New Horizons and Old Friends

Happy New Year Javascripters! This will be my first post for Node Up North, my last post for Node Up North and the first post for Leeds JS for about one and a half years... no pressure then!

This post is supposed to give an update on what the future holds for Javascript meetups in Leeds, and give you a bit of a insight on how we see the community evolving in the next twelve months.

Change of Name

The first thing you may have noticed is that we are changing our name from Node Up North to Leeds JS. A the time of writing this process is still ongoing and some things haven't made the change (including this blog) but we will be there over the next few weeks.

What does a change of name have to do with anything I hear you say; well as you have probably guessed it means that we are officially broadening our scope. We have already had a few talks on non NodeJS technologies and even a few Hack Sessions on Ember JS so this won't come as too much of a shock to most of you.

What this does mean is that we are now actively looking for a broader range of topics and we want to build the Javascript community as a whole and not just focus on NodeJS. As ever we will be catering to a wide range of skill levels, we'll just be widening the topic area too!

Change of Leadership

Along with a change of name we will also be saying goodbye to Mark Skeet who has been doing a wonderful job of organising our monthly dose of Javascript and NodeJS. It will be sad to see you go Mark and I am personally very grateful for everything that you have done.

We still have one of the original founders of Node Up North with us, Sarah Ashworth, and we have been working hard to update everything and plan the next few months of talks and meetups. We have a lot in store but more on that later.

I would also like to give a shout out to Sam Foster who founded Leeds JS and was running the show until he moved to America (somewhere) in 2013. Sam has been very helpful figuring out all the logins and details for Leeds JS Twitter accounts and Google+ pages (yes Google+ still exists). This rename and rebranding would not have had the same effect if we had to start over again so thanks a million Sam!

Same Community && Same Language

With all the talk of change it's probably a good question to ask what will actually be the same! Well lets start with a list:

  • We are still a meetup
  • We still meet on the last Wednesday of every month
  • We still talk about Javascript (yes ES6 counts)
  • We are still in Leeds

... obviously in no particular order!

Apart from that the structure of the Meetup and talks are completely up for grabs. We have a few ideas that we've been experimenting with over the last six months, the best example being the hack sessions which have been a great success!

We want to experiment with the format of the talks but we'll probably blog about that a bit more over the next few months.

New Developments && Community Involvement

A lot of the ideas for what we want to try out have come from talking to people who have come to Node Up North in the last few months. A special shout out to Robbie Pallas for suggesting that we start a Slack community for Leeds JS, a particularly awesome idea that I can see being a great thing for the JS community in Leeds.

We're still working on the precise details of how to join but for now if you want in just repsond to this Google form and I'll send you an invite.

The Community is What You Make It

A community is nothing without its members, and we have some great people in the tech scene in Leeds. Leeds JS has one goal: to bring the community together to learn from each other, help each other and make the community stronger. We don't know what the next twelve months will bring but we do know that we want everyone to get involved in whatever way they can. I'm new to this game so any help or advice is much appreciated, and I know with such an awesome community in Leeds we can achieve amazing things!

I hope to see you tomorrow at our first meetup of 2015. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or even Google+ for regular updates.