The World Wide Web changed the world; the browser is king. It can be argued the web browser is the most used software application, and JavaScript is the most ubiquitous programming language.

JavaScript is a language that was created in ten days by Brendan Eich while he was working for Netscape Communications Corporation. Although it was developed under the name Mocha, the language was officially called LiveScript when it first shipped in beta releases of Netscape Navigator 2.0 in September 1995. It was later renamed again to JavaScript when it was deployed in the Netscape browser version 2.0B3.  Due to the short time in development, it is widely known as the bastard child of the programming world for years. That has changed, JavaScript has since witnessed a rebirth and has never looked back since.

It started way back in the late 90s and early 00s with the introduction of the XMLHttpRequest object in all browsers that kicked things off. This new capability meant the browser did not have to refresh the page to communicate with the server, this was a game changer. Unfortunately, since so many hated JavaScript it mostly lay dormant, waiting in the browser for years until the subsequent discovery of Ajax on February 18th, 2005 by Jesse James Garrett in an article titled “Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications“.

This led to later work and the publication of “JavaScript: The Good Parts” in 2008 by Douglas Crockford, which outlined a safe subset of the language which the author claims is actually great to work with and more “object orientated than Java”.  Mr Crockford didn’t stop there, he is also credited with the discovery of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) buried in the language and is now widely used as the most popular data format to transmit data across the Web.

JavaScript’s ubiquity offers a wide platform for development over many hardware form factors and performance profiles. It is already baked into every major Web Browser, Node.js is now king of the backend server-space, jQuery provides a rock solid, cross-browser API over the DOM, Windows 7 forward has native JavaScript support in the Microsoft OS, Mozilla is developing an open source Firefox OS for mobile devices entirely in JavaScript, and Asm.js is making it possible to get a C++ game engine running in JavaScript using WebGL for rendering.

Asm.js working with existing C++ game engines in particular is a massive feat and is largely due to the toolchain that Mozilla has developed to make it all possible. Asm.js provides the ability to compile C/C++ applications into JavaScript. It’s a whole new genre of JavaScript application that’s been spawned by Mozilla’s Emscripten project.

If you have anything to do with Web or Mobile development, JavaScript should be a large part of your craft.

What follows is a collection of talks I had the pleasure of finding and want to catalog here. Talks by leading experts who are focused on professional programming with JavaScript


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