ReefPointsBlog

Ember Conf picks up where the Rails community left off

Brian Cardarella

I'm writing this on my flight from Portland back to Boston. On this plane I count at least 12 other attendees of the first Ember Conference. A lot has been said about Ember in the past year but if this conference was any indicator big things are happening and even bigger things are going to happen.

For me, the biggest take away from any conference is the people and this conference was no exception. In fact, Ember Conf is now my gold standard for a technology event. The only possible comparison I have is how early Rails Confs felt. There is an energy and a scary amount of creativity happening in the Ember community right now. Much like the community felt around Rails back in 2006 - 2009 there is the understanding that those doing Ember now are going to be shaping the future of the web. Whether that is setting the bar higher for how users will want to consume web applications in the future or being a large influence on what the future of the web standards themselves will be, Ember is the only web technology today that is positioned in the same place that I feel Rails was years ago. We are the rebels. We are the counter-culture. Ember is the future.

But, we're learning from the mistakes of the past. Where the Rails community was the counter-culture of its time it suffered from a male (and very juvenile) dominated culture. This culture was the result of the "RockStar" mentality set forth by its leader(s). Ember, in contrast, began its very first conference with Yehuda Katz and Tom Dale addressing the entire crowd with their desire for Ember to be an open and diverse community.

The conference was very well organized, big shoutout to Leah Silber at Tilde. She put on a great conference, I'm proud that my company had the opportunity to help make it happen.

From a technology perspective huge things are on the horizon for Ember. If you have been on the cusp of getting involved you will be kicking yourself later for not doing so now. If you are already building in Ember nearly all of the pain-points that have existed will be addressed in the next 6 months. Testing as a first class citizen, fastest template rendering of any JavaScript framework/tool out there, animation support, query params, a standardized project structure and build tool, and there was even talk of how we're going to package and distribute dependencies. Ember Conf was a continuous roll of one great talk after another loaded with the best tech on the web. I've already really enjoyed writing Ember apps for the past year, the next year will be amazing.

I realize at this point the article smacks of cheerleading optimism. How can it be this good? The real secret weapon of any open source software is its community. After this week I can tell you that I have not felt this way about a community since the early days of Rails. There is something very special happening here. It isn't just me. Go search Twitter for #EmberConf and see for yourself.