Donovan Buck Leads NodeBots Session at JSConf


A portrait image of Donovan Buck.

Donovan Buck, partner and vice president of software engineering, helped organize and lead the NodeBots session at JSConf, the premier organization of JavaScript conferences worldwide, from August 12-14 in Carlsbad, CA.

The sold-out conference offered 40 speakers in two tracks (SitePen and HPE) over the course of two days.

As a leader of the NodeBots session, Buck drew on his experience with Johnny-Five, a Robotics and IoT platform, and his contributions to the book JavaScript Robotics: Building NodeBots with Johnny-Five, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and BeagleBone. He's been involved with JSConf since 2014.

"It started with me making code contributions to an open-source JavaScript robotics framework, Johnny-Five," said Buck. "Then using that framework I built a 6-legged robot entirely in JavaScript. I traveled around a lot (NYC, Canada, Colombia, etc) giving talks on that robot and got to know a lot of the organizers. In 2014, I was invited to RobotsConf (a spinoff of JSConf) as a JS expert, and I've been helping with the JS robotics workshops at JSConf ever since."

The JavaScript community continues to grow as experts explore ways to use the scripting language beyond the web.

"In hardware, it's an amazingly good fit due to its event-driven nature," said Buck. "Think about how we might click a link on a web page, and then execute some code to make something happen, like open a lightbox. That model works great with hardware. When a user flips a switch, I want to turn on a light. Most languages have clumsy event mechanisms that are papered on. With JavaScript, it's seamless. The same goes for handling asynchronous behavior. Other languages can do it with add-on libraries, but with JS you have multiple ways of expressing asynchronicity already built into the language."

About JSConf Events

According to its website, "JSConf is the only conference where you can learn how to push your favorite language beyond the confines of the browser and into robots, and video games."

The JSConf family of events continues to grow each year, hosting conferences across the United States, the EU, and in other countries worldwide including Australia, Korea, Iceland, and China.

JSConf events are unique in that they are less focused on developing a technical understanding of JavaScript and focus more on exploring new ways to utilize the scripting language beyond the web – for robots and more.

"We make events that aren't from the standard conference playbook because we believe you (attendees, speakers, and sponsors) deserve more than that," reads the JSConf website. "We focus on two things, pushing the boundaries of what is thought to be conceivable with JS and providing exceptional human social activities that encourage community and friendship building ... Our mission is to make the technology community better, more diverse, and more human; in short, we just want to make things better."