- Jon asks Chris to catch us up with what’s happened since we last talked to him, just after jsConf.us 2010.
- Chris doesn’t speak at the jsConf.us conference, mostly because he organizes the US conference and doesn’t want to present an appearance of unfairness.
- Chris then moves on to his jsConf.eu 2011 talk, An End To Negativity.
- Chris says that the negativity is rampant in the programming community, and it feeds on itself. There are far too many people who participate in community conversation just to cheer on the fights. Our profession has a unique opportunity to create and try new things, but the negativity in the community stifles that. We need to stop the negative “hating” in private conversations, not shouting matches in online forums.
- If you disagree with a technology, put your energy to constructive use via open source contribution (fork and create) rather than writing scathing blog posts.
- Scott K says that negative discussion’s everywhere – all online discussion, politics, media. Rather than discuss ideas, people just call others idiots. Chris says you’ve got to start locally. His recommended solution involves beer.
- Matt says it’s easier to lob bombs from afar, and personal discussions solves that. Kevin says one on one discussions over beer aren’t always possible, and Chris says even the offer is what’s important.
- Jon says he’s noticed that Chris’ speaking style is disarmingly humble. Chris says he really values humility in developers, and that the current rock star ninja terminology is too self promoting.
- Jon says that the online discussion forums like Reddit and Hacker News are all about voting up or down, which encourages negativity. Chris talks about trite these arguments often are, such as focusing on features which aren’t yet implemented in new technologies.
- Scott K. says he’s amazed at the overall positivity on StackOverflow. Chris says he thinks it’s a matter of time before it creeps in. Jon says he thinks that he thinks the vote engineering and overall problem solving focus of StackOverflow is designed to produce overall positive results.
- Jon reacts to Chris’ Fork and Create call by saying that when he’s releasing code publicly, it’s a lot harder to criticize others. Chris says that people who are busy creating don’t have time for trivial arguments, and Matt says that working publicly gives you a healthy dose of vulnerability.
- Chris talks about the negativity he encounters in putting on conferences. At jsConf.us 2011 they raised over $3000 to contribute towards increasing gender diversity and it received no attention at all, while a negative incident at the conference got a lot of attention.
- Jon says that in teaching his daughter some basic programming, he’s reminded of the fun of creation that got him started in development. That’s got to be our focus. Chris and Matt talk about how their parents spent time introducing them to computers, and would love to see parents introducing their kids to computers.
- Scott K says that he’s seen the community as a whole move from a focus on writing code to macho chest thumping.
- Christ talks about how TeamJS is raising money in the Mozilla Firefox Challenge (please join in!).
- Jon reacts to Chris’ keynote question, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail,” noting that most of his personal failures come from not attempting things. Chris says that quote is inspirational to him, and agrees that we fail in 100% of things we do not attempt.
- Twitter question from @elijahmanor – “Recently Chris tweeted that the trolls may be right. What did he mean by that?” Chris says that a reaction to hype around node.js, and there’s a general discussion about node.js.
- Matt talks about a recent node.js talk focused on maximizing node.js hosting efficiency.
- There’s a discussion of the node.js work that Microsoft’s been doing – not just getting it to run on Windows, but in making Windows / IIS hosting for node.js compelling.
- Jon asks Chris and Matt for their current recommendations, and an argument over spring beers erupts.
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