Playing Penny for the day at JSinSA

Arriving at JSinSA I felt like Penny from Big Bang Theory. Everyone seemed to be speaking a different language and using ‘big words’ like API methods and java. As I stepped into this parallel universe I was pretty bewildered and knew I going to be confused, a lot.

Granted I was at a Javascript Development Conference.

In its fourth year, JSinSA is aimed at the industry peeps. So it was unsurprising that the technical sessions went right over my head. However, the real surprise was that I wanted to be there and to learn more. To soak it all in and hopefully soak up some of the tech awesomeness dripping off the hardcore web developers, who were some of the best devs in the country.

Cons, geeks & Live Twitter Heaps - hello JSinSA!
Cons, geeks & Live Twitter Heaps – hello JSinSA!

Some useful terms I’d need to know to make it through the day (thanks to Wikipedia)


“JavaScript (JS) is a dynamic computer programming language. It is most commonly used as part of web browsers, whose implementations allow client-side scripts to interact with the user, control the browser, communicate asynchronously, and alter the document content that is displayed. It is also being used in server-side network programming (with Node.js), game development and the creation of desktop and mobile applications.”


“JavaBeans are reusablesoftware components for Java. They are classes that encapsulate many objects into a single object (the bean). They are serializable, have a 0-argument constructor, and allow access to properties using getter and setter methods.”

Java coffee

“Java coffee refers to coffee beans produced in the Indonesian island of Java. In some countries “Java” can refer to coffee in general.”


“The shortened version of Developer”

*Edit’s note – these definitions have been sourced directly from Wikipedia.*

The vibe was one of general tech geek awesomeness and after 15 minutes of standing around awkwardly, I chatted latched onto a group of guys, who, unknowingly, would be my guide into the world of coding for the day.

The opening speech from Simon Stewart (Founder of @JSinSA, @FindFreeWiFi, @FindABookShop) had some great key points applicable to not only the dev industry, but life in general:

  1.  Practice – if you love something and want to be better at it you’ve got to put in the hours. Practice, practice, practice.
  2. Embrace failure – fail fast and learn from it. Don’t be afraid to try, failing is part of the process to getting better.
  3. Do what you love.
  4. Love what you do.
  5. “Don’t let the bozos grind you down”– We’re all being judged by someone who isn’t even close to having their own shit together – so don’t let the bozos grind you down.

Simon’s last point is a quote from Tech master, Guy Kawasaki. If you aren’t already subscribed to his blog, “How To Change The World: A practical blog for impractical peopleside eyes go check it out, like right this very instant so we can be friends again.

Simon The Sensational doing his opening
Simon The Sensational doing his opening

THE BIGGEST QUESTION…Where are all the female coders?

One thing that struck me was how few females were there, in a group of 125 there were 5 of us. Coding seems to be a very male dominated industry, which got this Penny thinking, are there any Tech Girls out there who want to know more about coding?

The ability to tell your java from your java beans?

If you’d be interested in learning about coding (and even not so interested) comment on this post and let us know. You stand to win a gorgeous Nude Audio portable Bluetooth speaker (it also has a dual microphone so turns into portable speaker phone & is designed to travel with its silicon cover).




  • Reply Emy Clarke June 3, 2014 at 16:07

    I would love to learn more about coding!

  • Reply Roxanne Grove (@Nitrosys) June 3, 2014 at 16:10

    Sounds awesomely confusing yet it is fascinating to learn!

  • Reply Liz A June 3, 2014 at 16:47

    I’d love to learn ruby on rails.

  • Reply Bongiwe Mavimbela (@XhosaCliqs) June 4, 2014 at 05:25

    I’d definately be intrested in knowing more about coding and the fact that males dominate the coding world intrests me even more because I believe what men can do women can do even better

  • Reply Megs Hartwig June 4, 2014 at 07:42

    Wow…sounds like there is a lot to coding, which I actually did not existed just after I read this post of yours….you know what they say “You’re never too old to learn something new!” 😉

  • Reply Dianne June 4, 2014 at 14:53

    I have two lady friends who are sisters and have been designing and coding their own sim type game, haven’t seen them in 12 months LOL. So it sounds intense but interesting.

  • Reply Paul June 8, 2014 at 09:10

    I suspect the best way to increase women developers is to reach them at school. I think it is the same with getting a more mixed racial profile. But I have no idea how to find a school willing to partner with some kind of code skills program that would appeal to people who don’t code.

    If you need a hand with tech talks, I am always keen to help. I’m debating trying to do a NodeSchool session later this year (it will force me to learn more Node JS, and get some exposure to arranging an event)

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