An update on JSConf EU

Tl;dr: JSConf EU 2019, our 10th anniversary, will be the last edition of the event in its current form. We will not return in 2020. And neither will our sister conference CSSconf EU. We still love organizing community events, but we’ll take a break to consider what’s next.

Escape velocity

In 2009 Holger, Jan, and Malte met at the inaugural JSConf US and spontaneously decided to bring the event to Europe. It is difficult to remember or imagine how different the JavaScript community was at the time. People were PHP, Python or Java programmers and identified with those communities while doing a bit of JavaScript on the side. The JavaScript community wasn’t a thing yet. That looks different today, where even mid-sized cities often draw 100+ folks to regular JavaScript meetups. We’re incredibly proud of having played a little role in that.


From our first event, JSConf EU 2009, where Node.js was introduced to the world, over the launch of TypeScript, the re-introduction of React, and, finally, the launch of deno last year at JSConf EU 2018, we feel confident to say that JSConf EU has had a bit of an impact on both client-side and server-side computing over the last 10 years–all the while somehow retaining the community focus and intense feeling of unity that we first experienced in 2009.

In addition to providing a space for a nascent community to find itself, we’ve also worked hard on making sure this community development is sustainable. Since 2012, we’ve began concentrated efforts to make our events more inclusive and diverse, starting with our speaker line-up. We were also one of the first events to display and enforce a code of conduct at a time, when that wasn’t the norm. From the PyCon family of events, we borrowed the idea of offering on-site child care. In 2014 we began what is now one of the largest scholarship programmes in not-for-profit tech conferences. In 2019, we’re improving Accessibility introducing for the first time ever, an exclusive space for BIPoCiT folks, supporting folks who observe Ramadan, adding an art exhibition celebrating pioneers in computing. Some of these things, we’ve pioneered, some of them we got inspired to copy from other great events.

We are taking the technical and social impact of our events very seriously and we are pleased that any and all of our initiatives from previous years have been adopted by numerous events inside and outside of the JSConf/CSSconf family of events, some even have been adopted as de-facto industry standards. We are confident that we are only adding to this with our 2019 initiatives.


After keeping the event size under 500 attendees for the first 7 years we decided that it was time to grow in line with the size of the community. We moved to a much bigger venue gearing up towards 1600 people for this year’s events. And to be honest, we reached the limit of what can be responsibly handled by our volunteer team. The small community gathering we set out for has evolved into a 3 day event weekend with over 1600 attendees in total, 60+ flights and 100+ hotel stays to book, 120 scholarships to cover and a dozen visas to organize. The cost of all this exceeds one million Euro (more on this in our finance report). Our very time-consuming and incredibly rewarding hobby of organizing an event has evolved into an all-year full-time job.

Taking a break

Meanwhile, the JSConf community has grown past the original events – JSConf US in the United States and JSConf EU in Germany. It achieved global reach with events happening in Hungary, Uruguay, Iceland, Asia, Colombia, Brasil, Argentina, Australia, Hawaii, Korea, and more JSConfs in the pipeline elsewhere in the world, as well as countless events that don’t share the JSConf name but the same community spirit. All that together makes us feel comfortable in taking a step back from organizing events and taking a break. We formally announce that JSConf EU 2019 will be the last JSConf EU in its current form.

We are going to take the time to reflect on our path from 2009/2013 until today. When we started we saw a clear need for a JavaScript- and subsequently a CSS-focused conference, with a strong vision for a community centered event, that broke with many traditions of existing tech conferences. We ended up with an event that is a cornerstone of our industry. Good ideas tested at JSConf and CSSconf EU have been often copied, adapted and rippled through the entire community. In particular, we feel that the current form is the maximum kind of event we can do with our volunteer team structure. We will use the time to analyze what events need to look like in ten years’ time, events that can be organised sustainably. And we’ll start laying the groundwork for this after we take a break.

We want to thank all the attendees, speakers, artists, sponsors, and volunteers for putting your work, support, and trust in us over the years–and we hope to see many of you in just under a month in Berlin for our final edition!

Feli, Simone, Jan, Holger, and Malte

The 2018 JSConf EU family