Javascript User Group MeetupI was at the Javascript Community meetup yesterday hosted at Quizup HQ. It was exciting to see so many developers and participants at the event. I am pretty sure there were more than 100 people. The lineup of speakers was great and I learnt quite a bit about how this simple scripting tool has become a powerful language of the web. There were speakers talking about building an API for the Icelandic language to how the Quizup gameplay was built using a Javascript framework.

The Javascript Community was started by Kristjan Ingi Mikaelsson. Startup-Iceland-hag-6It was great to see him organize this event and has great plans for the developer community in Iceland. Kristjan Ingi was also the winner of the Startup Iceland hackathon. Both the winners of the Startup Iceland hackathon this year are named Kristjan, maybe there is something in the name and being a good hacker. I truly believe that the developer and design communities are the foundation of the startup community in Iceland. There are so many talented designers and developers in this small country. Kristjan Ingi was telling me yesterday that there are about 5000 developers in Iceland, that is a pretty good number when considering that there are only 329,100 live in Iceland.

I saw the talent, when I first met with Team CLARA. I was just amazed at the team and their programming skill and experience. I still remember talking to one of the developer who was 24 years old and he told me that he has over 10 years experience working with HTML and Javascript, so he started coding when he was 14! Almost every developer that I know has been using computers and working with computers since they were teenagers. It is just mindboggling. Oh, did I mention that Kristjan Ingi is 22? I mean these kids are just amazing.

I have offered to help Kristjan Ingi to bring the developer community together in any way he thinks makes sense. So watch out for posts here about workshops, hackathons and meetups. I have always believed the developer community is extremely important for the Startup Community that is why we have always hosted the Startup Iceland Hackathon. A very interesting thing happened after this year’s hackathon, all the young developers were hired by the team that provided the Vodafone API and they are now part of the Startup Reykjavik Accelerator. This is exactly what I had envisioned would happen. Hackathons are great places to find talent. I wish more companies would utilize this platform to find really talented developers. There is a lot of signaling going on when teams show up for the Hackathon, you see how they think and how they solve problems and more importantly how disciplined and hard working they are in building their solution. What you get out in a weekend is worth its weight in gold. I am really happy to see the community come together in Iceland. I am going to help in whatever way possible to bring more attentions to this community.