Rock, Meats, JavaScript – BrazilJS 2015

BrazilJS audience

I just got back from a 4 day trip to Brazil and back to attend BrazilJS. I was humbled and very happy to give the opening keynote seeing that the closing was meant to be by Brendan Eich and Andreas Gal – so, no pressure.

The keynote

In my keynote, I asked for more harmony in our community, and more ownership of the future of JavaScript by those who use it in production.

Keynote time

For quite some while now, I am confused as to who we are serving as browser makers, standards writers and library creators. All of the excellent solutions we have seem to fall through the cracks somewhere when you see what goes live.

That’s why I wanted to remind the audience that whatever amazing, inspiring and clever thing they’ll hear about at the conference is theirs to take to fruition. We have too much frustration in our market, and too much trying to one-up one another instead of trying to solve problems and making the solutions easily and readily available. The slides are on Slideshare, and a video will become available soon.

About Brazil

There are a few things to remember when you are going to Brazil:

  • When people are excited about something, they are really excited about it. There’s a lot of passion.
  • Personal space is as rare as an affordable flat in central London – people will affectionately touch strangers and there is a lot of body language. If that’s not your thing, make it obvious!
  • You will eat your body weight in amazing meat and food is a social gathering, not just fuel. Thus, bring some time.
  • Everybody will apologise for their bad English before having a perfectly comprehensible conversation with you
  • People of all ages and backgrounds are into heavy music (rock, metal, hardcore…)

About the event

VR ride about the history of JavaScript

BrazilJS was a ridiculous attempt at creating the biggest JavaScript event with 1,300 people. And it was a 100% success at that. I am fascinated by the professionalism, the venue, the AV setup and all the things that were done for speakers and attendees alike. Here are just a few things that happened:

  • There was a very strong message about diversity and a sensible and enforced code of conduct. This should not be a surprise, but when you consider Brazilian culture and reputation (think Carnival) it takes pride and conviction in those matters to stand up for them the way the organisers did.
  • The AV setup was huge and worked fine. There were no glitches in the audio and every presentation was live translated from English to Brazilian Portuguese and vice versa. The translation crew did a great job and we as presenters should do more to support them. I will write a post soon about this.
  • Wireless was flaky, but available when you needed it. It is pretty ridiculous to assume in a country where connectivity isn’t cheap and over a thousand people with two devices each try to connect that you’d have a good connection. As a presenter, I never rely on availability – neither should you.
  • There was always enough coffee, snacks and even a huge cake celebrating JavaScript (made by the mom of one of the organisers – the cake, not JavaScript)
  • The overall theme was geek – as geek as it can get. The organisers dressed up as power rangers, in between talks we saw animated 90s TV series, there as a Virtual Reality ride covering the history of JavaScript built with Arduinos and there were old-school arcade machines and consoles to play with.
  • It was a single track conference over two days with lots of high-class speakers and very interesting topics.
  • As a speaker, everything was organised for me. We all took a hired bus from and to the venue and we had lunch catered for us.
  • The conference also had a minority/diversity scholarship program where people who couldn’t afford to come got a sponsored ticket. These people weren’t grandstanded or shown up but just became a part of the crowd. I was lucky to chat to a few and learned quite a few things.
  • The after party was a big “foot in mouth” moment for me as I kept speaking out against bands at those. However, in Brazil and choosing a band that covers lots of rock anthems, it very much worked. I never thought I see an inclusive, non-aggressive mosh pit and people stage diving at a JavaScript event – I was wrong.

action shot
Me, stagediving at the BrazilJS after party – photo by @orapouso

So, all I can say is thank you to everyone involved. This was a conference to remember and the enthusiasm of the people I met and talked to is a testament to how much this worked!

Personal/professional notes

BrazilJS was an interesting opportunity for me as I wanted to connect with my Microsoft colleagues in the country. I was amazed by how well-organised our participation was and loved the enthusiasm people had for us. Even when one of our other speakers couldn’t show up, we simply ran an impromptu Q&A on stage abut Edge. Instead of a sales booth we had technical evangelists at hand, who also helped translating. Quite a few people came to the booth to fix their web sites for Microsoft Edge’s standard compliant rendering. It’s fun to see when fixing things yields quick results.

Other short impressions:

  • I had no idea what a machine my colleague Jonathan Sampson is on stage. His talk in adventurous Portuguese had the audience in stitches and I was amazed by the well-structured content. I will pester him to re-record this in English.
  • Ju Gonçalves (@cyberglot) gave a great, detailed talk about reduce(). If you are a conference organiser, check her out as a new Speaker() option – she is now based in Copenhagen.
  • It was fun to catch up with Laurie Voss after a few years (we worked in Yahoo together) and it was great of him to point to his LGBTQ Slack group inviting people to learn more about that facet of diversity in our community.
  • It warmed me to see the Mozilla Brazil community still kicking butt. Warm, affectionate and knowledgable people like the ones you could meet at the booth there are the reason why I became a Mozillian in the first place.

And that’s that

Organisers on stage

Thank you for everyone involved. Thank you to everybody asking me lots of technical questions and giving non-filtered feedback. Thank you for showing that a lot of geeks can also be very human and warm. Thank you for embracing someone who doesn’t speak your language. I met quite a few people I need to follow up with and I even had a BBQ at the family of two of the attendees I met before I went to my plane back home. You rock!

Always bet on JavaScript cake

View full post on Christian Heilmann

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

BrazilJS Firefox OS Apps Hack Day: fun, games & JavaScript


Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A long way from where I live and work in Mountain View, California. BrazilJS—two intense, action-packed days of technology showmanship, conversation, and immersion in the exuberant developer culture of Brazil. And plenty of JavaScript, which sounds something like “Jhavascreep-chi” when pronounced in Brazilian Portuguese. The days begin early and end late, with plenty of speakers and schwag, followed by craft beers and caipirinhas, great quantities of meats, pastas, and savory things, consumed at long tables in large, group dinners at various churrascarias and restaurantes.

The venue for BrazilJS is the state of the art Teatro do Bourbon Country, a 21st century take on the old red movie palaces of the past, located in the heart of a thriving shopping mall in Brazil’s southernmost big city. Brendan Eich speaks about what’s ahead in JavasScript; Mozilla Research’s Dave Herman announces his upcoming new book, Effective JavaScript; and Michal Budzynski, of onGameStart and a developer on the Firefox OS team, shares some Polish hacky goodness and awesome t-shirt style along with the unexpected pleasures of HTML5 game development.

The Hack Day

On Saturday, September 1, about 100 web developers and translators join Mozilla and our generous hosts at ThoughtWorks Porto Alegre for the Firefox OS Apps Hack Day and Localization Sprint.

Our goal: introduce Firefox OS, Mozilla’s open source mobile operating system, and show developers how easy it is to start building mobile HTML5 apps for the Open Web. The Firefox OS phone hasn’t been released yet and won’t be available till 2013, which means there’s a huge opportunity for developers in Brazil and beyond to be part of the first wave of apps in Mozilla’s marketplace.

ThoughtWorks’ Porto Alegre offices are on the 14th floor of TechnoPUC, a technology research facility on the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). ThoughtWorks is a software development company with a mission and culture that resonated with us Mozillians. Here’s how they put it: “Amazing work for our clients is the front line, revolutionizing the way the industry works is a gradual effect, improving society through software is our long term goal.”

In Porto Alegre, ThoughtWorks is a magnet for talented and friendly developers and staff. They made us feel right at home early in the week, feeding us lunch and Internet signal in their open-floorplan office space. Huge thanks to Paulo Caroli, who invited us; Aurita Mugnaini, who took care of us; Glauber, Rafael, Luis, who helped us solve technical challenges; and everyone who said hello, served us coffee, and made us feel welcome.

Although it’s been about a year since the first Boot-to-Gecko repos began to appear on Github, it’s still early in the evolution of the Firefox OS. Development environments are challenging and desktop builds are tricky to install and require Linux-hacking skills that go beyond the basic web dev toolkit. But you can download Firefox Nightly, go to Tools->Web Developer-> Responsive Design, resize your browser window for the mobile phone, load the URL and get an idea of what your app will look like. Because HTML5 is here, and the Web is open.

Developers come to learn and to hack, and localizers, like the brothers Mauricio and Marcelo Araldi of Passo Fundo, come to help translate Mozilla Developer Network Apps documentation into Brazilian Portuguese. The morning kicks off with a welcome from Brendan Eich, followed by Fabio Magnoni, Brazilian evangelism rep and one-man roadshow in Portuguese. In the last few months Fabio has introduced the Firefox OS stack and Apps platform at a variety of conferences, workshops, meetups and trainings, from Campinas to Florianopolis, and from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre.

Apps hackers listening at BrazilJS Firefox OS Apps Hack Day

Next up: Matthew “Tofumatt” MacPherson, whose talk, “Apps are Boring, Games are Fun” really connects with the audience. Tofumatt shows some of the recent Mortar and WebGameStub tools and templates that make it easy to code simple time-wasting HTML5 web games to impress your friends and colleagues.

The rapid fire set of talks closes with an introduction to MDN localization by Janet Swisher, and a presentation by Yaso Córdova and Reinaldo Ferraz, who talked about the mission of the W3C and the Decoders challenge, a project for developers to build public benefit apps with open data.

By the time lunch sandwiches roll in, programmers are clustered into groups, sprawled across the well-lit open floor plan, spilling into conference rooms and quiet spaces for whiteboards and beanbags. They were writing code and sucking up bandwidth.

By late afternoon, snacks begin to appear, along with an awesome Firefox cake from the mom of Jaydson Gomes. But first the demos. Scores of developers fill our makeshift auditorium, the ThoughtWorks lunchroom.

The Apps Demos

We have some topnotch demos: Brenno Leal, a student from Campinas who’s trekked down to Porto Alegre to learn a little more about Firefox OS, opens with a simple tic tac toe game. Next up, a goofy Wikipedia app that has something to do with Brazillian slang and the coxinha, a savory chicken thigh snack – one of those apps where you have to be a local to get the joke.

A pair of ThoughtWorks programmers take Tofumatt’s simple shooter game to the next level – with flying pigs that turn into bacon when hit. Look out angry birds! Next up, a Pacman clone. Gabriel Moulter, another talented coder from ThoughtWorks submits his newly minted HTML5 game app, and another called Run Little Boy Run directly to the MDN Demo Derby. Full of win! A couple of coders from Porto Alegre’s Federal University demo a handy metrics conversion app – the kind of basic app every mobile market needs.

Husband and wife team Elias and Denise come to our Hack Day and code together – after taking the night bus from Florianopolis to find out what the Firefox OS is all about. Although they both work as programmers, this is their first venture in collaborative coding!

Firefox cake

We manage to cut enough Firefox cake to feed everyone and then it’s time to head home. Kudos to Porto Alegre for the good times and the mad skills. If you took photos we’d love to see them. (I had an SD card disaster and sadly my photos were lost – I’d love to see yours.)

The Marketplace & the Opportunity

If you started coding an app, don’t stop now. If you built one of the demos, please comment below and share your names. We’d like to follow up with all of you and get all those apps ready for the Marketplace. The open web needs you!

Send us your questions or ask them on the #OpenWebApps channel on, join the Mozilla Brazil community mailing, and as you hit certain milestones in development (code complete, ready for review) let us know. We can help with design and code review and we want to work with you to help make your mobile app succeed.


View full post on Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)