Last Saturday I attended Australia’s first organised NodeSchool. This event was held in the Australian Technology Park in Redfern, and simultaneously in Melbourne and Hobart.
The aim of the day was to introduce newbies to Node.js by going through some online tutorials. While the program is completely available online, by attending the workshop you could get help from experienced Node developers as well as meet other beginners.
We started the day simply – by programming a Hello World in Node.js, but it escalated quickly to be writing asynchronous programmes and modules.
Asynchronous programming was a semi-new concept for me. I had heard this term used before because Google Analytics has an asynchronous snippet, which means you can put the code high up in the page, and it won’t interrupt the loading of elements below it (i.e. slow the page load down). The fact that Node.js is asynchronous apparently means that it is very efficient.
The concept of Modules also made sense, because it just meant breaking up the logic into isolated files (or modules).
So while the new concepts made sense, I actually had a lot of trouble processing the idea of ‘callbacks’ (important part of Asynchronous concept). This was not explained super-well on the day – maybe because most people who were attending were advanced enough to already get this concept. By the end of the day, by asking lots of questions, I had a much better idea of the point of callbacks and how to use them. I think, though, that this article could have saved me a bit of time.
The other thing I learnt at Nodeschool? That Node developers are just as lovely and helpful as the Ruby community. I want to go to the Node.js meetups too! So many lovely people, never enough time.