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2015's Top JavaScript Devs To Follow

The past year was undoubtedly a big year for Node.js and JavaScript across the board.

2015 saw the coming-together of Node.js and io.js, the introduction of ESLint 1.0 and and the adoption of ES6, among many other exciting things.

As part of our yearly tradition at bitHound, we are back again with some new and some familiar faces for our Top 20 JS Devs to Follow list for 2015. The folks mentioned on this list have played a pivotal role, in one way or another, to the success and momentum of JavaScript and Node in 2015. So get ready, these are the individuals that you will want to keep an eye on for 2016!

In no particular order...

1. Eric Elliott

2015 has been a busy year for the infamous Eric Elliott. Eric has spent the past year contributing to software experiences for the best of the best as well as creating video, text and interactive exercises for developers, new and experienced. Whether you've seen him talk or worked with his teaching materials first-hand, you'll know that Eric is not only just helping others learn JavaScript but also, how to change the world.

2. Emma Jane

Emma Jane is the brilliant mind behind Git For Teams– an ever-growing resource aimed to support teams as they learn to work together, efficiently . Beyond creating content to inspire and help teams, Emma Jane has been quite the jetsetter this year delivering inspiring talks at OSCON and DrupalCon.

3. Wes Bos

Writer, speaker and lead instructor at HackerYou, 2015 has been a fantastic year for Wes Bos. A pioneer and proponent of full-stack development and design, Wes has offered fresh new perspectives and techniques for developers as it pertains to JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5 and open source web technologies.

4. Aria Stewart

For Aria Stewart, this year has been nothing short of amazing. Having contributed to the PayPal software experience in internationalization localization, Aria has become a familiar face in the Node community speaking at many conferences addressing the question of how do we really "read" code. Aria has since joined the team at npm where there is no doubt that her skills will continue to shine. Aria continues to be an advocate for open-source and works on a variety of projects including Camping at the Mailbox, the kraken.js framework, and several others.

5. Mikeal Rogers

The name Mikeal Rogers is never far behind any mentions of "Node.js". Mikeal is one of the primary proponents, champions and promoters of The Node Foundation and all that it has to offer. Mikeal played a pivotal role in bringing Node.js developers and organizations together this year at NodeSummit and NodeInteractive and continues to curate and organize fantastic experiences for both NodeConf & JSFest.

6. Kassandra Perch

If you have an affinity for clothing adorned with perfectly coordinated and programmed LED lights, you're going to want to find Kassandra Perch at the next conference you are at. Kassandra made a significant impact on the conference circuit this year, speaking and presenting at conferences like Nodevember, JSConf and JavaScript Summit. Her passion for all things embedded with JavaScript really comes through in her new book which is perfect for anyone who has worked with Arduino before or is new to electronics and would like to try writing sketches in JavaScript.

7. Chris Williams and Laura Williams

The forces behind the magic that is JSConf, Chris Williams and Laura Williams ran not one, but two memorable JSConfs in 2015. Whether it's through robots, creating safe spaces or stepping outside of the standard conference playbook, Chris and Laura have shown us this year what can really be achieved when people that love the community and JS come together. Although they will no longer be organizing JSConf US– we can't wait to see what they will do next!

8. Pam Selle

Software engineer at Comcast, published author, and public speaker; Pam Selle is a passionate community builder. Her blog, The Webivore, provides some great real-world examples to help developers on a variety of fronts and she has worked hard organizing Philadelphia's largest JavaScript user group as well as the 2014 and 2015 editions of LibertyJS– a regional JavaScript conference. Pam delighted many attendees with her recent talk on Streams at JSConf Last Call.

9. Cody Lindley

With a background of over 18 years delivering great HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and client-side performance techniques for the web, 2015 has been no exception for Cody Lindley. Working for Telerik as a Developer Advocate, Cody has built great momentum for KendoUI while bringing awareness to the effect of ES6 on development.

10. Brian Leroux

What can one say about Brian Leroux? Principal scientist and renegade amongst the JavaScript community, Brian has spent the majority of 2015 making tremendous strides for Adobe while still being able to provide thought-provoking presentations at GOTO Chicago and Extensible Web Summit. Brian also made it his mission to help establish an inclusive and inquisitive environment while MC'ing JSConf back in June.

11. Dr. Axel Rauschmayer

A familiar face to most, Dr. Axel Rauschmayer has made our list once again. If you've been paying attention at all to ECMScript-anything or reading JSWeekly, surely you will have come across his name. Dr. Axel continues to deliver fantastic content whether it's presenting at FluentConf or providing thought-leadership on Babel and ES via his blog.

12. Rebecca Murphey

A mentor for many developers, Rebeccca Murphey spent 2015 sharing her expertise and best practices for organizing, testing, refactoring, and maintaining JavaScript application code with many. With presentations at concat, Cascadia Fest and dot.js, Rebecca has encouraged all of her audiences to push the boundaries of how software can be made better.

13. Tim Pettersen

Fans of Bitbucket and Atlassian know the name Tim Pettersen well. As Developer Provocateur, Tim has done a fantastic job exciting and helping developers and as such, has played a pivotal role in growing and advancing the Atlassian ecosystem.

14. Rob Dodson

With everything that's happened on the library front this year, we would be remiss not to draw attention to the Polymer Project. One of the great minds behind Polymer is Rob Dodson. Throughout the course of the year, Rob has played a tremendous role in making it easier for developers to create fantastic components for the modern web. This is evident in the many talks he delivered at Chrome Dev Summit, Polymer Summit and QCon as well as in his infamous Polymer Polycasts.

15. Mathias Bynens

Globetrotter Mathias Bynens presented at over 15 events in 2015 including CSSConf, JSConf, JavaScript Summit and jQuery Developer Summit. Throughout the year he has offered fresh new perspectives on the topics of ES6 and continues to bring insight into the relationship between JavaScript and Unicode.

16. Elijah Manor

In 2015, Elijah Manor not only taught us the art of eliminating JavaScript code smells but also about the more astute ways to work with React. Working at LeanKit, he continues to challenge the boundaries of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Elijah will be presenting at O'Reilly FluentConf in 2016 which is sure to be one of the top talks to attend.

17. Reginald Braithewaite

Perhaps one of the most worthwhile and perceptive Twitter accounts out there, Reginald Braithewaite is someone you want to pay close attention to (if you aren't already). In addition to his tremendous work on GitHub, his site offers developers an array of technical and non-technical, relevant insights. We also want to mention Reginald's JavaScript Allongé that is a must read for anyone looking to connect the ever-elusive dots of JavaScript.

18. Matthew Podwysocki

Open-Sourcerer, Matthew Podwysocki is the community lead for the RX.js library. With a focus on reactive programming at all scales, the Internet of Things, and improving technical education for kids, Matthew has made amazing strides through his various involvements. With his most recent talk at JSConf, Change the World With the Peer Web and Thali, we can't wait to see what Matthew will do in 2016!

19. Jafar Husain

As technical lead at Netflix, architect of @falcorjs and TC-39 Rep, Jafar Husain is someone to watch. Over the past year, Jafar has taught many about the Netflix philosophies surrounding asynchronous JS. His work with Falcor has helped many in the realms of efficient data fetching and has transformed general data access.

20. Una Kravets

Our last (but certainly not least) developer to follow is the inventive and effervescent Una Kravets. As Front-End Developer for IBM Design and Bluemix, podcast host of @toolsday and STEMinist, 2015 has been an unbelievable year for Una. From creative and pragmatic approaches to design to bringing awareness to the state of open source, Una has made a positive impact on the community at large. We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for her!

Well, that's it for 2015!
Was there someone that you think should have made this year's list? We'd love to hear your thoughts– chime in to the conversation on Twitter.

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