TXJS 2013

April 15 · Austin, TX · Paramount Theatre

Sunday · April 14


The Pre-Conference Drinkup

Head on over the The Gingerman to schmooze with other conference goers! Argue about semicolons, bet on best talks, and preregister for your badge while you're there. Lucky for you, this year's sponsor of all things beer, Bazaarvoice, will be picking up the tab. Come in, find the nerds handing out badges and tickets, and have a good time. The free drinks end at 8pm, but feel free to stay longer and hang out. Be sure to get a good night's sleep, the conference day starts early!

Monday · April 15


Registration & Tacos

Swing by The Paramount Theatre during this hour to get signed in. There will be a table and a line. If you already registered at the drink-up the night before, feel free to come in right away (but don't forget your badge!).

Once inside, we'll provide copious amounts of delicious TacoDeli breakfast tacos to start your day off the Austin way. Grab a taco or two (vegetarian tacos too!), find your friends and get seated in the theatre and get settled for the day.


We will have designated areas for power around the theatre, just look for the strips. Some of the seats closer to the middle may have limited access. We'll also have some visible power strips in the lobby in case you have a great idea that you need to implement before you can continue listening.


Our very gracious WiFi Sponsor, Volusion, has upped the ante this year. We're doing our best to bring in some top tech to keep everyone connected throughout the day on all 9 of their devices! That said, we appreciate your cooperation in turning off Dropbox, automatic backups, and those Season 3 Game of Thrones torrents (the books are better anyway). We also ask that while it's nifty to try to find yourself in the livestream, please don't try to watch it on the conference network.


Howdy & Welcome

Short and sweet. TXJS organizer Alex Sexton will tell you the ins-and-outs of how to maximize your TXJS experience.

Code of Conduct

While we want everyone to have a good time, we want to ensure that everyone feels welcome while at TXJS. We're reluctant to post specific rules around behavior, as they always come with loopholes. We would ask that you act in a professional manner and respect others. As we've suggested in years past, act as if Douglas Crockford was sitting both to the left and right of you at all times. Jokes aside, if you have any trouble please bring it to the attention of a staff member immediately (you can email Alex or find anyone with a staff badge). The staff will deal with issues promptly and privately. We reserve the right to ask especially unsavory folks to leave, but we trust y'all and aren't worried.


Keynote: Harper Reed

Harper Reed is a hacker/engineer who builds paradigm-shifting tech and leads others to do the same. Harper loves using the enormity of the Internet to bring people together, whether as CTO of Obama for America, CTO at Threadless.com, or on his own projects. Harper and his team created Dashboard, a site that connects volunteer teams and acts as an online component of the field office. You can often find Harper playing with new technology, looking for something to hack, or enjoying life in Chicago with his amazing wife, Hiromi.

Follow @harper on twitter, read his blog or email him.



Grab a drink. Go to the bathroom. Call your mother.



This set of speakers will be talking about HTML5, CSS3, and related technologies. Each talk will be about 25 minutes.

Dave Rupert

HTML: Do we really need the L?

Dave will be giving an overview of how badass HTML5 is (in regards to mobile). Specifically, what we can do with it, and how we can make things better for people.

Dave Rupert is the lead developer of Paravel. He co-hosts ShopTalk, a sound effects podcast that also covers web development, with fellow TXJS speaker Chris Coyier. He also co-hosts the ATX Web Show, a podcast about the web design and development scene in Austin, TX. On the internets he's davatron5000.

Nicole Sullivan

OOCSS and Preprocessors in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Many developers believe they need to choose between OOCSS and CSS preprocessors like SASS/Compass and LESS. Nicole believes that the best sites pair the strengths of both approaches, pulling the architecture from OOCSS and the language additions from SASS. She will share with you some of her war stories, including everything she screwed up when switching to using preprocessors and how she finally found a balanced approach to developing large sites using preprocessors.

Nicole is a UI performance nerd living and working in San Francisco. She helps companies make their CSS smaller and their UI more manageable. She is also an author, most recently contributing to the Web Performance Daybook Volume 2. Photo taken by John Morrison.

Chris Coyier

CSS is for Computers

We don't write programs in ones and zeros. We're many, many layers abstracted from that now. Those abstractions make programming powerful and practical. With the internet, we got a fresh start with the languages it digests: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. While these languages are quite a bit more "authorable" than ones and zeros, it's time we take a step up the abstraction ladder. Using preprocessors, we can author websites in a more powerful, practical, and efficient manner. We'll talk specifically about CSS preprocessing using Sass and Compass.

Chris is the force behind CSS-Tricks; previously he was with Wufoo and SurveyMonkey as Lead Hucklebucker. Chris is a Wordpress expert and author of Digging into Wordpress and the Lynda.com Wordpress 3 tutorial series. He is also the host of a kick-ass podcast the Shoptalk Show.


Lunch in Town

Downtown Austin is one of the best places to be hungry in the entire world. After careful consideration, we decided that making you eat conference food within walking distance of Frank would likely get us in trouble with someone.

You should be able to get in and out of most places in an hour and half, but please choose wisely if you find yourself in a line.

Here is our no-bull-honky list of pretty great places that you should use yer eatin'-mouth at:

Of course, there are lots and lots of other options. While you may read a lot about Franklin Barbecue, they'll likely be out of food by the time lunch starts, so go wait in line at 10am the day after the conference :D.


Web Applications

This set of speakers will be talking about the ins and outs of building web applications. Each talk will be about 25 minutes.

Trek Glowacki

Beyond Front-end Developer

In an indurstry where designers skip Photoshop and application engineers are moving application code into the browser what role does the front-end developer play? We'll explore the tangled history of documents on the web, how applications came to dominate attention in the browser, and where we can go from here.

Trek helped start Workantile and currently makes mischief in Chicago for Groupon Engineering. He's on the Ember.JS core team. Paul Irish once called him 'a hero'. Trek tweets at @trek.

Rebecca Murphey

Apps that Build Themselves

Rebecca will be exploring the concept of applications that generate themselves from a JSON configuration, and what you need to think about if you find yourself building one. How do you build dozens or even hundreds of apps that have arbitrary combinations of components and interactions, and yet serve up a production file for each app that contains only exactly what that app needs? Rebecca will share her experience from working on Mulberry at Toura, plus what she's learned while getting to know Firebird, the internal client-side JavaScript framework used at Bazaarvoice.

Rebecca is a senior software engineer at Bazaarvoice and a frequent speaker on the topic of code organization and best practices at events around the world. She authored the learning site jQuery Fundamentals, contributed to the jQuery Cookbook from O’Reilly Media, served as a technical reviewer for David Herman’s Effective JavaScript, and created the TXJS conference (woo!). She has also contributed to several open-source projects, including jQuery and Johnny Five. She blogs at rmurphey.com and tweets @rmurphey.

Frances Berriman

Culture change for creating better user experiences

Building amazing digital services is a dream we all have, but many of us are working for companies that aren't quite with the programme yet. With a few examples from how we're making huge and lasting changes within the UK Government's digital services, I'll describe how you can help steer your products onto better seas through simple culture change tricks mostly involving watching what you say.

Frances is front-end development lead for GovUK in London, where she is helping to revolutionise digital services for citizens from the inside out. Previously, she worked for the BBC on their JavaScript library and for scientific journal publisher NPG. She blogs at fberriman and tweets as @phae.





This set of speakers will be talking about node.js. Some new stuff, some old stuff, with info for every skill level.

Jed Schmidt

Faking Browsers for FFUU and Profit

Having built a server that runs in your browser, Jed has turned his attention to browsers that can run on your server. He'll cover some good reasons why you'd want such a thing, from testing and monitoring to automation and scraping.

Jed is a JavaScript developer, formerly based in Tokyo, Japan, but now at home in Brooklyn. He is the guy behind ramendan and 140byt.es, and is often seen on github, flickr, soundcloud, and twitter. There is also a javascript library named after him.

Isaac Schlueter

The Evolution of Node

Isaacs has quite a bit of insight into the Node project as its project lead. As such, he is able to describe the changes and evolution of Node.js on a macro level. There are lots of opinions and patterns embedded into the minimal serverside JS tool and there's a reason for a lot of them. Let Isaacs tell them at you.

Once a great and mighty seeker of adventure, Isaac Z. Schlueter has in recent times been reduced to a build slave for the Node.js project. He is fascinated by pushing the limits of anarchic self-governance in open source communities, and has an unhealthy fixation on writing JavaScript.

Marco Rogers

Streeeams, probably

One of the best features of modern node.js applications are streams. However, these unix-y concepts are often overlooked by folks. The performance increases and readability of streams are often a huge win for developers. Marco will help separate the FUD from the Fact.

Marco is a Senior JavaScript Engineer at Yammer in San Francisco. You've probably seen him on twitter as @polotek. He's a node expert, a member of The Node Firm and frequent open source contributor on github.





This set of speakers will be talking about thinking differently. These ideas will be framed for a technical audience but often have more to do with you than your computer.

Charlie Robbins

All Open Source Everything

Charlie will address what the world would look like if the barrier to entry for getting the information to make the things you used every day was zero. What if the recipe for every food product you ate was on the label?

Charlie was the first CTO at General Assembly and is currently CEO at Nodejitsu, a Node.js platform as a service company. He lives in Manhattan, tweets as @indexzero and has quite an impressive open source track record.

Drew Wilson


Execute is a new book by Josh Long and Drew Wilson about acting on inspiration immediately rather than following the normal rules. They step you through the five-day build of the Space Box app and show you in real-time how to act on inspiration. They discuss how to stay inspired until you've shipped and how to identify what to build in the first place. If you are building apps, creating art, or you're a creative professional of any kind, then Execute is your new manual. Execute was written in 3 days, designed and off to the printer in only 8 days.

Drew Wilson is a designer and developer (a true cross-breed powerhouse) out of Oceanside, California. Drew created the first widely popular icon font, Pictos. He is a conference organizer, producing ValioCon. He’s the creator of web apps like Space Box and Dialoggs. The list goes on and on. Drew tweets at @drewwilson.

You can purchase a copy of Execute at executebook.com.


Phil Hawksworth

I can smell your CMS

You make web sites. Clients want them to include all of the latest exciting fads and "interface shizzle". You want them to render quickly and have a shelf-life longer than that hummus you bought the other day. Clients want to be able to maintain the site themselves, they know about content management systems and are going to invest big money in a real belter. You know that they'll be unleashing their 'creativity' and messing with your mojo.

This talk will explore the good, the bad, and the fugly of rich interfaces, and look at ways to champion what matters. We'll also look at examples of the damaging traces CMSs leave behind in the front-end and at ways to avoid the smell of your CMS wafting over to the user and sacrificing the all-important craftsmanship of good front-end engineering.

Phil Hawksworth is a JavaScript developer who has been developing web applications since the late 90s. These days in his role as a Technical Director at R/GA in London, working for clients like Nike, O2 and Getty Images, he focuses on technical architectures, wrangling developers and designers, and banging on about things like unobtrusive JavaScript, open web standards and tasty browser shenanigans. Some say that his Instagram feed contains more photos of cats than might be considered healthy for a grown man, but he's convinced that he doesn't have a problem. He tweets at @philhawksworth


Thanks For All The Fish

Alex will let you know next steps. We'll give a standing ovation for Automatic Semicolon Insertion, and then head on out. If you're hungry you should grab a bite to eat, and then head over to Handlebar Austin for the party in about an hour.


After Party at Handlebar

Held in the closest thing to a templating-language-themed bar in Austin, Handlebar Austin, the TXJS after party won't disappoint. Not if you're there anyways.

There will be free drinks provided by Mozilla! There will be a roof and Jenga, and hopefully a bit of nice weather and plenty of stuff from the day to talk about. The party officially ends at 11pm, but feel free to hang around or go exploring downtown. Ask a local for some advice, or maybe just secretly follow them!

At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back. You did it!