hands-on javascript training
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Hello! Does your team, organization, or conference need hands-on training in node.js, frontend javascript, peer to peer architecture, browser databases, or data replication?

Email substack@gmail.com to say hello!

I can also provide live and comissioned algorithmic music


I will fly to wherever you are, anywhere in the world! The nearest airport to me is Hilo, Hawai`i.

The base price is 2000 USD for the first day and 1000 USD for each additional day of instruction plus airfare, visa fees, and no-frills accomodation.

For 2 days of hands-on instruction for a class of 20, that works to less than 200 USD per student, depending on airfare and visa fees.


I offer these topics, but I can adapt materials for specific requests.

For every course, we will start from zero and build a very simple application that gains functionality incrementally until we have a fully-featured program.

Participants should come with their own computer running a unix environment (Linux or Mac OSX preferred) with the latest stable versions of node and npm installed.

The venue should have ample power outlets, wifi, seating, and projector or computer monitor with a VGA or HDMI port that everyone can see.

introduction to modules

skill level introductory
pre-requisites javascript basics

Node has a powerful module system and a vast package ecosystem.

We will cover:

  • installing and publishing modules to npm
  • how to organize a code base for node.js and the browser
  • how to find good packages
  • npm run scripts
  • basics of testing, code coverage

node.js streams

skill level intermediate
pre-requisites javascript basics, familiarity with npm

Streams are a powerful abstraction from node core for plumbing together IO.

We will cover:

  • differences between readable, writable, transform, duplex
  • streaming interfaces in core
  • common streaming libraries and patterns in userland
  • streaming transports: tcp, websockets, webrtc
  • implementing our own streaming protocols with multiplex, rpc

leveldb basics

skill level intermediate
pre-requisites javascript, npm, streams

LevelDB is a powerful embedded database with great bindings for node and a vast ecosystem of libraries available on npm. Best of all, leveldb works in the browser with excellent wrappers on top of IndexedDB.

We will cover:

  • basic get/put/del
  • range queries
  • thinking lexicographically
  • pairing leveldb with other storage engines (blob storage, spatial indexes)
  • using leveldb in the browser

web development whirlwind

skill level intermediate
pre-requisites javascript, streams, npm

Web development can be a confusing place with new approaches appearing constantly. We'll cover some simple tools to manage building a webapp in an incremental way, adding new tools only when necessary. We'll focus more small tools that do one fundamental thing well instead of spending a bunch of time in configuration files.

We will cover:

  • front end architectures
  • virtual DOM libraries
  • universal rendering
  • build scripts and frontend tooling
  • how to handle URLs
  • managing other assets
  • talking to the server (ajax, websockets)

peer to peer architecture

skill level advanced
pre-requisites leveldb, streams

As the web platform becomes more powerful, web pages are going to look more and more like distributed systems. Web pages, $5 linux computers, wifi-enabled sensors, and mobile devices are coming online, and we'll need sophisticated planet-scale mesh topologies to make sense of it all without depending on the high latencies and low throughput of a few centralized vendors.

Even if you're not building a strictly peer to peer application, these ideas will help you and your team to build better offline, fault-tolerant applications.

  • merkle DAGs
  • kappa architecture and materialized views
  • identity with cryptographic key pairs
  • data replication
  • distributed hash tables (DHT), immutable/mutable content
  • webrtc
  • webtorrent, dat/hyperdrive