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My first time at JSConf Budapest, how was it?

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Sharing my thoughts and experience on attending JSConf Budapest for the first time

Last week I had the privilege of attending JSConf Budapest - an incredible experience with a magnificent team behind the program. This was also my first time to Hungary and as I had a few hours to kill over travel I wanted to share some of my experience for it:

JSConf Budapest - All The Goodness:

My (own) Regrets:

The People

I almost moved this item below to the list of things I regret not doing more of. I had a couple of random chats with the attendees, met new speaker friends and had great conversations after my talk. Everyone I talked to where nice and had a great time.

Make no mistake, this totally extends to the people of Budapest as well!

The Talks

The agenda was completely colorful in topics, ranging from brain waves audio in the browser by Braden Moore, to learning from failures by Isa Silveira and I loved every minute of it (when I was not practicing my fresh new talk version)

I learned that I really like these varied conference agendas where it’s not just 9 hours of technical deep dives of staring at IDEs but instead expose ourselves to topics that are outside of our comfort zone. JSHeroes is another conference that follows this.

A side note on the agenda: I was stoked that we had talks on Security, Accessibility, Performance and Testing - all of which are cross-cutting concerns that are usually missed out of in our day to day engineering lives and other confs too.

The MC

The all-around fashionista Paul did a great job keeping things lightweight and rolling as he was orchestrating the whole 2 days on stage, phew!

Thanks to Paul, challenging the status-quo, he wished to make everyone feel acceptable in their shoes and appreciate for who they are. ❤️👏

I’m pretty sure too that Paul had the best socks at the conf.

Let’s send him hugs and wish him well for his upcoming talk at QueerJS Amsterdam which he also helps organize 🎉

The Conference

Starting out with the venue, in a place called Akvarium Klub and as you might have guessed already - yes, it’s a nightclub! More precisely, they actually host rock concerts there.

The atmosphere is quite intense, in a good way, and funny enough - speakers have a couple of quiet and ready-rooms all set up with mirrors, bathrooms, etc. Quite a thing!

This image doesn’t do it justice but here you go:

The conference organizers team had everything under control. I constantly saw them interact with speakers too during the day to make sure everyone feels well. If someone felt they’d go over or under time by a few minutes, they were super ok and making everyone feel comfortable and confident about their talks.

Daniel for instance, showed me a picture of a place called Yoda Cave in Iceland a few minutes before my talk, and OMG getting there is a life-goal now.

Malwine did a great job at capturing every speaker’s talk gist, follow up on her twitter profile to see all the artistic summaries ✨

Another personal highlight is perhaps this largest selfie I’ve ever taken 😆 with all of JSConf family!

The Mozilla Lounge

Mozilla supported the conference through setting up a lounge place where attendees could hang out in a bit more ease on sofas and watch the live video stream of the talks while getting some work done on their laptops.

It looks like Charlie Gerard was able to capture some great moments from Eva Ferreira’s talk on animation techniques in the browser

A PWA for Conference Agenda

I installed this progressive web application since day one of looking at the website, much earlier than the conference started and I can’t recommend this highly enough for conference organizers.

Wi-Fi or not, the agenda is right there. Also to note that the PWA is only the agenda schedule so it’s super on-point and handy!

JSConf Budapest Conference Agenda Progress Web App

The City

Budapest is pretty flat which I like, and the center area is quite big and extends outwards than just revolving around a specific area of focus. If you’re traveling with family (kids) then there’s so many things to do that it really surprised us!

Here are a few pictures:

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My Regrets

The following are some of my own personal regrets of things I wish would’ve run “better”. Don’t mistake that for the conference experience which was solid fun 👌

Short on time

I’ve been doing a lot of conferences recently and we didn’t have a proper family vacation so far this year so I took the opportunity to take my wife and my 5 year old kid with me.

The conference organizers were so kind to get them both tickets for the whole conference to make sure they’re not left out. Much appreciation and deep gratitude ❤️ My wife ended up wandering across the city with our kid and they both enjoyed every minute of it.

Having them travel with me always had me in a bit of guilt to get back to them when the conference day ends and so I missed out on dinner, conference party activities and such.

I also missed out on me and Ben’s selfie promise to have a ton of them. Ben’s a long time friend and also involved in organizing JSConf Budapest which meant he was also quite occupied with making sure everything runs smoothly. I guess it’s going to be next time for us Ben to make up for it! 🤗

Re-doing my slides last minute

9pm the evening before my talk on the second day my brain decided I need to re-write the talk contents a bit to add interesting npm security ecosystem insights that I’ve been researching and sharing about

Then of course used up the morning hours of the 2nd day to go through all the details, do some dry-runs and joined at noon, just in-time to stress out before my talk:

And yes, if you had a doubt, I still stress out before a talk. It happens to me more in conferences than in meetups but still takes its toll on me :)

Some moments from the talk below. I’d ❤️ love ❤️ to chat with you about open source security in general and more specifically in the space of Node.js and JavaScript so please give me a holla at @liran_tal 🙌


In closing words, I had such a great time and enjoyed the whole conference experience. Amazing job by the volunteers and organizers to run this event smoothly and with so much empathy for speakers and attendees alike. See you next year I hope ❤️🎉

Did you also attend JSConf Budapest? How did you like it?