Swedish Startup Space

The Rise of JavaScript and how Sthlm.js manages to book out within minutes

Written by on December 5

Johannes Edelstam is one of the key people behind the successful meetup Sthlm.js (which we wrote about earlier this year), a meetup that hosts JavaScript-related events in Stockholm. Sthlm.js events usually “sell out” within a few minutes, so I was interested to hear what makes Sthlm.js so special and why it attracts such a huge crowd (the last meetup had over 250 attendees).

Developer at heart

Johannes is a developer at heart and has always been tinkering with technology and programming things.

I really enjoy learning new things and new ways to think. This is maybe why I got caught up in programming in the first place. There is so much you can try and learn without any high costs of failing. A really forgiving environment! My professional background consists of freelancing, consulting and right now I’m part of building the private finance management tool Tink. I also have a masters in computer science from KTH.

Enter Sthlm.js

Sthlm.js was started when the framework Backbone.js just hit the market and Ruby on Rails was everyone’s web framework of choice. Johannes had just finished a few JS heavy projects and learnt quite a lot about TDD in JS when he started getting a lot of questions from people who were interested in JavaScript.

I started to get questions and have discussions with people who were curious and wanted to learn more, and then I noticed that there really wasn’t any JS focused meetup group in Stockholm. I’ve been a member of SHRUG (Stockholm Ruby User Group) since way back, so I had some experience from how that was organized and thought “I can do that!”.

Johannes was at the time working at Valtech (editors note: a it-consulting company) which has a great reputation for hosting good meetups.

I just went for it and the interest was really big from the start. After almost a year of organizing it myself I started to feel that it just grew and grew to a point where I couldn’t handle it myself, so nowadays it is me, Joakim Ekberg, Geries Handal and Jonny Strömberg who organize sthlm.js. It’s a great team which we hopefully will have additions to very soon!

The Rise of JavaScript

JavaScript seems so be everywhere these days, but that has not always been the case. For many years, JavaScript was despised by web developers, but my personal opinion is that the main reason people avoided the language was the poor browser support and lack of standardization. Johannes belives that the key factors to the success of JavaScript is because it is readily available on so many platforms.

JS is a fantastic platform since it is so available, and nowadays also fast in many browsers. And then there is of course node.js. I also think that JS is a great language for beginners. Not that it is a particular logic and beautiful language in all aspects, but you can start to create “real things” really quickly. All these factors contribute in making JS a very interesting platform for many developers, and thus the urge to want to learn more.

We have been trying to fix this by having a lot of meetups, so this fall we will be doing a meetup every third week, the last one had over 250 seats!

The JavaScript community has indeed matured and is now less focused on jQuery – and taken more seriously. The JavaScript community in Stockholm is booming and there is a generosity and openness that few cities can compete with.

Nowadays a lot of talented devs have found their way to JS and realized the huge potential which has made the community more diverse and experienced which have led up to some amazing projects! People and companies are really keen on having a flourishing tech scene here, which makes it so much more fun to organize these things!

Today there is Helsinki.js and Copenhagen.js in the Nordic countries according to Johannes, but for other cities in Sweden he says that you should get in touch if you would like to get advice about how successfully hosting a meetup.

Lastly, Johannes wants to encourage everyone to sign up at sthlmjs.com and we will both see you on the next meetup!

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