We’re back from Node Interactive North America in Austin (and full of Texas BBQ, thanks to the lovely folks at Jo’s Coffee) and boy howdy, did we have a great time.

There was a lot to learn at this year’s NINA — if you missed a few sessions, you can see the recorded talks here! — but there were some consistent themes throughout the event that stood out.

Diversity

First off, diversity was a first-class citizen at NINA—well before the conference, Tracy Hinds, the education community manager of the Node.js Foundation, shared a long post on Medium outlining the community’s commitment to a safe, inclusive, respectful, and enjoyable event for all. Tuesday kicked off bright and early with the Diversity Coffee Talk (sponsored by IBM and Intel):

Tracy wrapped up the conference with an inspiring (both content- and graphics-wise!) overview of diversity in Node.

https://twitter.com/dshaw/status/804103761455153152

Putting the “Open” in Open Source

Several speakers talked eloquently about the joys of contributing to Node—warts and all. William Kapke detailed his (codefree!) push to make the open governance model truly open: open agendas, open meeting schedules, and open meeting minutes.

Rich Trott outlined how to read Node source for beginners, with a goal of turning Node beginners into Node contributors.

We also got a thorough “State of the Union” for Express by Doug Wilson. It was exciting watching the audience perk up when “Express 5” was mentioned (sorry no dates yet folks).

And IBM’s Rand McKinney talked about creating good documentation, which makes any project, open or not, more accessible and more useful.

Node in the Enterprise

If you’re still trying to convince your boss that Node is an enterprise-ready language, just point them at the agenda for NINA 2016. Keynotes from IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google, and NodeSource, and conference talks from Netflix, Autodesk, and GoDaddy should convince even the most die-hard skeptic that Node is a first-class choice.

Diving Deep

If you’ve been using Node for a while but are still hazy on a few of the details, NINA2016 had quite a few talks with you in mind. IBM’s Myles Borin talked about Node.js releases (and how they work):

https://twitter.com/NodeSource/status/804006965823361025

Additionally, IBM’s Sam Roberts gave a view of the Node.js event loop from the inside out:

JIFASNIF

NINA2016  is where I first encountered the acronym JIFASNIF: JavaScript is fun, and so Node is fun. So, lest you think it was all enterprise, all the time, the conference also included a bot talk (always fun!) from Rachel White.

It also included an interactive session (with Bingo!) on building a ‘Cloud-Native Internet Time Machine’ from Ross Kukulinski.

Swag

And of course, there was a booth crawl:

There were the usual giveaways on hand (shoutout to Node Interactive for making shirts in women’s cuts and sizes!) but perhaps the most coveted items in the vendor area were the ice cream sandwiches at the break!

If you couldn’t get near the IBM booth, don’t worry—you can catch up on CodeRally, Eclair.js, IBM Graph, OpenWhisk, and of course, Bluemix, APIConnect and LoopBack! (Any lack of ice cream you’ll have to handle on your own.)

The Conference Party and Beyond

Those who still had energy after the first day and booth crawl were rewarded with food, drink, and music at the Node Interactive Conference Party. The event was held at the Speakeasy, a fun venue that has a vintage bowling lane,  a photo booth to mark memories, and a view of Austin from the rooftop DJ lounge that was definitely something to enjoy!

There wasn’t really an after-party after day two (or at least not an official one), but we heard that the Code and Learn and Collaboration Summits on December 1 and 2 were amazing. We’ll certainly make sure to get those on our schedule next time!