The first attendees to Sydney’s inaugural JavaScript user group began arriving early at Atlassian’s office last Wednesday night. By the time the presentations got underway, they’d been joined by over 70 other JavaScript enthusiasts as the Atlassian sponsored event hit full speed.
I’d been talking to Earle “@mrspeaker” Castledine for way too long about getting a JavaScript meeting underway and it took Earle’s imminent departure from our shores to bring the idea to a tipping point.
With Earle leaving Australia early in June I wanted to make sure he was around to see our brainchild come to life. And it wasn’t just Earle and I who were watching closely. Lachlan Hardy, also from Atlassian, and Lindsay Evans, from Sydney firm Boomworks, had also been about to undertake their own endeavours and so I quickly brought them on to the team to get SydJS up and running.
Actually, our catchy name, domain, and — more importantly — twitter account all came courtesy of Lachlan’s ground work and were quickly embraced by the guests with twitter hashes ( and flickr tags ( soon appearing on the web.
With a beverage in hand and some Atlassian sponsored pizza to fill the gap, the guests settled in to endure my emceeing and await the presentations from Earle and also Atlassian’s Dmitry Baranovskiy.
Dmitry was up first and showed his customary control of JavaScript by introducing a dependable type detecting pattern. You can view his slides on Slideshare (, but you’ll miss out on Dmitry’s hmmm … unique … approach to presenting. And it’s one you’ll not soon forget.
Next to take the stage was Earle who introduced us to Instant, his CoffeeScript editor that not only works online, but also makes use of HTML5’s offline mode and continues to work when you find yourself without a connection. Earle showed us just what Australia is losing as he heads off to France, but he left behind a little piece of computing history to help make sure we won’t soon forget him.
By the end of the night we’d seen two great presentations to set a high benchmark for future meetings, got an understanding about just how much attitudes to JavaScript have changed, and set our calendars for our next gathering.
Atlassian is keen to see the Sydney JavaScript developing community flourish and have already offered to host our next meeting on the third Wednesday of June. So mark you calendars for June 16 and we’ll see you back here for what promises to be another great night.
We’ve even got a couple of special guests in the wings that could raise our benchmark.

Putting the "ripped" in JavaScript