Adventures in Budapest @ JSConf!

Random Musings
May 17, 2015

A week ago, I boarded a plane in San Francisco and set out to Budapest, Hungary, in preparation for the inaugural JSConfBP, which was this past Thursday and Friday at the Uránia Cinema, central to the Pest side of the city. Over the past several days, I got to meet an incredibly diverse number of talented and passionate developers and learned a huge amount about interesting JavaScript technologies, robots, and other cultures.

My focus:  JavaScript for Virtual Reality, of course! Despite weeks of planning and carefully crafting a talk, the first day of the conference, I affectionately refactored my slide deck (read: rewrote the entire talk) to center more on fun & the code side of things than I had originally planned, added three live demos to the 30-minute talk, and decided to invite someone on stage on the fly to demonstrate positional tracking with the Oculus Rift in a WebVR app.

And I have never, in my life, had so much fun with a conference talk before!

I loved getting a chance to show off today’s VR tech to people who hadn’t had a chance to see it before, and I had several people come up to me after the talk and express that they had already ordered a Cardboard kit to start playing around with VR development! It was exciting to hear that a lot of them were excited to see where VR on the web was going and many of them told me that they didn’t realize that coding up a VR app in JS was possible. It was great to be able to encourage a few more people to take a look at what might be possible with JS for VR, and I think I convinced a few others to get started with their own WebVR projects. The timing of Oculus announcing that they were suspending Mac & Linux support was unfortunate, but it’s not a show stopper and I fully intend to keep playing around (particularly right now with combining Unity & WebGL and polyfills).

I’ve included my slide link, though it’s not entirely helpful without the context of my notes behind it. When I get to my other laptop, I’ll put up the original slides, too – these contain much more detailed notes and formed the bulk of the logic behind my original version of the talk with more industry information and less about the code. When the video is available, I’ll share that as well.

Edit 5/17: Here are the original slides, complete with notes!

Being able to talk about such a fun topic – one that is near and dear to my heart – was great and I only wish I had been able to spend even more time doing it! Getting up on stage and showing code that I had written was a little scary, but ended up also just feeling awesome and I had so many interesting conversations about it afterwards with other people that it was completely worth the nerves! I highly recommend taking advantage of any speaking opportunities that may come your way.

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