Adventures in Angular

Adventures in Angular is a weekly podcast dedicated to the Angular JavaScript framework and related technologies, tools, languages, and practices.

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002

002 AiA Angular Meetups with Matt Zabriskie and Sharon DiOrio


The panelists discuss what you need to know about running an AngularJS meetup with Matt Zabriskie and Sharon DiOrio

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TRANSCRIPT

JOE: Hello everybody, and welcome to Adventures in Angular Episode 2. Today on our panel, we have Aaron Frost.

AARON: Hello.

JOE: And I’m Joe Eames, your host. Our episode today is going to be about Hosting an Angular Meet Up. And we have two guests with us — Matt Zabriskie and Sharon DiOrio. Do you guys want to introduce yourselves?

MATT: Go ahead, Sharon.

SHARON: [Chuckles] I’m Sharon DiOrio, I’ve been running the AngularJS Boston Meet Up for about a year and a half. And basically got it started because I was whining about there being not Angular meet up in Boston, and somebody finally said, “Well then start one.” And I found myself kind of coordinating, finding speakers, etc. and here I am a year and a half later with over 700 members, and we’re just kind of chugging along.

JOE: So was it that moment when you said, “Fine then. I will.”

SHARON: [Chuckles] Kind of. Because I was that person that was caught whining about something that I could do something about, right?

JOE: Awesome. Matt?

MATT: Yeah, my name is Matt Zabriskie. I’m running the AngularJS Utah Meet Up. Really similar actually to Sharon’s experience with starting it. I work for a company called AtTask, and about a year ago, we move over to using Angular, and all of us were really novice at it and we wanted to kind of find a place where we can learn from a community. Utah has a really active JavaScript community — probably just a tech community, really. There’s quite a handful of JavaScript-centric meet ups, but none of them were focused specifically on Angular, so we figured, “Hey, we’ll start a meet up and bring the knowledge to us.” And it’s worked out really well.

JOE: Awesome. I think one of the first questions we definitely should be asking is when you are starting up a meet up, what are the big things to look out for?

SHARON: The pitfalls? Finding reliable sponsorship was probably the hardest thing for me, because finding space was fairly easy because there are plenty of companies that wanted a group of highly hirable developers to show up once a month, so they can pitch them about jobs. But finding a company willing to write a check every month for some pizza and beer or whatever was a little bit harder. And even better, finding a single sponsor that would handle it all to just remove that load from you, so there would be somebody on site who would order pizza and such; because I found myself more than once kind of lugging cases of beer upstairs and thinking, “This sucks. I got to find a better way to do this.”

JOE: [Chuckles] What about you, Matt? What’s the biggest pitfall you wish you’d known about beforehand?

MATT: Having a contingency plan for speakers not showing up. That bit me in the butt a few weeks ago. We had some speakers lined up and the same time, I got text from both my speakers and said, “I’m running probably 30 minutes behind.” And I had nothing, so we kind of just scrambled and Kent Dodds actually jumped out of the audience and said, “Hey, I got something cool I can show off.” And so he got up and he saved my bacon, fortunately. So, lesson learned. I’ve got a talk in my back pocket at any moment if I have to give it, so. [Chuckles]

JOE: That’s awesome. So, what about the organizational tool? Are both of you using meetup.com?

SHARON AND MATT: Yeah.

JOE: Is there any alternatives out there or is meetup.com pretty much it?

MATT: I haven’t really explored anything beyond Meetup, just because that seems where most meetups locally have been organizing things from, so I just kind of followed that same pattern myself. I honestly don’t have complains with it, so I haven’t really needed to look for anything else.

SHARON: Same here. I mean, I don’t even know where I would look for another group or user group other than going straight to Meetup.

JOE: So you guys don’t even consider anything…. Meetup.com was the place to go?

SHARON: Yeah.

AARON: Cool. What are the first steps? Because a lot of the listeners are going to be in areas where they are feeling the same frustrations that you had, Sharon. What are the steps you go through, how much money… I wanna talk about these things because I wanna encourage people, hopefully we get some new chapters based off of this podcast. And if you do, you need to tweet us and let us know you did it. What are some of the things that you need? So, you need sponsorship, you need a place to do it; do you need to incorporate how much does meet up costs, stuff like that.

SHARON: Really, you just need to decide; you just need to say, “Ok, I’m going to do this.” And then what I found, (especially because of the Angular community being so active and excited) that there is probably some pent up desires for this wherever you are. And as soon as I put the site up on Meetup, like I had 80 members overnight. Like, boom. Clearly there were people waiting [chuckles] for this to exist. I would guess that it’d be that way in most places. But once you have that, then you have the source for who to check out. Like, you can send out a message to those 80 people saying, “Hey, by the way, we are looking for space.” And these people work in places that would be willing to share space and sponsorship, etc. And then you just kind of build from there.

As far as meet up cost, the site I think it’s like $70 for 6 months. I mean, you can get a sponsor to cover it. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it is a cost. And you can do it month by month if you just don’t have the full six months in advanced. But as far as how much cost you anticipate for sponsorship, we’ve been averaging between 80 and 100 people coming to each meet up, and I wanna say like $300 to $350 a month to cover pizza and beer. Beer is optional; it’s kind of a given for the meetups in Boston, but I don’t know if it’s a given everywhere else. But because you are asking for people to come straight from work, it is kind of nice to give them a little something to eat.

AARON: Yeah. Wicked beer.

SHARON: Wicked beer.

MATT: [Chuckles]

AARON: “We have some wicked beer.”

SHARON: “We got to hit the [unintelligible] on the way.”

JOE: At the wicked meet up. That’s awesome. What about you, Zabriskie?

MATT: I’d say we’re probably pretty similar; it just depends on the month with what we decide for food. So some stuff, we can bring in… we have about the same attendance, about 80 people. Probably on the high end, about 85. So some months, we can get by on a couple hundred bucks depending on what we bring in. Some months, we’ll splurge and spend a little bit more. I think our highest has been maybe $600, just depending on like our food choice. This is Utah, so we actually don’t bring in beer. Not a lot of people drink, so…

JOE: Root beer?

MATT: Root beer. Maybe we should start… AtTask has been a really good sponsor for us. It’s been… just not having to go out and look for financial support from the community. AtTask has been really good at giving us a place to meet, as well as providing whatever we need as far as paying our meet up dues and bringing in food. And that was kind of one of the goals is we didn’t want to meet up to cost anything to the members. I think that kind of helps draw people a little more than if there was like a monthly due, that might scare some of the people off. And so, having a really good sponsor helps with that a lot. I think that helps with attendance as well, just because people know if they show up, they get free dinner; they can get some great talks; and then socializing and network with people, which is really kind of the purpose of going to these meetups.

AARON: I’ve got a question I want you guys to both answer: when you started your meet up, how… I mean, I’m sure the first month there was a handful and then it’s grown into… it sounds like you both have 70-100 people coming. How fast does it grow into that? Like in an organic growth and how much do you have to put in to making it grow, or was it just 100% organic growth?

MATT: So for myself, it’s really organic. We created the meet up page, and overnight, we had a couple hundred dozen people without anything other than it was just on the meet up page. Once we started pumping it out on twitter, I think we probably hit 100-150 within the first week or so. And that has just been a steady stream ever since; we just hit 400 members last week, and I think on average, we probably get about 3-4 members a week joining the group.

AARON: And how many come to the meetings? How is that ramp up going? How many came to your first meeting versus how many coming out?

MATT: Our very first one, we had about 30, maybe 35 RSVPs. We kind of had a smaller space originally, thinking, “This should get us by for the first 6 months until we outgrow it.” Our first meet up was standing room only — which was way bigger than what we expected. And so we actually had to get bigger space. Since then, our current space holds about 100 people. We’re kind of coming up on that threshold, so the growth was just way faster than what we had planned before. We thought we had six months, and we outgrew it the first time.

SHARON: Yeah, our first meet up was kind of the same way because again, that pent up demand was there. We just did kind of an ‘Intro to Angular’ type talk and we had, I wanna say 110 people show up. We had 100 chairs and there were people standing, so. Now, I will also warn that we had a little bit of a drop-off after the first meeting. I think it was just the excitement from the first, “Oh my god, we’ve all got to go see what this is. Check it out.” And then we dropped off probably in the 70-80 range, but then it just ramped back up and stayed pretty steady in that 80 – 100 range — depending on the topic, the speaker, and the timing.

AARON: Cool. That’s like intense to think about trying to get a little get up of people together, and all of a sudden, you are like the parent of a group of 100 people every month. That would be intense.

SHARON: Yeah. You guys wouldn’t know anything about that, do you? [Chuckles]

AARON: No. Once a year, not twelve times a year. [Chuckles]

JOE: That’s awesome. That’s way cool.

AARON: What are some of the cooler topics and what are some of the… you as the presenter, you can just say, “Hey, stop trying to talk about this. We’ve talked about it enough.”

SHARON: I don’t think I’d hit that limit on any single aspect yet, because each time we have a speaker, they are bringing in some different aspect of it, or things have changed and we have to talk about it again. And it’s a fast changing kind of environment, so yeah, even a single digit version change can be a big thing.

AARON: Yeah.

SHARON: As far as the things that people love hearing about, they always love hearing about experiences that companies have had using Angular in different situations like, “How do I scale this to x number of users.” Or “We have one group that was using it completely.” Their advertising networks, so they are not even doing UI, but they are using Angular to manage all that stuff kind of on the side. So just seeing the different companies and how they are using it, there’s just never a shortage of interest in that.

JOE: That’s awesome.

AARON: What about you, matt?

MATT: I send out a survey with like a welcome mail when people first sign up just kind of ask, “What’s your experience with Angular? What topics are you interested in learning about? What day works best to meet?” That kind of stuff. And as far as like the topics of what people are most interested in, the two that stand out the most is just how to write directives, custom directives, that kind of stuff; and then along the same lines of what Sharon was saying, just how do you make Angular scale? Like once you get into more like building enterprise applications — things that are a lot larger — how do you set up your project, how do you make everything work at that scale.

We actually record all of our meetups, and then we post them on YouTube. And the two that got the most hits, our very first one actually, we had a talk by one of our developers here at AtTask named Derek Stobbe; he did a training on how to use Karma and Jasmine, and writing tests for Angular with that. I mean, that’s got almost 3,000 hits on our YouTube channel. And then we have another talk on using Bootstrap with Angular. That one surprisingly has been like our most popular one on YouTube anyway. Something about that just really struck a chord. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but that that is apparently really interesting topic for people.

JOE: That is interesting. You mentioned recording, how important it is to record the meetups? Is that something that people should really be concerned about if they are going to start a new meet up?

MATT: I think it’s an added bonus just because you kind of have a library after a while. It helps kind of promote your own meet up; people see it on the YouTube channel, they are more aware of your meet up. “Oh, that’s a local thing I could go to,” or whatever. Especially for people, that is like, “I’d really like to go, but it’s on a day of the week. I can never make it,” or “Something came up this month and I’m not able to attend.” You can still go back and watch those videos. It’s definitely not a must have, but I think it’s really nice to have.

SHARON: We didn’t do it for the longest time. We made some attempts at it and it’s surprisingly more technical than you would think if you are not in a space that has built in AV, that you can’t just… sometimes… if you have somebody to setup a camera and run it, and can get the right view of the speaker or the right audio including the slides, etc. it can work. But again, it’s a little more involved than I anticipated anyway. But fortunately, and I need to give a shoutout to our sponsor Cengage in Boston, they have been fantastic; their space is wonderful. They actually give us AV people to do this, so we’ve started with the last few meet ups posting the videos. And as you said, it’s a great added bonus, but I don’t think people should consider it a roadblock to, “Oh, I can’t put the videos online.” You really are doing this because you are giving the community a place to come, and the talks are the enticement, but the real value is talking to people during the meetups, after the meetups; asking questions, making networking, etc.

JOE: Well that kind of leads in to my next question which was about format. How do you guys format your meetups, and do you have ideas on how you like to change those formats for allowing for more speakers, more lightning talks, more socializing and connecting? What do you guys do?

SHARON: Our format has been pretty much we have a time for networking and pizza, and then we have a talk. And then a lot of times, the space has got… you know, you are asking people to stay late so you kind of have to usher people at the door. But as far as arranging for topics, it’s really whatever you can wind up for speakers. And I’ll say that that’s probably the ongoing challenge for me, now that I’ve got the space and sponsorships right now, is making sure that there’s a pipeline of speakers. Because there’s timing issues, and people are sort of interested, and it is a commitment to invest in time to create a talk. And sometimes you go to do some lightning talks because  you can’t line up like off the big speakers that we wanna have these huge meet up around. And that’s ok.

MATT: “Ok, I’ll come. Ok.”

SHARON: Yeah. [Chuckles] Like, seriously people just stand up there. So that’s been my experience is that, the agenda kind of forms around whatever speakers you can wind up.

MATT: Yeah, I’ve always played around with that format, just kind of getting feedback from people and trying to make it a little bit better. Our  general format is we just start off with food because these people even though I say like, “Hey, it starts at 6 o’clock,” people start trickling in at 5:30 because it’s like, they are getting off work, they don’t wanna go home first. It doesn’t make sense. So I just of changed it as like, we just start at 5:30 till 6:00. I usually try and do two 30-minute talks. I think that meets well people’s attention span. When we first started, I would do one one-hour talk, mostly because it’s a new thing, not a lot of support yet — and one speaker was the most I could really find anyway – but those talks kind of felt a little bit long. Not that they weren’t good; just I think people kind of started losing focus a little bit.

So now that I’ve got a little more people involved, two 30-minute talks seems to be pretty well the right balance. And I like to try and do either two intermediate talks, so that it’s kind of in the middle of the road or one beginner, one advanced. In the side of in the past, having like one advanced talk and that new comers are kind of like, “This is way over our heads.” Or one really intro level talk and people are like, “This is so boring,” and so trying to find that balance took a while. But after two 30-minute talks, we’ll do usually about an hour just networking, where people can kind of socialize, “Hey, I’m looking for a job.” “Oh, I’m looking to hire someone,” whatever it might be. And that part usually seems to be like the thing the people love the most because even after an hour of that, I still kind of have to usher people out and be like, “Hey, I got to lock the doors. People need to go home.” I wish we could do that for 2 hours if there was a possibility. It’s just kind of hard to make that work.

AARON: First of all, I needed to make a comment (and this is for Matt), I’m actually kind of appalled that that’s your most popular YouTube video, because of the huge error in the title, bro. The title says, “Crossing the Beams“ which is clearly a reference to Ghostbusters, which is actually “Crossing the Streams”

MATT: Right. [Chuckles]

AARON: Right? I’m not cool with that. So I kind of have a [unintelligible] that that’s your most popular video. But anyway, what are some of the benefits you guys have seen as an organizer running your AngularJS meet up? I organize a Google developer group, and I’ve had some huge advantages there. Talks, specifically like in Utah, it’s hard to recruit an Angular developer that is solid. And I’m imagining that being an organizer makes that a little bit easier. Can you guys talk about that a little bit?

SHARON: We haven’t really done much recruiting; although I will admit that if we had to, it would give me a very big advantage, because I’m plugged in to the community and I do know… I have a short list of people that I would call right now, [Chuckles] basically. The reverse side is that if you are at all thinking about your own options, there just never a day goes by when you are not thinking, “Hey, I could go here. I could go there. I’ve got options.” And pretty much choose to be where you are. And I choose to be where I am, obviously. By being an introvert, forcing myself to get out of the house and talk to people on a regular basis is a good thing. I don’t tend to do a lot of networking; otherwise, I’m not huge on social media. I’ve been doing a little bit more with the conferences, but this is really my networking venue. And because I’m the organizer, it puts me kind of at the center, and people approach me; and so it prevents me from being the wallflower, I think. [Chuckles]

AARON: What other benefits have you gotten from it? Any recognitions?

SHARON: Are you prompting me? [Chuckles]

AARON: No. No, no, no. Like, I seriously wanna know how’s life better from being an organizer?

SHARON: The short answer is that it plugs me in to the Angular community as a whole, and not just the boss in the Angular community, communicating with like Brad and Bryan, and some of the other guys. And then obviously, getting involved with ng-conf, being on that was a tremendous opportunity for me and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten involved. I wouldn’t have been even in the discussion for doing something like that.

JOE: Awesome. How about you, Matt?

MATT: I think I can kind of relate to what Sharon was saying as far as… this is stereotypical, but I think a lot of developers kind of do consider themselves more introverted. I would consider myself that way. This just kind of helped me get out of my bubble a little bit, where I feel comfortable; like, getting up in front of a group of 80 – 100 people every month, isn’t like usually the first thing on my list of things to do in the day. [Chuckles] But I think this has helped me just personally as far as like my own personal growth, that I feel comfortable with that now. And more at the point that I thrive on it; like, I really enjoyed being at the meetups, being surrounded by likeminded people, and having interesting discussions with them, getting to meet new people.

And then maybe more for like a self-serving perspective, it kind of opens my recruiting pool, because like Aaron was saying, especially in Utah, Angular developers are in very, very high demand, but it’s so hard to find someone that’s looking. Usually people that are really good at what they do, the company recognizes that; they try and keep those employees happy so that they will stay where they are at. And so, trying to find people to join my team has been really challenging. Having this meet up has kind of opened up some more opportunities that way, that I’m a little bit more in touch with who’s looking and the people that are like as soon as I have an open position, I’m going to go after that guy because he spoke at the meet up or whatever, and he’s are rock star. So I think those are few of the things that I’ve benefitted from doing the meet up.

JOE: So, I know that you have sort of talked about this a little bit, but topics for the talks, do you truly just end up doing whatever comes along? I know Matt you were saying you try to target maybe some intermediate, and some intro, but do you spend really time crafting and deciding, “I think we should really get a talk about this” and try to find somebody to talk about that? Or is it more like, “Please, talk,” And then whatever comes up, you try to fit it in?

SHARON: I think it’s both. A lot of times, I’ll approach somebody to talk and say, “Hey, I really liked what you had to say on such and such a topic. Is it possible you could expand that into a talk, because it’s come up more than once as the topic of interest.” Or somebody will say, “I’d like to do a talk. What should I talk on?” And I have a list that I brainstorm periodically and add things to as it comes up. And I’ll say, “Here’s my list. Is there something here that you might be interesting in talking about? And usually, they find something. But a lot of times, there’s also people who are going to be doing a talk at a bigger conference and they’ll say, “Hey, can I come talk on this at the Angular group?” as kind of a rehearsal — and that’s always cool. So, it’s really a balance of both.

JOE: That’s cool. How about you, Matt?

MATT: The same. Some months it’s like whoever I c get. “Please, just someone come speak.” And other times it’s like, I got four people I got to choose from. So right now, I’ve got a queue of people; I’m pretty well set on talks. But then like I said, I do that survey so I know what the group is interested in. One of the top topics is people are interested in testing.

JOE: Do you have any interest in testing speakers coming up and…

MATT: I was going to say, I got to look at the community and say , “Who do I recognize or who in the community is recognized as an expert on that subject?” So there’s this guy named Joe Eames. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.

JOE: [Chuckles]

MATT: He’s [unintelligible] with the talk in the September; not this next one, but two months from now.

AARON: Now I get it. Now I get it.

MATT: [Chuckles] We’re excited about that one, actually. That’s one thing I did; I started doing kind of a call for papers as it were. I ask for people to submit a proposal. So if someone says, “I’m interested in speaking,” I send them to a form where they can give me all their information, then I have more details that I can post on the meet up page and people can see who is speaking and exactly what they are going to be speaking about. But also, kind of helps me filter out, because I’ve had some people come and talk and afterwards it was like, “I really wish I know what they were talking about before they gave the talk because I probably wouldn’t have let them speak,” just because it’s kind of like a hair brained idea or something that’s propagating bad practices; like, I don’t want that to be what the Meetup becomes; I wanna make sure what’s being taught is relevant and actually good, and things like that.

JOE: You’re talking about me on that?

MATT: [Chuckles] No, that was not you.

SHARON: I had situations where very aggressive hiring companies have wanted to sponsor talks and speakers, and then they kind of abusive the privilege in talking… the content that they are providing is not what I would have chosen. Like yeah, there have been situations where I wish I curated a little bit better.

JOE: So Matt, how did you set up that RFP thing? Was it pretty easy to do?

AARON: I actually just put something up on Survey Monkey, and just put in a few questions of, you know, it’s essentially just, “Who are you?” “Tell us a little bit about yourself.” “What’s your talk about and what’s the target audience?” “Are you trying to target intermediate, advanced, beginner, etcetera?” Just so I kind of know as I’m organizing the meet up, I don’t want too advanced talks, I don’t want too beginner. Like I said, I try and keep something balanced that way. I might actually move away from Survey Monkey just because I’ve heard feedback that once you’ve submitted a proposal, it logs by IP and won’t let you submit a second one — which is obviously a limitation. But overall, that’s worked pretty well.

JOE: I wonder if like a Google form would also be as easy to put together.

MATT: Yeah, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing too, actually. And that would be really easy to put together.

JOE: Yeah, it would probably be really cool to put a link to that survey monkey into the show notes for people to see an example of what you asked.

MATT: Yeah, absolutely. And I can share also the one that I send that I send out to the new attendees; just survey that asks, “Where are you at personally in your Angular experience?” “What interesting topics are there?” I have two surveys that I could share with you.

JOE: Now Sharon said something that kind of interest me, because I’ve kind of struggled with the same thing before when organizing the Utah JavaScript Users group, and that is having recruiters as sponsors and speakers. So what are you guys’ experience and opinion and about that?

SHARON: Well, I kind of hinted at it. In the beginning when I was looking for a sponsorship, it was kind of a game that I would play with recruiters, was they would contact me and they would say, “Hey, are you looking?“ And I would say, “No, but I know where you can find a bunch of people. And by the way, you need to write a check.” So it was kind of an easy way to grab some of the money. But it is a two-edged sword; a lot of times when you get a sponsor that’s willing to step in and be your regular sponsor for space and for food,, they have the same aims as the recruiters. They are doing it. And it’s kind of like you don’t have this balancing act. And we had a situation we had a space and they were great with space but they didn’t want us to have recruiters as the sponsors. And they don’t wanna have anybody else who’s hiring as the sponsors. [Chuckles] “Ok, there goes my list of the people I can ask for money.”

JOE: Right.

SHARON: So again, finding that one sponsor that’s willing to do both is ideal, but you’ll have to balance a bit if you can’t do that.

JOE: Right.

MATT: At our meet up last month, we had a recruiter show up and unfortunately, I wasn’t there; this was the first meet up I was able to attend. But our recruiter shows up afterwards just went through and just started like asking really personal questions to all the attendees like, “Hey, how much are you making? How much would it take for me to get you to come work where I’m trying to hire at?” That really rubbed me the wrong way. I wish I would have been there, because I would have said something.

The last thing I want is for this to feel like it’s a recruiting pool; I want the people to come because they want to meet other people; they can talk about code, show off what they are working on, give a cool talk — whatever it might be. As soon as you get the pressure of a recruiter, that starts driving people away, in my opinion. So this is a new challenge that I just recently had to kind of come to terms with.

So actually, what we are going to do to solve this is in August, we’re going to do a job fair/hackathon, and that will give us kind of the opportunity that the people that are trying to recruit, which it makes sense, we have a big pool of people that know Angular and a lot of them are probably looking for work, so we don’t wanna shut down that opportunity altogether, but I want to dedicate it for them where that makes sense, and that people that are looking can come and meet with the people that are trying to hire, and then mix in a little bit of hackathon and some prices along with it, should be a fun afternoon.

JOE: Right. Well, it’s also a benefit for those that are already employed, because if somebody wants to pay them 30% more, then hey, I wouldn’t mind finding out about jobs like that.

MATT: Absolutely. It makes sense if that’s what you are looking for, but I don’t want there to be pressure when it’s like, “I’m happy where I’m at. That’s not why I came to this meet up,” you know?

JOE: Do you allow the recruiters to come to the meetups and do any talking at all at the beginning or end of meetings?

MATT: I actually haven’t had anyone really contact me about it, rather than like I said, last month this guy showed up and kind of started doing it on his own accord. If he would have gone through the proper channel, contacted me first and we could have worked something out, maybe I would have given him a 5 minutes to do a spiel, but the way he went about it kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

JOE: How about you, Sharon?

SHARON: If a company is sending a speaker, usually it’s implied that they are allowed to say, “Hey, by the way, we are hiring.” As far as recruiters themselves, they don’t get any time at the microphone. But I will sometimes say, “By the way, who is hiring?” And then hands go up and it’s like, “All right, all of you who are looking, these are the people who are hiring. We’re done. You guys can go talk.” And that seems to work pretty well that way. You can start up a conversation if you are interested, and otherwise, you can just ignore it.

JOE: Awesome. Well, let’s move on to the picks. We always do the guest’s picks last, so we’ll start with Aaron, with your picks.

AARON: Ok, so a friend of mine named Dave Geddes, he opened sourced a project he’s been working on at his work, and it’s called ‘overmind’. It’s a layer that you would put on top of your Angular applications, which will allow you lazy load different sections of your app, and it also allows the digest cycle of the different pieces to run independent of each other, so that one digest in one section doesn’t force the other section to digest. So I’m going to pick that just because of the performance gains. If you don’t have to load the pieces of your app that don’t run very often, then that code is not sitting just in time compiled in the memory, and it should be way more performant. Not to mention that the digest running independent of each other is pretty cool.

And I’m also going to pick a feature that’s coming up this Friday in the new Angular 1.3 release; it’s called Partial Digest. And it’s a feature where on a directive, you can… and I’m not exactly sure how it will work, but you can declare that when this scope digests, don’t digest all the way up to the root scope; just go from this current scope and down, so you can get a little more performance off of telling your individual sections to digest independently of each other. So, I’m kind of getting excited about some of the performance stuff coming in 1.3, overmind and Partial Digest. It of making me excited, so.

JOE: All right, I’ll go next. Since this is fairly germane to the topic, I’m going to pick a book called, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us which is by Seth Godin. It’s an awesome book about just being a leader in environments that needs leaders, rather than waiting for permission. Just standing up and saying, “Hey, there is an issue that’s important to me, and so I’m going to take care of it.” It’s a fairly short book. It’s kind of small print, only 150 pages. So it’s like really 75 normal pages. It’s a pretty quick read but it’s very motivational and enabling and empowering. I thought it was a great book. And Seth Godin is a great writer, so I’m going to pick that book, Tribes.

And then my second pick is going to be a board game that I played recently. I think this is the second time I’ve actually played it. The first time was years ago. It’s called Arabian Nights. Played with some friends. And it’s basically like the old ‘choose your own adventure’ books back in the 80s, but in board game format. So you travel around, and it’s set in the Arabian settings, so there’s all the characters that you kind of hear about, Aladdin and stuff. And you go through it and you are being put in situations and you choose an action you wanna take, and then that determines what happens and then you try to kind of collect these kinds of points, but most of the games is fun just to hear all the different stories and pick endings to those stories based on you are going to choose an action and then something happens, you have no idea what’s happening to you. But it’s really fun game. I had a great time playing with it. That would be my second pick.

So let’s move on to our guests. Matt, how about you?

MATT: My pick will be this new Deadpool  Film Test that got leaked. I just saw this on Twitter last night, actually. No idea if this is actually going to turn into real a movie or not, but there’s a little two minute clip, looks like a cell CGI, looks pretty awesome. I was pretty big into comics, especially when I was in high school. I love arts, so I try and like look at comics and draw, and Dead pool was one of my favorite guys to draw, so I’m pretty stoked. I hope that turns into a movie.

JOE: Awesome. Love comics. Dead pool is way cool. In fact, I recently got some Deadpool socks.

MATT: [Chuckles]

JOE: Which I gave to my daughter.

MATT: Ok. [Chuckles]

JOE: All right, Sharon how about you?

SHARON: I got two picks: the JavaScript one is Istanbul. It’s probably been picked before in the past, but it is a code coverage tool that actually produces this little report, because I don’t know about you, but even now, testing is kind of a struggle but this kind of gamifies it for me; it lets me see exactly what my coverage is and shows exactly where I need to go to test all of the branches, and where are our missing coverage. Love it. My other pick is I’m currently engaged in… well, I can say ‘reading,’ but I do it on Audible.com. The Armageddon Day by Day books by JL Bourne,, they are fantastic and they are helping me survive until Walking Dead starts up again in October.

JOE: [Chuckles] Awesome.

MATT: [Chuckles] I knew you were a zombie princess. I knew it.

SHARON: I am, I am.

JOE: Ok, let’s do the tip of the week. Aaron, do you wanna start us off?

AARON: Upgrade to Angular 1.3, because of the bind once  and the partial digesting on each scope. That’s my tip – get ready to upgrade to 1.3.

JOE: Awesome. My tip of the week is going to be start an Angular meet up if there is not one in your area that is convenient for you to attend to. Matt?

MATT: My tip would be take a look at probably both John Papa and Todd Motto; they have style guides. I think those are really good especially when you are working with a large team to kind of make sure you are all developing the same style. There’s a little bit of difference between the style guides, but between the two of them, find what works best for your team. I think that’s a good idea to follow.

AARON: Yeah. I read Todd’s. It was good.

JOE: And then finally, Sharon.

SHARON: My tip is put your controller on a diet; if it’s over 200 lines, it’s too big.

JOE: Love that tip.

MATT: That’s great.

JOE: Thanks, guys. Really appreciate you coming on the show. It was awesome. Great episode.

MATT: Thank you for having us.

SHARON: Thank you.

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