Code & Creativity is Coming!

Chattanooga is brimming with smart (dare we say, brilliant) designers and developers. Unfortunately, we don't come together to share our knowledge and our passions as much as we could. Until now, that is!

Code & Creativity is a social talk series created to connect us with each other and our larger community. Every other month, we’ll gather at the Camp House for a few hours to listen to one local and one visiting designer/developer as they share their passions, wisdom, and war stories. We'll ask questions, talk shop, and maybe even make some new friends. Of course no gathering would be complete without something yummy in your tummy, so snacks and a tasty beverage (coffee, soft drink, or beer) are on us!

Our first speakers could only be nicer if they gave away free legos at every talk! The line-up starts with UTC’s Head of Library IT Jason Griffey, who will kick off the evening with a brief talk about the LibraryBox Project and the ups and downs of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Following Jason, Nicholas Zakas—the acclaimed author and JavaScript guru with a pedigree that includes VistaPrint, Yahoo!, and Box—will be taking the stage to deliver the headlining talk “Enough with the JavaScript Already.” (You can find their bios and full talk descriptions below. Disclaimer: Legos not included.)

We’re still working to fill in the next year’s worth of programming. You won't want to miss a single one, we promise.

Enough With The JavaScript Already!

Nicholas Zakas

One of the biggest performance issues facing websites today is the sheer amount of JavaScript needed to power the page. The demand for more interactive and responsive applications has driven JavaScript usage through the roof, and it’s common for large sites to end up with more than 1 MB of JavaScript per page even after minification. But do we really need that much JavaScript?

Putting several large websites under the microscope, Nicholas will work his magic and show just how little of that JavaScript is actually necessary. He’ll also discuss JavaScript library design and how some flawed patterns contribute to code bloat and unnecessary memory usage, ultimately wrestling with the dilemma: is it better to write the component yourself rather than using an off-the-shelf one?

Nicholas C. Zakas is a staff software engineer at Box in beautiful Los Altos, a well-known author, and speaker. He was the front-end tech lead for the Yahoo! homepage and a contributor to the YUI library. He’s written several books, the most recent of which is Maintainable JavaScript (O’Reilly, 2012). Nicholas is a strong advocate for development best practices including progressive enhancement, accessibility, performance, scalability, and maintainability. He blogs regularly at and can be found on Twitter as @slicknet.

Lessons from LibraryBox

Jason Griffey

Jason Griffey will talk about his current passion: the LibraryBox Project, an open source wifi file sharing device that recently had its v2.0 funded on Kickstarter to the tune of $33,000. He will discuss the genesis of the project, his ongoing goals for v2.0, and why receiving 1000% of his funding goals via Kickstarter keeps him up at night.

Jason Griffey is an Associate Professor and Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His latest book, Mobile Technology and Libraries, is available as a part of the award winning Neal Schuman’s Tech Set. He was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2009, and speaks internationally on the future of libraries, mobile technology, eBooks, and other technology related issues. You can find him at and on the ALA Techsource blog. Jason spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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