
Gold Sponsor: Sentry
Silver Sponsor: Red Hat
Bronze Sponsors: Linode, NodeRun

Visit the event website for more info on sponsoring the event.

Stay tuned for more as the full schedule, with keynotes, will be available in the coming weeks. 

Keep informed on everything that is happening by following us on Twitter (hashtag #NodeJSInteractive). You can find all the details for the upcoming event by visiting the Node+JS Interactive website.

Vincit Joins the OpenJS Foundation as a Silver Member

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Vincit, a 12-year-old global software development and design agency from Finland with US headquarters in Irvine, CA, has joined the OpenJS Foundation as a Silver Member.  Vincit builds custom web, mobile and embedded solutions for its customers, and is a heavy user of many OpenJS Foundation Projects including Node.js, webpack, Appium, WebdriverIO, Mocha, ESLint and more.

“Vincit values open source and the collaboration it brings, so it made perfect sense for us to join the OpenJS Foundation,” said Mikko Salokangas, Vincit’s Head of Development in California. “As a heavy user of open source, JavaScript, and the projects within the OpenJS Foundation, we are thrilled to be members and to add to the continued success of this thriving ecosystem by giving back as a member.”

Vincit is dedicated to providing a collaborative work environment that supports continuous learning among its highly motivated and engaged employees. This culture has led to their recognition by Inc. Magazine as a Best Workplace in America and previous title of Best Place to Work in Europe by Great Place to Work® Institute. 

Becoming a member is one of many ways Vincit has supported open source and the developers within the community and ecosystem. They also work with external developers to help connect the community through events and meetups, including its own Vincit Dev Talks and co-founded the non-profit Coded in OC in Orange County, CA. Creating an environment ripe for collaboration and connection is key to the success of open source. 

The OpenJS Foundation’s mission is to support the healthy growth of JavaScript and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities that benefit the ecosystem as a whole. The OpenJS Foundation warmly welcomes Vincit as their support and commitment helps the JavaScript community at large with resources required to be stewards of stable, secure, and long-lasting codebases.

Meet Joe Sepi: Inaugural Cross-Project Council Chair

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With the merger of the Node.js Foundation and the JS Foundation complete and the newly formed OpenJS Foundation taking shape and coming into its own, there are many exciting things happening, including electing new leaders within the Foundation’s governance. Recently, Joe Sepi was elected as Chairperson of the Cross-Project Council (CPC), which is the top-level advisory and technical governance committee within the OpenJS Foundation.

As the first-ever Chair of the CPC, Joe will play an integral part in the success and progress of the council and Foundation. We caught up with him to learn more about his vision and what he hopes the CPC will accomplish. Read on to learn more about Joe, his passion for open standards and his vision for the OpenJS Foundation.

What does a day in the life as community chair look like?  What is the impact of this position?

For me, this role is all about facilitating productive conversations in our weekly meetings, forward motion in our GitHub issues and pull requests, and in general, a healthy environment for the folks working in our community. At the end of the day, I want to champion progress for the CPC, and ultimately for the community, the ecosystem, and the Foundation. Being new to this role, part of my strategy for success is to be familiar with each open issue and pull request and to know who the subject matter expert or person with the most context is, so I can ensure those folks are being heard and able to help drive the conversation. Yes, part of this job is to lead meetings, but I’m always looking to hand the mic off over. Often times, the best way to facilitate good conversation is to stay out of the way. Additionally, this role encompasses a certain level of diplomacy, efficiency, and fairness, especially making sure all voices are heard to prevent lopsided conversations.  

I’ll also add that transparency is super important in open governance — we aim to do the majority of our work through issues and pull requests. We have open meetings and publish our meeting notes and try to capture any verbal decisions in the accompanying issues or pull requests so that the community can see the work and have an easy and familiar way to get involved. This process is at the core of what we do and how we work.

While new to the particular role, you are no stranger to open source communities or open-source collaboration. In fact, you are heavily involved in the Node.js Project and community. How has that experience shaped you for this new role on the CPC?

Yes, I’ve been a software engineer working with JavaScript for many, many years, and have had extensive experience on the Node.js Community Committee (CommComm). Many of the operations adopted by the CPC were born out of Node.js Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and CommComm. These allow the council to focus on the important things such as good discussion and landing issues. What I can really appreciate about Node.js meetings is the high level of transparency and process-driven decision making. By adopting the operationalized aspects of the Node meetings, such as how to get something on the agenda, and how to capture important topics during the meetings, I feel like we have a bit of a head start. It’s great to bring these best practices to the CPC.

As CPC Chair, what do you hope to accomplish?

My main goal is to be a good steward of the council and advocate for the projects. I was elected from the Node.js Project, but I’ve been involved in other projects (within the foundation and beyond) and I feel a certain responsibility to advocate for all projects within the OpenJS Foundation and even beyond the foundation bounds.

Additionally, I believe it is critical to have a wide range of voices in the conversation and will be proactive in inviting and encouraging a more diverse group of folks to be involved in our work.

What are your goals for the Foundation, and how do you plan to accomplish them?

We have the successes of two foundations under our belt, and a great opportunity to take what’s been done, and build upon it within the OpenJS Foundation. I’m excited to leverage what’s been previously achieved to help improve the overall JavaScript ecosystem and community. An example of this is the first-ever OpenJS Collaborator Summit. Previously, it was only Node maintainers, but by opening it up, I found it to be a very positive experience. Cross-pollination within the open-source community is crucial for progress. It was inspiring to see standards bodies, browser implementers, platform and tool authors and collaborators in the same room. These broad discussions will build and strengthen our community. 

Give us a brief background of your career and how open source has impacted it.

I started my tech career as a software engineer in 1998. Currently, I am an Open Source Engineer & Advocate at IBM.  In addition to CPC chair, I am also the Node.js CommComm rep to the CPC, and a TC39 delegate from IBM. I am fascinated and inspired by the way JavaScript open-source projects have been key to the success of the web; projects like jQuery, Dojo, Backbone, CoffeeScript, Babel and of course, Node.js. Having seen a few false starts with JavaScript on the server side, it’s been incredible to watch Node take off. Even more so, it’s been an honor to have played a part in its growth. 

For folks wanting to get involved in the CPC, what’s the best first step? 

Definitely follow us on Twitter (@openjsf) to get alerted to meetings, news, and tidbits. We publish our meeting agendas as Github issues which always include a link to access the meeting — we encourage observers to join the meetings and get involved. I also suggest folks subscribe to the Youtube Channel and click the bell to get alerts when meetings are streaming. And finally, watch the GitHub repos and peruse the issues and pull requests to see what work is being done; its the best way to get involved in the conversations and to find ways to contribute to the effort! 

What else should folks know about you, and what’s the best way to get in touch?

I enjoy talking to people so please don’t hesitate to reach out! For those wanting to connect feel free to hit me up on Twitter @joe_sepi (DMs open) or in person at events or out on the streets. I’m always down to talk about everything open source, open governance, punk rock, dirt bikes or whatever. :wave: