NodeSchool Oxford

On 21st June 2014 I hosted a NodeSchool at the Jam Factory in Oxford as part of JSOxford’s Summer of Hacks. NodeSchool is a community driven, open source educational project that teaches JavaScript and node.js skills in an interactive, self-guided way. I’ve been wanting to run a NodeSchool ever since I attended a leveldb workshop at NodeConf EU 2013 that followed a similar format.

The Day

We’d decided to charge a small amount for tickets to the event, mainly to get some commitment from the attendees, and all tickets for the day were sold. Everyone had turned up, and I started with a brief introduction outlining what NodeSchool was about. We then started to install the first workshop “Learn You Node”.

At this point the Jam Factory manager ran into the room, looking hassled, asking what we were doing to their internet. Apparently they use an online till system and a couple of dozen developers installing stuff meant they couldn’t open the tills and take money! A quick switch to 3g sorted that out and soon everyone was busy working through the workshop. We had four mentors: Ben, Pete, Ivan and myself and that seemed about right for the numbers that turned up.

Midday we stopped for an hour’s playtime, after which most continued with the first workshop with just a handful ready to make a start on “Stream Adventure”. We had plenty of chances for mingling and chatting through the day, always good fun, and I had some nice feedback from people who’d enjoyed the day.

All in all I think it was a success, and it will be fun to host another one sometime soon. Next time I’d really like a more diverse audience ideally with few developers.


I would particularly like to thank Ben for his help in making the day happen and being a mentor. Thanks also to the other mentors: Pete and Ivan. There were also a few sponsors that helped with the room hire, and a few beers on the day, so thanks GitHub, White October and Haybrook for their support.