Sharing Our Love of Code at the Baltimore NodeSchool!

Angela Cheong
May. 21, 2014 by Angela Cheong

Here at Message Systems, we’re always looking for opportunities to give back to the local community. We donate to Feeding America every year in support of the cause to alleviate poverty and our employees are regular participants in Oxfam Trailwalker Japan, a challenging endurance fundraising event that supports worldwide economic empowerment programs.

So of course, when the opportunity came up to get involved in a way that would positively impact our local community and industry, it was hard to say no. Especially since we were being called upon for our technical expertise – finally a chance to do some social good while sharing our coding skills!

And that’s the story of how Message Systems became an official sponsor of the Baltimore NodeSchool.

What is the NodeSchool?

First, a little background: the NodeSchool is a fully community-driven effort that is 100% open source. It comprises a series of self-directed programs or adventure-style lessons to learn different aspects of node.js, which is written in Javascript. According to Wikipedia:

Node.js is a software platform for scalable server-side and networking applications. Node.js applications are designed to maximize throughput and efficiency, using non-blocking I/O and asynchronous events.”

The Baltimore NodeSchool was inspired by and follows in the fine tradition of NodeSchool. Think of it as the local chapter in Baltimore. For this first event, the Baltimore NodeSchool decided to focus on the introductory lessons in the Learn You Node workshop by NodeSchool.

Aside from keeping participants fed and watered, Message Systems also provided mentors for the event: our very own Bob Evans, Software Engineering Manager and Jessica Martin, Software Engineer!

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Jessica and Bob were among the 7-8 mentors volunteering for the event, which saw 50 students in attendance. The mentors went around answering questions students had about problems, or teased out answers with hints to the solutions. While having a basic knowledge of Javascript was beneficial, the registration for the event was open to all. The students were rated on a scale of 1 to 3 and the mentors discovered a wide range of skill sets among the students.

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“It was fun for us to demonstrate the knowledge we had of node.js in developing the Momentum product,” said Bob. “We want to get more involved in the Javascript community in the Baltimore/DC area. I saw this as a great opportunity to get the ball rolling.”

The next Baltimore NodeSchool event is scheduled to be conducted in July, and it will be geared towards students that have some intermediate knowledge of node.js or just Javascript in general. Once again, Message Systems is thrilled to announce that we are an official sponsor!

In the words of Jessica, “I really enjoyed mentoring at this event, it was really interesting to see the wide range of abilities in the students, and their enthusiasm for not only learning, but sharing their knowledge with their peers. I was sad to see the end of the event, but am definitely enthusiastic for an even better one in July!”

Looking to embark on a fulfilling engineering career? Not a problem. With Message Systems, you can! Find out more about what we do and read our white paper, What Sets Momentum Apart.

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