The abstractions added by ES6/2015 are gonna be awesome, but as they become idiomatic, we'll need to rethink how we teach JavaScript to beginners. Ashley Williams has some ideas, and reason to believe they are p good - plz come hear them in her talk "If you wish to learn ES6/2015 from scratch, you must first invent the universe". Ashley kindly answered a few of our questions to help us get to know her better:

Is this your first trip to the Pacific Northwest? Do you have other plans for your trip?

yes! oregon has beckoned me across the fly-overs on several occasions over the last few years, but this will be my first venture just a bit further north :) i know i should probably take advantage of being here, but my only plan right now is to deliver a rad talk. other activity suggestions are very welcome, though.

What does your usual work day look like?

as of now- i'm looking for a new gig (come at me, jobs!). so i usually start the day by making some pour-over coffee in my lovely little ridgewood, queens apt. from there, i log onto irc, check github notifications, and inevitably my google calendar. when i'm not interviewing, i'm working on one of several open source projects i have going, which includes everything from writing docs, filing/triaging issues, to growing/maintaining APIs in node, rails. both my favorite and least favorite part of what i do is "context switching". unlike the variety of tasks i have, i'm almost certainly listening to < 4 songs on repeat. the day ends when the ratio of emo/nonsense twitter content to productive work gets top-heavy and tips over.

Who in the industry consistently blows you away with wonderful work?

ugh, too many great people to do any of them justice. pleading the fifth because i'll inevitably leave someone out by accident.

Have you worked in industries other than the web?

my first 3 years out of undergrad, i was a middle school science teacher in Harlem, NYC. however, most importantly, i think, my very first job was a pony-walker. yes, that is exactly what it sounds like.

What does your dream job look like?

i'm really passionate about a lot of things, and so first and foremost, the company i'd work for would need to meet that intensity of passion, at least halfway. i've always been the type of person who needs to work towards something that very directly and clearly supports and furthers my values- so ideally i'd find myself as an engineer working to build tools focused on some aspect of community, diversity, accessibility, and/or free/low-cost education.

technically, i'm a sucker for application architecture, both on the server and the client, and have a real passion for designing and building APIs. long-term i'm interested in developing tools and workflows to improve the maintenance and discovery of free educational content. in particular, i would like to make a new, and/or leverage an existing, package manager to automate the creation and dependency management of classes, particularly for the beginner web developer.

Do you knit, play the banjo, make beer, climb rocks or do anything that isn't on a computer?

it's a poorly kept secret that i'm a huge fan of continental philosophy. i spend quite a bit of time reading, writing, and discussing theories of power and language. one of my favorite pastimes is explaining to people how they are using the word "deconstruction" incorrectly. i'm really excited about how development in theoretical physics and information theory are starting to converge with contemporary thought in "metaphysics" (using this term very loosely). these topics are often characterized as really pretentious and inaccessible, but i try really hard not to be a jerk about it and i think i mostly succeed.

that aside, i also take meticulous care of a p significant garden of cacti and succulents, cook delicious vegan food, and play games, primarily of the card and european board varieties :)