- Node.js -

Italian conference - V edition

October 22nd 2016 - Desenzano (BS)

A quick chat with Bryan Hughes

Early bird tickets are on sale now, hurry up, you’ve been warned 😛


“Community – meaning for me ‘nurturing human connection’ — is our survival. We humans wither outside of community. It isn’t a luxury, a nice thing; community is essential to our well being.”

Frances Moore Lappe 


Brian  Let’s continue our interview series: it’s time for our keynote speaker:  Bryan Hughes

He is among  the most influential person in the Node.js project.He has been coding for about 20 years and he is a Node.js Engineer at Microsoft.


Other than that, he is an active member of the Node.js Inclusivity Working Group and the Node.js Technical Steering Committee, creator of Raspi IO, a Raspberry Pi plugin for the Johnny-Five JavaScript robotics library.

Outside of tech, Bryan is an amateur photographer, a once upon a time pianist, and a wine aficionado.


Hi Bryan,  could you give us a quick introduction of your presentation?

I’m going to be talking about the Node.js community and how it evolved, what the core beliefs of it are, and where I see it going.


What’s your current music album on repeat?

An oddly titled album called “People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World” by “Andrew Jackson Jihad.”


Is there a connection between philosophy and coding?

I don’t think there’s a connection between philosophy and the actual act of coding. That said, coding is only a small part of being a developer, and the much bigger, more important part of of being a developer is interacting with other people. Philosophy is fundamentally the study of existence, and human existence is ultimately about the connections we make with other people.


Who is/are your tech heroes/mentors?

My biggest tech hero/mentor is Raquel Vélez, aka rockbot. It was because of her that I got involved in NodeBots and the Node.js community, and first learned how important community is as a developer. She also inspires me to be the best person I can be, and to consider the human context of being a developer, and that helping others to succeed is the most noble thing we can do.


What are the best books/resources about nodejs and javascript in general?

Hah, so I’m probably one of the worst people to ask this question, as I’ve never actually read a book on JavaScript, other than a few parts of JavaScript: The Good Parts which I didn’t like. I hear that Kyle Simpson’s You Don’t Know JavaScript books are really good though.


One thing you love of JavaScript, and one thing you hate/dislike?

My favorite thing is first class functions. Although simple and often overlooked, this language feature defines pretty much everything about how we use JavaScript.

The thing I dislike the most would probably be automatic semicolon insertion. As a feature designed to make it easier to program JavaScript, it sure creates a lot of confusion and makes things harder. As an exercise to the reader, consider this code:




It returns undefined, not 10, because of automatic semicolon insertion, even though we used a semicolon after the 10! The problem of automatic semicolon insertion is such that saying “I’ll be consistent and always/never use semicolons” doesn’t actually avoid running into problems with how automatic semicolon insertion works, and as developers we have to be ever vigilant to make sure we don’t get tripped up by it, regardless of our opinions on whether or not we should use semicolons


What’s your opinion about type checking in JavaScript (e.g. Flow)?

I work in TypeScript every day, and I love it!

What’s your setup (laptop, OS, editor, etc.)?

Macbook Pro, OS X El Capitan, and Visual Studio Code. Ask me about Visual Studio Code sometime, I’ll talk your ear off!


Thanks for the chatting Bryan, see you in Desenzano this November!