11 March 2014


As a community, I like to think programmers have it together. We prefer open source(1), we host blogs and tutorials(2), we donate our time to charity(3), and we want to bootstrap other groups into our community(4).

When I see tweets like this, I get angry.


I don’t know this person. I don’t know anything about JSFest. But this acts against all of the things I mentioned. This is elitism. Not everyone can go. You must have freedom of movement which many countries restrict. You need money, some times lots of it, to travel, attend a conference, and forgo earnings for that time. You need a name, or baring that, you need luck. Many of the larger conferences sell out instantly. Unless your presentation gets accepted, you have little to no chance of going. Physical or mental disabilities, personal insecurities, age and a myriad of other issues can prevent someone just “being there.”

So, only elites, our very own JS-celebs, can consistently attend these gatherings and often get paid to do so. Yet “you had to be there” gets rubbed in our faces like we all had that simple choice–go or don’t go–and we chose poorly.

Share or don’t. I don’t care. Just don’t assume we all had an easy choice.


(1) - GitHub continues to explode with great projects.

(2) - The number and variety of blogs, vlogs, and podcasts still staggers me. So much easier to learn today.

(3) - I personally support GiveCamp but follow the growth of other events for charity, public sector, and health.

(4) - Great things happening at Code2040 and Hackbright as well as several meetups around the world.


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