'Tis the season of Dev Conferences

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the new date – September 29.

The season of Nigerian developer (dev) conferences is upon us. Last week, Nigeria witnessed her first international developer conference – Concatenate.

Earlier this year, NodeJS Foundation announced its African chapter led by Agiri Abraham Junior.

The move set the stage for interested organisations and countries to form their own local clusters. People like Hassan Sani and Adebayo Opesanya decided to latch onto the opportunity. As a result, they independently set up NodeJS African Women and NodeJS Nigeria respectively.

The progress of the latter is what we'll be discussing in this post.

On September 29, NodeJS Nigeria (NG) would take on the challenge to host the largest NodeJS conference in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

While Concatenate focused on a range of technologies, NodeJS NG would focus on the daily application of Node.js in building software.

Node.js is a free, open-source, server environment.

In English, Node.js is a programming language that can manipulate files on a server. Also, it can work with a Database to modify the data stored in it.

With Node.js, web applications can now be written entirely in Javascript. It has gained a lot of popularity since its initial launch just 9 years ago. Unlike other server-side languages (think PHP), Node.js can run processes concurrently (it's asynchronous). Thus, making it fast. Below is a step-by-step explanation by w3 Schools:

Here is how PHP handles a file request:

1-Sends the task to the computer's file system.
2-Waits while the file system opens and reads the file.
3-Returns the content to the client.
4-Ready to handle the next request.

Here is how Node.js handles a file request:

1-Sends the task to the computer's file system.
2-Ready to handle the next request.
3-When the file system has opened and read the file, the server returns the content to the client.

For instance, founded 19 years ago, the popular financial services company, Paypal was re-written in Node.js. Same with the server processing side of LinkedIn's mobile app.

Bonus: The server-side of this blog was written in Node.js

As a result of its increasing importance, a lot of tech companies now list Node.js as a prerequisite for employment. For instance, there are over 33,000 Node.js jobs on LinkedIn and an average salary of $90,000 (~ 32.5 million naira) per year.

For developers looking to make the switch from their current programming language(s), this conference might be the deal breaker. While, for newbies, they'll be able to draw inspiration from the community and talks shared on that day. Here is what to expect on that day.

What to expect at the NodeJS Conference

Already, there are over 500 people registered for the event, according to a chat with the Country Director, Adebayo Opesanya. So, what should the 500-plus people be looking forward to?

  1. Quality speaker sessions: The line-up for this year's NodeJS Nigeria Conference includes locally and internationally acclaimed developers who use the programming language daily in their work. For instance, Andela's Senior Technical Consultant and Ex-Konga Engineer, Celestine Omin will be speaking at the event. Likewise, Thomas Watson, Principal Software Engineer at Elastic, the company behind powerful search experiences, will be live at the event too.
Thomas Watson announcing his expected visit to Nigeria to speak

2. Access to potential (remote) employers: VanHack, a company that aggregates tech talent looking to relocate for work, would be present at the event. Their aim is to educate the tech ecosystem on how to get job offers that may include relocation or remote-working. Before now, VanHack was reported to have addressed the Forloop Africa audience – a community of tech talents across Africa, on the same topic.

3. Learning and Scope Expansion: There is a tendency for many to think Node.js is only used to write programs that act on a server. This NodeJS conference will look to dispel that myth. They'll do so by showing how Node.js is being used in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), two hot tech trends. Also, they hope to show how the programming language can aid in Command Line Interface (CLI) Development.

Of course, there will be swag items from sponsors like Scotch.io as well as free online subscriptions. Plus, more 360-degree networking opportunities with experts, newbies, product and hiring managers.

As we have now come to expect, the venue for the event is the beautiful Zone Tech Park.

If you have not registered yet, head over to their website and do so.

We will be there, say hello.