Meetup Profile: Exchange.js: Edmonton’s JavaScript Meetup

For our next meetup profile, we connected with Mark Bennett - host of Exchange:js: Edmonton’s JavaScript Meetup. 

Exchange:js is a welcoming environment, especially for first-time developers. Join Mark for the next meetup on Thursday, April 2 at 6:30 PM. The group also maintains excellent notes on past meetups at

Q: Why did you start Exchange.js: Edmonton’s JavaScript meetup?

A: Credit for starting the JavaScript meetup has to go to Sean Ouimet. At the time it began I was very involved with running the Ruby meetup, but when Sean moved away last year I felt I had a responsibility to step up and join the exec.
Together with Jeff Marvin, Sean Healy, and Abram Hindle we work each month to connect the local JavaScript community together by sharing stories, personalities, and successes in a fun and accessible meetup.

Q: What is JavaScript?

A: JavaScript is the programming language of the web. It’s what allows websites from Facebook to Google Maps to create engaging experiences in our web browsers. Increasingly it’s also used on web servers and apps on mobile and desktop. If you own a computing device of any sort, then chances are you use JavaScript everyday.

Q: What are the benefits of having an active JavaScript Community?

A: Edmonton is a great place to make things, and if you want to make things for the web then you need to know JavaScript. Right there that should be reason enough to come out.
What I really enjoy about JavaScript is the way it connects developers, designers, and creative people of all backgrounds together through the web. It doesn’t matter what programming language or direction you come from, everyone is making things for the web right now and using JavaScript to do it. It makes for an exciting community with lots of new ideas and perspectives, and I like to think that’s reflected in our events.

Q: Who would you encourage to come to future events?

A: We’d love to see more women and first time developers come out to the meetup. We’ve already got a great group, but there’s always room for more!