“I love it when a plan comes together!”, this is the catch-phrase I’d use to define the first ever London Node.js Unconference event we co-hosted with our friends from RecWorks last night at our Headquarters.

London's First Node.js UnconferenceSome very interesting things are happening in the Node.js ecosystem, so we decided to gather ~30 smart and passionate developers to share, learn and meet others in the community, all while eating pizza and having a beer. Of course, we let them decide the most appealing topics to discuss (it wouldn’t be an Unconference otherwise) and let them loose on the mic.

It didn’t take long at all for us to get going – discussions covered topics across the full stack, from the pros and cons of developing isomorphic applications, to alternative languages that can transpile to Javascript (read: TypeScript, CoffeeScript), and the evergreen debate around Angular and React.

The Unconference format was ideal to put some ideas to the test, so while Node and its ecosystem were the main topics for the night we had the chance to expand on another big piece of our technical stack: Docker and Kubernetes.

As our products evolved over time our development environment also went through multiple changes. We initially started with Vagrant boxes running Docker containers but we soon discovered our laptops were not powerful enough to run several VMs. We then moved to Docker running on our machines and connecting to the staging environment for other services, but the dev environment was not exactly matching production.

Now we are thinking about going the extra mile and replicating the production environment locally by running a Kubernetes cluster on the development machine, and interestingly enough we found out we are not alone in doing so and we exchanged many ideas around the pros and cons of such an approach.

There was no shortage of debate and discussion as both lingered in the breakout space in between sessions and continued at the pub later on – the true KPI of Unconference success!

Developments and innovation in tech rely heavily on a community of skilled and enthusiastic people sharing what they do and how they do it – long before TedTalks, there were online developer forums where like minded developers posted their problems and fixes. No other sector can claim the term ‘community’ more than ours and we look forward to hosting more of these events in the future. I hope to see you at the next one.

Piergiorgio ‘PG’ Niero

Piergiorgio ‘PG’ Niero is Head of Engineering at SuperAwesome.

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