172 JSJ NodeSchool with Jason Rhodes

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02:22 - Jason Rhodes Introduction

03:46 - NodeSchool

06:05 - “Workshopper(s)”

07:13 - How Meetups Run (Format), Target Audience

11:09 - Pair Programming and Peer Learning

14:34 - Starting a NodeSchool Chapter

15:53 - Implementing Diversity

18:07 - Mentoring and Mentorship

20:49 - Time Commitment and Effort

24:02 - Appealing to All Experience Levels of Attendees

26:48 - The NodeSchool Community

30:45 - Being a Member of an Open Source Community


Better Off Ted (Joe)Cat Exercise Wheel (Aimee)That Conference (Joe)primitive.io (Joe)React Rally (Aimee)Falcor YouTube Playlist (Aimee)javascriptjabber.com/15minutes (Chuck)Entreprogrammers Retreat 2015  (Chuck)Love Letter (Jason)charmCityJS (Jason)Mad Max: Fury Road (Jason)


CHUCK: Wow, holy cow! AIMEE: [Laughs][This episode is sponsored by Frontend Masters. They have a terrific line up of live courses you can attend either online or in person. They also have a terrific backlog of courses you can watch including JavaScript the Good Parts, Build Web Applications with Node.js, AngularJS In-Depth and Advanced JavaScript. You can go check them out at FrontEndMasters.com.]**[This episode is sponsored by Hired.com. Every week on Hired, they run an auction where over a thousand tech companies in San Francisco, New York, and L.A. bid on JavaScript developers, providing them with salary and equity upfront. The average JavaScript developer gets an average of 5 to 15 introductory offers and an average salary of $130,000 a year. Users can either accept an offer and go right into interviewing with the company or deny them without any continuing obligations. It’s totally free for users. And when you’re hired, they give you a $2,000 bonus as a thank you for using them. But if you use the JavaScript Jabber link, you’ll get a $4,000 bonus instead. Finally, if you’re not looking for a job but know someone who is, you can refer them to Hired and get a $1,337 bonus if they accept the job. Go sign up at Hired.com/JavaScriptJabber.]**[This episode is sponsored by Wijmo 5, a brand new generation of JavaScript controls. A pretty amazing line of HTML5 and JavaScript products for enterprise application development in that Wijmo 5 leverages ECMAScript 5 and each control ships with AngularJS directives. Check out the faster, lighter, and more mobile Wijmo 5.]**[This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is the provider I use to host all of my creations. All the shows are hosted there along with any other projects I come up with. Their user interface is simple and easy to use. Their support is excellent and their VPS’s are backed on Solid State Drives and are fast and responsive. Check them out at DigitalOcean.com. If you use the code JavaScriptJabber, you’ll get a $10 credit.] **CHUCK:  Hey everybody and welcome to episode 172 of the JavaScript Jabber Show. This week on our panel we have Joe Eames. JOE:  Hey, everybody. CHUCK:  Aimee Knight. AIMEE:  Hello. CHUCK:  I'm Charles Max Wood from DevChat.TV. Quick shout-out, if you're into Angular, we are putting on Angular Remote Conf. You can go check that out at AngularRemoteConf.com. We also have a special guest, and that's Jason Rhodes. JASON:  Hi there. CHUCK:  Do you want to introduce yourself? JASON:  Sure. My name's Jason as was said there. And I'm from Baltimore, Maryland. JavaScript developer, working for a company called SparkPost. CHUCK:  Never heard of it. JASON:  Oh yeah, no? [Chuckles] I think you've got a connection. Yeah, so you've probably heard of it if you've heard panelist Aimee talk, we are coworkers. We sit a few chairs away from each other when we're both in the office. JOE:  Who should we feel worse for, you or her? CHUCK:  [Laughs] JASON:  Definitely her, definitely her, yeah. I got her into this mess, so… AIMEE:  He did, sort of. [Laughs] JOE:  I just have one question. Does she have a lot of cat pictures at her desk? JASON:  Not really, not as many as you would think. AIMEE:  I have no cat… I'm not a cat lady. I have no cat pictures on my desk. JASON:  Just a cat stroller lady. AIMEE:  [Chuckles] That was totally my husband's doing. [Laughter] CHUCK:  Threw him right under the bus there. JASON:  [Chuckles] AIMEE:  Yup. JASON:  Other than that, I have been organizing a Baltimore chapter of NodeSchool for about a little over a year. And just recently also I started co-organizing a JavaScript meetup in Baltimore called charmCityJS. So, that keeps me pretty busy. JOE:  Wait, it's called what? JASON:  Well, so we have this really cute “nickname” for Baltimore. It's been around for a long time, called 'charm city'. CHUCK:  Nice. So, tell us a little bit about NodeSchool. JASON:  Sure. So, just upfront I'll say I didn't have anything to do with starting. That got started at a NodeConf about a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago now, where substack was giving a talk on streams at NodeConf and decided in his way… I think you've had him here on the show. In his way he decided to go all out and make a module for his talk where he was able to have people actually play with Node streams during the talk. And he made it in kind of a game fashion. You can open    up the command line and old-school DOS style keyboard     through the different commands, the different lessons. And then it would just do some kind of I/O checking to check the output of your file against what the answer should be and tell you if you were right or not, all during his 30-minute talk. And people got so into it that they decided they wanted more of it. I think it was Rod Vagg who abstracted out a part of it called Workshopper and was able to make that available open source for people to build on top of. And over time now, I think there's something like 35 different “official” Workshoppers on the website now and are all built on top of this system teaching all different Node and then also just general JavaScript concepts, all from the command line. And so, that was the original start. But then it branched out from there. And on the NodeUp podcast they talked about it. It's where I originally heard of it. And they started saying that they wanted people to in a decentralized way to start meetups around this idea where you're teaching people how to learn JavaScript on the command line together in a room. And a few people had done it. There weren't many chapters at the time and I got interested. So, I started one in Baltimore. We were one of the, I think there were maybe four or five at the time. And we started having events. And it was really, really popular. People were really interested in it. And it seemed to work really well. And so, I got really involved and just started thinking a lot about open source and education and how to teach JavaScript. And it's just been a fun, wild ride from there. CHUCK:  Interesting, So, when they call them 'Workshoppers', are they people that actually hold the workshops or design the workshops? JASON:  Yeah, the terminology is so funny because it gets confusing all over the place. The Workshopper is a tool you can use. CHUCK:  Oh. JASON:  To build a lesson. So, it just gives you the framework so that you have the menu and the checking of the answers. So, you just set up your lesson in a certain folder structure and you create your problems and your questions and your answers. And then it'll funnel everything through and make sure that it can check a person's answers against your correct answers and all that. So, that's what Workshopper is. So then, people have built lessons or courses I guess you could call them, on top of that, which are also sometimes called Workshoppers or workshops. So, the terminology is confusing. But those are things, like learning Node streams was the first one. And then the next one after that was just to learn Node itself. And since then we've been onto Web Audio and Babel and WebGL, promises, functional JavaScript, all sorts of stuff. CHUCK:  That actually sounds really cool. So then, somebody pulls the Workshopper thingie in and has the meetup and they… JASON:  Yeah. CHUCK:  Present and walk people through the stages or whatever? JASON:  Yeah. Our format has been pretty typical I think of how they've gone. We'll get a couple either called TAs or mentors to come and volunteer. And we usually do it for about four hours on a Saturday or Sunday. And we'll sit down and invite everyone in. And then we pair people up, explain how the thing works, and then we have them do some semblance of pair programming to work through it where one person has their computer closed, the other one has it open, they work through it together. And the mentors hover around to answer questions. [Everyone] does this typical cycle where the first 15, 20 minutes are really awkward and silent and people aren't really interacting with each other. And then they start to open up and then all of a sudden the room's full of buzzing and people are helping each other. And it usually ends up pretty great. We get a lot of good feedback about the format. CHUCK:  I'm kind of torn, because part of me wants to talk about the program and part of me wants to talk about what makes a great workshop, what makes a good lesson, mainly because I want this to be something… I just got back from a conference on podcasting and I've been thinking a lot about why I want to do podcasts. And ultimately, I want to learn something. I want to come away with this desire to explore more. And yeah, I really just want to feel like I really picked up something interesting. And teaching workshops is something that's really interesting to me. So, how do you format this Workshopper, this module I guess, that people are working through? And then how do you get your presentation to line up with it? Are there good tips for that? JASON:  Sure. I think the trick for us and for many people who have attempted this, I don't think it's unique to NodeSchool at all, but the balance between something that is valuable versus something that's too difficult for people who are maybe new. Even just trying to figure out what the target audience is, we try to be open to everyone. And some people are even trying to be more open than we are saying, “Literally anyone can come. And if you don't… we have lots of mentors, so if you don't know how to do programming at all then we'll just sit with you and help you get everything up and running.” But we did that the first couple of times and it was really exhausting to get people who don't know anything at all. And they felt frustrated. So, it's hard to find the balance. So, what we found is the learn Node course is a pretty good one. A little bit of a steep learning curve, but it's focusing on something that you can at least walk away from the course feeling like you learned something. It's definitely a huge advantage. Some of it isn’t even focused on Node. Like I heard the one about Express or the one about promises can be really good because people can dig into something and walk away with having learned something, which is really, really key to having them feel like it was worth their time to come for four hours on a weekend. So, that was huge. But ultimately, we found that getting away from focusing so hard on, “Did you learn Node.js?” we've focused on helping them also learn things about how to learn themselves, so skills about how to look up things on Google. So, maybe people didn't know about the Mozilla Developer Network and how it has a really great documentation site for JavaScript. So, we're able to point that out to them and get connected to resources and tools that they didn't know were available. And that's been another huge thing. Just our mentors have been so good at answering questions and pointing things out for people that they actually find them learning how to learn and how to interact with the open source community. And that's just been kind of an open door for why I think this format is so useful. AIMEE:  So, in your talk you talked about how you like to do the pair programming stuff. And I think, as I've been trying to learn how to learn, working with someone who is your equal or closer to your equal than someone way more advanced than you is actually extremely beneficial. I guess they call it peer learning, which is the style that you guys do there. And I think that's good because it forces you to not just listen to someone's explanation but to talk through it and form it into your own words. So, kind of, it sticks. JASON:  Yeah, for sure. I've seen even here at work, at SparkPost here, just when there's too big of a difference between two people, it's almost hard to remember how to explain something. We had a mentor come to one of our events who's brilliant. He came to our functional JavaScript meetup and was a mentor for that and was having a really hard time helping people who were new to functional JavaScript because he was just so advanced that he couldn't even explain it. He was just telling them how to do it, which wasn't helping them at all. So, we try to avoid that. But yeah, to your point Aimee, one thing we do is when we have people sign up, we have them identify a three or four-point scale about how comfortable they are with JavaScript or are they coming in from another programming language, or at they totally new. And then we have someone sitting at the door who has that list with them checking people in. And we give people colored name tags based on the group that they self-identified with. What's funny is they usually forget that they already self-identified so they're confused when I tell them to pair up with somebody who has the same color name tag. They're very confused. “How do you know what my JavaScript level is?” But it's because you already told us. So, that's worked out really well to get people close to where they might self-identify so they can pair up with the right people. AIMEE:  Kind of on a separate note, too, the other thing I really like about it is for somebody who's new to something like this, so I noticed your workshops aren't necessarily geared to beginner programmers, just people new to Node. But just the format of the lessons, I know I feel like I learn better being closer to the metal I guess you could say. JASON:  [Chuckles] AIMEE:  Like I'm actually writing code as opposed to watching a video and there are portions of code already filled out for me and I'm just filling in the blanks. I like having my editor open and doing something like that. JASON:  Yeah, for sure. That's definitely an advantage and a disadvantage, because some people get overwhelmed by it. So, the very new beginner has some trouble with that. But yeah, I think things like Khan Academy and some of the other ones do a pretty good job of bridging that gap, trying to find a good balance in between of where you're comfortable with, whether you're just comfortable reading something, watching a tutorial, or coming to something like NodeSchool where you can really get your hands dirty with something. That is helpful. It's why it's also helpful to come back. We try to have these events and redo the same lessons and we invite people to come back a second time and do it again. We haven't had a lot of luck with that. People I think, think that once they've done it, they've done it. But I think the idea is that we can advertise to the same groups of people and get them to come back, because at the second or third time they're going through it, they'll learn even more because they're prepared to actually dig into it and actually practice, right? Keep practicing the same skills. CHUCK:  So, let's say that I decide I want to pull together a NodeSchool meetup in my area. JASON:  Yeah. CHUCK:  What kinds of things should I be doing to get started? JASON:  Getting involved with a little bit with the community is a big help, because everyone's just so, so eager to help. I put up a GitHub thread when I started mine and just started asking questions. And people from all over the country started jumping in that I'd never met and answering, telling me what their experiences had been. So, that's definitely, if you go to NodeSchool.io, that's where their main website is. And there's a GitHub organization. And there's instructions right there on how to start your own chapter, if you want to jump right in. If you don't want to jump all the way in, you just want to look around, you can just look at that website. You can ask some questions. There's an organizers repo. So, that's GitHub.com/NodeSchool/organizers and you can take a look there and just ask questions right on the repo about anything you might be confused about or worried about. And everyone is really, really helpful. So, that was one thing I really loved about getting started. So, that's a really great place to start. Other than that, it's just a matter of if you can find more than one person in your area to help, I would recommend that. I did it mostly myself and it was fine. But you can burn out pretty fast on it. So, finding someone else who might be interested in helping you get started would also be a good idea as you jump into it. AIMEE:  A lot of different organizations, I guess there are Rails Girls and RailsBridge, they try to target minority groups. JASON:  Yeah. AIMEE:  I think NodeSchool is very similar in what it's doing but it doesn't have that emphasis. That did not deter me at all from attending, but I'm curious if you've heard of anyone, any feedback that you've gotten that maybe it does. JASON:  Yeah, we haven't gotten any specific feedback. But the feedback is in the room in the sense that our attendees are not too diverse. So, we've talked about it. I've talked to people who mentor with me and talked to people who are helping me to organize the charmCityJS meetup, because we're starting to combine those two things together a little bit here in Baltimore. And just, how can we do a better job at that? And we haven't come up with many awesome answers, which is I think why the ones that really focus in like the ones you mentioned, they have an easier time because it's obvious that they're focusing on that. And so, it's obvious that they're creating a space that those people are welcome in, that anyone's welcome in, right? But that especially a specific group that might feel like they aren't welcome in a traditional programming setting. And so, it's harder when you are targeting everyone, it's harder to convey that message that, “Yes, this is a safe space. This is a place that we're trying to make welcome for everyone.” And so, how do you communicate that message? And so, we've just been talking about ways to advertise out of our normal group. Like right now, a lot of my advertising for my events is on my Twitter feed. And the people who I follow and who follow me tend to be people who are like me. So, how do we break out of that? Maybe advertise on bulletin boards and local universities, community centers. How do we just get the word out that we want to engage with everyone? But the easiest people to engage with are the people that you already interact with in your regular social circles. So, we're trying to brainstorm ways we can break out of our regular social circles and get the word out that this is a free, open, inclusive event that should be available to anyone who wants to learn anything about programming, especially Node. AIMEE:  That makes sense. So, we've talked before I think about this. What have you learned as a developer or as you're mentoring people, from watching them learn? How has that helped you? JASON:  I'll say, even before I say what I learned, just that it's just so fun even outside of practical learnings. Every mentor I've ever talked to, after spending four hours walking around answering questions, they're more energized than any other developer I've seen after four hours of doing anything else. Like kind of the conference buzz, but even more so just being able to explain things and teach people and watch them as they start to get things together, it's really, really energizing and inspiring. So, I would say just number one, it's super fun. I've had a lot of fun doing it myself. As far as learning goes, I think it's just a neat way to brush up on the fundamentals that it's easy to forget about when you're in your day-to-day job. You're often solving really specific problems at work. And so, when you take a step back and you look at the functional JavaScript or the streams course, when you go through those lessons to prepare, like, “Oh, right. I forgot that this existed,” or, “I forgot how to do this.” And now, when I'm back at work, I can remember, “Oh, I just brushed up on streams. Now, I have that ready and closer in my memory.” I'm able to pull from that when I need it. So, that's been nice, too. JOE:  So, if you want to organize but you don't necessarily want to be an instructor, is that possible? JASON:  Yeah. JOE:   You don't want to be a mentor I guess. JASON:  Yeah, for sure. I think it's easier to find mentors than it is to find organizers. So, I think you could put that call out. To be quite honest, I don't get a chance to do a ton of mentoring at the events myself anyway, because I'm running around making sure everyone has what they need, making sure snacks are put out, making sure we're on time for breaks. So, you can definitely do that. If you want to organize and not be in front of people much at all, which I think there are people who would be good at that, I think that's something that you could easily do, too. You may just want to find someone else who's willing to do the emcee duties, standing in front of everyone, welcoming them, maybe explaining the event, wrapping up at the end. That would probably be a good idea if you don't really, if you don't feel comfortable doing that. But you could still do all the event organization, getting the location down, putting up the registration page, advertising, all that stuff is really necessary. And splitting those up between two people is I think would be a great idea. JOE:  So, what about time commitment and effort. How big of a deal is it to put one on? JASON:  It's pretty big. It's probably similar to most meetups, if you're trying to organize a meetup. One way I got around that was I didn't commit right away to an every month schedule. I said we would do one every other month. And so, that helped a lot. And so, I have a month off to catch my breath and see what I learned from the last one, and then start planning for the next one. The other challenge compared to other meetups, one of the other challenges I would say, is with a meetup you have this idea of momentum. Or with any of that really, conferences, meetups, where if someone comes and has a great time, they are more inclined to come again. And they're more inclined to come again and invite their friends. So yeah, kind of a snowball effect where you don't have everyone come back but you do have a chunk of people who come back and bring more people. And so, you're not trying to start from zero all the time. Whereas with an event that pitches itself as a school or course, there's the sense like I already mentioned of completion, where you do it once and you think you're done. You don't really pay attention to any marketing that you see about it after that. And so, we end up dredging the city for a new batch of attendees for every event that we have, which is a little bit exhausting. We have to plan for that and be ready for that and know that you're not going to just be able to rely on people coming back, because most of them don't despite the fact that I think that it would be beneficial for them to do so. And so, you need to come up with strategies about how to get around that. And the main one that we've come up with, which is why we're doing what we're doing, we took a small hiatus for NodeSchool right now while we got this charmCityJS JavaScript meetup I've been running. There's a lot of excitement around JavaScript in the community. And they want to hear things. They want a regular event. And NodeSchool really couldn't provide that. And so, we started a JavaScript meetup where we have 10 to 15, 20-minute talks. We do three or four a night. And we have that every month the same night. And we have a consistency and a regularity to it. And we're building up a pretty nice group of people who do have that momentum. They come back. They invite their friends. And so, now we have a captive audience. And we can say, “Alright, we have a NodeSchool event coming up this Saturday. Why don't you guys all help us spread the word and tell your friends about it.” And hey, you're here at this meetup. You have a little bit of time. It's not just a tweet. We don't have one second to catch your eye, we can actually explain to you that coming back for a second or third time is beneficial, and here's why. So, we have a little bit more of a stream of people that we can push into our events. And we haven't had a chance to test that out yet. We're planning our next NodeSchool event for this fall where we'll be able to start doing that with the two audiences bleeding over into each other. And I think that's going to be, at least that's our latest idea for how to combat that effect. JOE:  Makes sense. So, what about the experience level of the topics that are taught? Do you end up only getting people that are absolute beginners or is it useful for people that are more advanced, for developers that are more advanced, with more experience? JASON:  Yeah. That's a good question. We started off with just doing the, it's called 'learn you the Node for much win' I think, some sort of weird title like that. But it's the workshop lesson that teaches you just Node.js. And we started just doing that one for a couple of events. And then we came across this problem where we wanted to be able to appeal to people who maybe were interested in the more advanced topics. And so, we started doing two at a time. And I honestly think that we could probably do up to three or four, even, in any one event. The reason being is you don't really have to have mentors who have… like we were worried that all of the TA/mentors would need to have gone through all of the individual lessons of every course. So, say the functional JavaScript course has 15 lessons and each one has 15 lessons. And that takes up a lot of time for every mentor to be able to be prepared. But we've discovered that just having someone who knows JavaScript a little bit better than you and can sit down and help you think through the problem is really enough. So, it's nice if you can go through at least the first chunk of each course that we're going to be offering for that event. But you don't really have to be an expert. You don't have to go through the whole entire thing. You just have to be there and be willing to help people think through how to debug a problem. That's really the most useful asset. And so, with that kind of thinking in place, we're able to offer multiple lessons at once. And so, we can have people self-identify which one they want to sign up for when they sign up. And then we offer those, if we have enough people who have signed up for them. And that gives us a way to have multiple streams of activity happening all at once. And that's worked out pretty well for us. And I've actually seen other people in other chapters, which there are I think something like 150 chapters all over the world right now, and I've seen that working for a lot of them. So, that's where we are right now. JOE:  That's a lot of chapters. JASON:  Yeah. And those are the ones that we know about. I think there are only 130 that are listed on our website. If you start a chapter, you can just submit a pull request to the GitHub page to put your name and information in a JSON file and then it ends up on a chart up on the website. And so, NodeSchool.io/chapters.html I think is the page. It's a static generated site. But it has I think something like 130 there right now all over the world. But there's a lot that don't submit the pull request, that don't tell us about it. And so, there's quite a few. JOE:  So, is the community tight? Does the NodeSchool community actually communicate a lot? JASON:  It's a very decentralized organization style in that weird ambivalent sense. So, we share with each other a lot of times what's going on. We'll start threads on GitHub pages and have conversations through that. There's also, if you've heard of Gitter, the chat room that hooks up to GitHub. JOE:  Yup. JASON:  It's like a UI on top of an IRC style. It's struggling I think to compete with Slack now. But there's a Gitter room on the GitHub NodeSchool. People talk in there and share things. But it doesn't… I wouldn't say we're tight because we don't… there's not like a NodeSchool conference. There are no meta events where multiple chapters get together. It hasn't happened yet. And so, we just are all fending on our own and creating our own events and experimenting and looking for ways to share that backup stream in a decentralized Git model I guess you might say in a nerdy way. AIMEE:  So, speaking of the member of organizations, was it last week that I saw tweeted that it got deleted? Did you follow that? How exactly did that happen? JASON:  Yeah. AIMEE:  Because it's not exactly an easy thing to go about deleting a repo. [Chuckles] JASON:  Yeah, it wasn't a repo. It was an organization. AIMEE:  Okay. JASON:  The whole organization disappeared overnight. So, Max Ogden has been one of the biggest contributors to getting everything off the ground once actually the first few lessons got going. Max was one of the big proponents about, of us all starting chapters and keeping them decentralized. There was some talk at one point about creating a foundation or creating some sort of official documentation about how to start a chapter. And I think he and some other people, myself included, resisted that just because it ended up making it into something that it didn’t really need to be. But the flip-side of that coin is what we would do when we wanted to start a chapter is you would just start a GitHub thread saying you wanted to start a chapter in Sheboygan or wherever you wanted to start a chapter. And it would just make you an owner of the organization. And then you could invite your other co-organizers and start a sub-repo on the NodeSchool organization. And they have a DNS setup so that you would automatically have a website for your chapter at NodeSchool.io/<the name of your repo>. And it was great. It was a really nice, easy simple workflow. But the flip-side is everybody has a lot of power. And somebody, we think it was an accident, we're not sure, but somebody accidentally deleted the entire organization. So, all the Workshoppers, all the chapters, all the websites, everything was gone. Luckily Max and some others have some friends at GitHub who were willing to jump in and help. Otherwise, I think it would have been a lot worse. But they were able to recover everything. So, they weren't able to recover the relationships between the repos, who forked what and all that. And there are some other things that they had to manually reset and we're still looking through that. Like for instance, when I woke up that morning I was subscribed to GitHub notifications for 150 repos all of a sudden. And so, my email inbox was flooded with emails. So, we had to go through and figure out a way to un-watch and all that. But that's the two-edged sword of having total decentralization and everyone being equal versus now when they restarted it they only made five or six people owners and everyone else was just admin on a certain repo and trying to make sure this doesn't happen again and still give people autonomy. And that's always a delicate balance. I think we're just learning how to do that. AIMEE:  Seems much smarter. [Chuckles] JASON:  [Chuckles] CHUCK:  Is there anything else we should go over before we jump into our picks? JASON:  Yeah. I think the only other thing that I want to just reinforce or say or whatever is just that I really do think that this model teaches more than just the topics that you want to learn. So, more so than something like Codecademy where you're going to jump into that at home when you're going to learn about JavaScript and then you're going to leave. This I think has this interesting side-effect of really teaching you how to be a member of an open source community. We had a survey that we give out at the end of each of our events. And we have a guy who's coming back every time. And every single time he fills up this survey, he says he doesn't like the pair programming. He likes everything about the event, but he doesn't like the pair programming. The way his brain works is that he likes to work on things by himself. And we just had a talk about how we're not going to change that because that is how your brain works. And in my opinion, if you want to take advantage of things that open source gives us like NodeSchool Workshoppers and events and free things like that, it's a really good idea to jump in and understand how open source works. And one of the ways it works is by people working together. And so, if you want to go home and do the workshop course by yourself, you can do that. It's totally free. You can just grab it, do it by yourself at home. If you coming to an event that I run at least, part of what I want you to take away from that is learning how to collaborate with someone next to you, learning how to maybe answer someone else's questions, and being able to understand that, “Hey, this JavaScript community thing is real. It exists. It spans all over the country.” We talk about the other events sometimes, let people know that this is something that's happening all over the world and that there's a community out there. If you have questions, you can ask them, you can get involved. And it's more than just learning JavaScript. It's learning about what that community is and how to contribute to it. And so, we're hoping that we're doing a little bit of good on that side as well. CHUCK:  Alright, awesome. Before we get to picks, I want to take some time to thank our silver sponsors.[This episode is sponsored by TrackJS. Let's face it. Errors cost you money. You lose customers, server resources and time to them. Wouldn't it be nice if someone told you when and how they happen so you could fix them before they cost you big time? You may have this on your backend application code, but what about your frontend JavaScript? It's time to check out TrackJS. It tracks errors and usage and helps you find bugs before your customers even report them. Go check them out at TrackJS.com.]**[This episode is sponsored by Code School. Code School is an online learning destination for existing and aspiring developers that teaches through entertaining content. They provide immersive video lessons with in-browser challenges, which means that each course has a unique theme and storyline and feels much more like a game. Whether you've been programming for a long time or have only just begun, Code School has something for everyone. You can master Ruby on Rails or JavaScript as well as Git, HTML, CSS, and iOS. And more than a million people around the world use Code School to improve their development skills by learning or doing. You can sign up at CodeSchool.com/JavaScriptJabber.] **CHUCK:  Joe, do you have some picks for us? JOE:  You betcha. I'm going to have two picks today. The first one… actually, three. This one is in honor of Aimee. I love the show Better Off Ted. AIMEE:  [Chuckles] JOE:  It's an awesome freaking show. And it was only on for two seasons or something like that, cut before its time, just a fantastic show. So, there's an episode in Better Off Ted when the company wants to encourage people to express their personality but doesn't necessarily want them to express a personality that they don't approve with. So, they assign every person randomly one of three personalities. And they decorate their cubicle for them. And one of them is cats. AIMEE:  [Laughs] Oh no, I'm not a cat lady. [Laughter] AIMEE:  Oh, god. JOE:  And so, I'm not saying you are a cat lady. AIMEE:  [Laughs] JOE:  It just reminded me of that when we were talking about decorating, having your cubicle decorated. Anyway, yeah, cats and people who like cats. And it's just really the show. I like the show. It's a great show. AIMEE:  Oh, god. Wait for my pick coming up. So, my husband and I's fifth anniversary is coming up. And he is surprising me with something. I don't know what it is. But he has asked for a cat wheel. That is what he wants me to get for our fifth year anniversary. CHUCK:  Like a hamster wheel for a cat? AIMEE: It is like a $300 wheel for a cat. JOE:  Oh my gosh. AIMEE:  Yes. JASON:  What? AIMEE:  I know. [Laughs] CHUCK:  Hook it to a generator. Then you're set for the zombie apocalypse. JOE:  Yep. AIMEE:  I think the problem is that I've been so busy programming that my husband is just really deprived and he's desperate for some time with someone. And the cat is the next best thing. CHUCK:  [Laughs] AIMEE:  Anyways, I'm interrupting your picks. So, sorry. JOE:  It's no problem. So then, I also want to pick That Conference. I'm going to be out there in… CHUCK:  Which conference? JOE:  That Conference. CHUCK:  That Conference. [Laughter] CHUCK:  Not This Conference. JOE:  I'm going to be out there in just a short amount of time. And I'm really excited to go and be out there and talk. It's my favorite conference. A lot of it's because of the location. Having a conference that's in an indoor water park is just awesome. But there are also a lot of other things to love about it, such as bacon. So, that's my other pick, is That Conference. And then lastly I want to remind, I've said this before but I'm doing some training for Primitive.io here in a short amount of time, like a couple of months, month and a half. And so, if you're interested, head to Primitive.io and sign up. That's it. CHUCK:  Alright. Aimee, what are your picks? AIMEE:  Okay. So, my first pick, I'm going to help out Jamison here and I'm going to pick React Rally. It's in August, or it's at the end of this month, August 24th and 25th in Salt Lake City. So, you should definitely, if you're in the area, go. Or you should look at getting tickets and flying out there to go. So, that is my first pick. And my second pick, we just got done recording another podcast about Falcor which I feel like most people probably are familiar with at this point. But if you're not, there are some YouTube, I guess you could call them tutorials. I think there are 10 of them. You should check that out. And I'm going to say by the time that this episode is out, that there will be an actual Falcor beta release for everyone to check out by then. So, you should take a look. CHUCK:  Very cool. So, I've got a few picks. This last weekend I was in Fort Worth and I just want to shout out to the gentlemen that I had dinner with while I was there, who listen to the show, John and Proctor. They've been listening to Ruby Rogues also for a long time. They set all that up and it was a lot of fun just to go and eat way more meat than is healthy for you, because we were in Texas. And just chat and have a good time and figure out what people are thinking about and worried about and doing. And anyway, I really, really enjoyed it. Also, I've been thinking for a while that I want to see what the listeners think of the show. And so, I'm going to set something up so that you can actually take 15 minutes, I'll get to know you a little bit which is something that I enjoy doing, and also figure out what you like about the show, what you don't like about the show, what it means to you, whether this is your way of keeping up on what's going on in JavaScript or just a place to see if there's new stuff to learn, or if we just fill time while you're in the car. Anything like that, I've heard all of those things about various shows. So, just to find out what we're doing and what's working and what we can do to be a better show for you. So, if you go to JavaScriptJabber.com/15minutes, that's 15 minutes all smooshed together with no spaces, underscores, or anything else, it will take you to a page where you can schedule 15 minutes of my time so we can talk. And we'll just do that over Skype. So anyway, I appreciate you taking the time and go ahead and get on my schedule. So finally, my last pick, if you don't know I have a mastermind group that we record the calls and we post them as a podcast every week, called Entreprogrammers. And we're putting together a retreat. We figured out about what it would cost, and that's what we're charging you. So, if you are interested in coming and hanging out with myself, Derick Bailey who was on a week or two ago, John Sonmez who wrote 'Soft Skills' (he's also been on the show), and Josh Earl who's another friend of ours, we're going to be out there. We're going to be talking business and code and stuff. So, if you want to come be part of that for a few days, this is in the middle of October. I think it's the 14th through the 16th, but don't quote me on that. You can go find out more if you go to Entreprogrammers.com/retreat2015. We're also taking a few days, just the four of us, to do a more in-depth retreat with each other. But we want to help other people who are trying to do business or do code. So, if you're interested in that, go check it out. There are only 10 spots. So, if you want to come, you got to go and sign up pretty fast. So anyway, that's what we got there. Jason, what are your picks? JASON:  Yeah, so I'll start saying two of my co-workers, Jason Nancy along with my friend Bryce, got me shamefully addicted to an incredibly nerdy card game called Love Letter, if you've ever heard of it. There's a bunch of different versions of it. The original one has characters that are from medieval times. But I don't play many card games. I don't play. I definitely don't play any of the role-playing games, never have. Just never got into it. But this is just a really, it's a quick card game. You can play around in five minutes. And there's a lot of strategy around it. And it's called Love Letter. There's a bunch of editions and it's super fun. So, if you want to get addicted to a fun card game, I would check it out. I'll plug charmCityJS one more time and just say if you're in the Baltimore area ever, if you live around there for sure, or even if you're just traveling through, get in touch with me. We'd love to have you come to an event or speak at an event, whether it's a NodeSchool event or just a meetup for JavaScript. I'd love to hear from you. And then the last one, it's kind of old. But I'm just, I'm still buzzing about it. Months ago, I saw ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and I keep going back to it, can't get it out of my head. So, if you haven't seen it by now, please, please go see it, because it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. So, those are mine. CHUCK:  Alright. Well, thanks for coming, Jason. That was fun. JASON:  Yeah, thanks for having me. It was great to be here.[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net.]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN. Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit CacheFly.com to learn more.]**[Do you wish you could be part of the discussion on JavaScript Jabber? Do you have a burning question for one of our guests? Now you can join the action at our membership forum. You can sign up at JavaScriptJabber.com/Jabber and there you can join discussions with the regular panelists and our guests.] **[End of podcast]**

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