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A day in SpaceCityJS and Houston Hackathon


Recently I had the opportunity to visit SpaceCity JS in Houston. Spacecity JS is a conference in Houston focused on JavaScript and the web platform,organized by the folks from other Houston based developer gorups like houston.js, Node JS Houston, and other groups.

It was a little different from the conferences I generally attend. A bit more open but still being very developer oriented. A small time line on how things happened.


Event Date: 14th May,2016
Place: Houston, TMCx

TimeStream:

The day started with registration and breakfast at the TMC Innovation Center in houston. We all started with cups of coffee and breakfast. Then Evan Morikawa from Nylas N1 team took the stage and talked about how they used electron and react to build N1. Also he emphasized a lot on how chrome devtools helped in the process with performance profiling and getting the buttery smooth experience we get from N1(https://twitter.com/E0M/status/731494334734979072).
Evan Morikawa on how they built N1 using electron and react
Then Kent Dodds took the stage to talk about how you can manage opensource projects effectively and efficiently. He talked about a lot of best practices and the tools we can use. Including travis, github, eslint to working with community. But what stood out for me is “your project is not opensource until it has a license” and you should always have a CONTRIBUTING.md. Thanks for clarifying that to everyone Kent.(http://slides.com/kentcdodds/manage-oss)

After that we had Kirsten Hunter talk about how you can work with fitbit api and play with your health data.Followed by Collin Estes from NASA. HE talked in depth on how NASA moved from legacy .net applications to using more opensource softwares like nodejs.

Lou Huang talked about how participating in civic hackathons can make an impact. And of course their awesome streetmix app.


It is always fun and interesting to hear from other developers how they utilize opensource. Some really interesting points I liked are
"So many ways to contribute to #opensource & only one is coding" - Chris Oakman

"Open source is going to take us to Mars" - Collin Estes
After that I headed out to Houston Hackathon 

Where I managed to cook up this

And

Overall it was a nice experience. And I got to build another app too in webRTC! Yay!

Conclusion: This was a refreshing experience. The conference was relatively cozy and many people knew each other, bringing the sense of a close knit "community". It seemed also like a good place for government officials to meet and talk as well. That sense was bolstered in Houston Hackathon as in the judging panel I did see quite a few officials. Overall I liked my experience there, and it was refreshing to hear what the startups like Nylas as well as agencies like NASA are utilizing Opensource for.

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