4 minute read

Oklahoma City JavaScript user’s group, or OKCjs, featured its popular Lightning Talks Tuesday with 59 people enjoying the new Techlahoma meeting room at StarSpace46.

Dumpster fire
Jonathan Yarbor laughs about the dumpster fire as OKC Fire Dept extinguishes the flames.

Three speakers explained months of work taking only 10 minutes each.

The lunch session also included a real dumpster fire outside in full view of attendees. It was eventually extinguished by the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Organizers said it was unplanned.

Lightning Speakers

First up was Aaron Kraus whose talk was “What meta tags your site should be using.”

Aaron has presented at several OKCjs, Ruby and .NET meet-ups before.

He told Free Press after the session that he values presenting for events like OKCjs.

“I really like public speaking, but my body hates it,” Kraus said. “I start sweating. My hands get ice cold. But my brain really likes it.”

But not all professionals enjoy presenting to their peers, fearing unfair challenges or harsh criticism from them.

Kraus thinks the tech developer community is not that way.

“We’re all kind of a team in this community. We all learn together. We can teach each other things,” said Kraus.

“It’s good to come to these things and network. To see what’s going on in the community. It’s absolutely a team-driven environment.”

He is a senior web developer at Clevyr, a company that develops data-driven software and web/mobile applications.

You can find Aaron on Twitter @thecodeboss and read his blog, The Societea.

Next up was Wes Tyler, who was presenting for his first time in front of the OKCjs community. His talk was on “Node.js document models with Joy and Felicity.”

Wes is a full stack developer at XO Group Inc., and he chose to talk about the process that company went through since March that resulted in an open source package. XO Group Inc. Is best known for its wedding planning website “The Knot” as well as other highly-interactive sites.

Last was another presentation veteran, Carmen Long who gave the talk “Packaging electron apps for Windows + adding in auto update functionality.”

Long is involved with several instructional efforts in addition to speaking to her peers at meet-ups and conferences.

She has been the main force behind TwisterJS, a series of apps that are intended to help underprivileged children.

Her website Carmalou.JS is dedicated to helping others learn JavaScript code. On Twitter she is @carmalou.

One of the organizers of OKCjs Lightning Talks is Jesse Harlin. He told Free Press the lightning talks were not that hard to get going once JavaScript coders figured out what was expected.

“First time we did it I was going to everyone I know and saying ‘please sign up for this!’ We did one and everyone said ‘Yeah, I get this,’” said Harlin.

“The next one I spoke again, but we had a few more volunteers. And then after that it just clicked like ‘Oh! It’s show and tell!’ And after that it would just fill up fast.”

Techlahoma

OKCjs as well as other code user groups are supported by the Techlahoma Foundation formed only a couple of years ago.

Techlahoma raises money for the promotion of the code development community in Oklahoma City.

Its biggest event is Thunder Plains Developer Conference in Oklahoma City each fall. All proceeds from Thunder Plains go to Techlahoma since all people who are involved volunteer their time.

In turn, Techlahoma supports the user group meet-ups organizationally and through contributions of food purchased and brought in each time the groups meet.

Amanda Harlin and husband, Jesse, joined Vance Lucas around 2014 to work on filling out the extensive paperwork to form a 501(c)(3) foundation, which they accomplished by Thunder Plains of 2015.

Their most recent project has been collaborating with the brand-new StarSpace46 co-working space just west of downtown and Film Row. One large room that had been an industrial garage for the previous owners was transformed this summer into an effective meeting space for the various user groups Techlahoma assists.

Jesse Harlin said, “One of the advantages of this Techlahoma infrastructure where the user group leaders are talking more often is we’re sharing tips.”

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