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CSSconfEU and JSConfEU 2017 in Berlin

tl;dr: I had a blast! Short summary of CSSConfEU and JSConfEU Berlin.

It is two days “post-conference” now and I’m sitting in Berlin’s House of Small Wonder (just great!) and I am still so overwhelmed with the quality of the conferences and all the great people I met!

General remarks

  • The venue. I saw it almost empty when I helped setting everything up the day before the conference but it didn’t feel that big when all the people came.

  • THE PEOPLE! The community is awesome. I met old friends and made new ones on this weekend. Everybody was nice and including.

  • The food. The organizers decided to go all-veggie for a few days and the food was so good!

  • The talks. Quality of the talks both regarding to contents as presentation were top-notch.

Day 1: CSSconfEU

  • CSS and the first meaningful paint (Patrick Hamann): Patrick talked about measurements that have practical impact for humans. It is one thing to deliver code as fast as you can to the browser, but another to make the website usable (first meaningful paint, time to time to interactive). You can generate reports about those metrics with Googles Lighthouse.

  • Scaffolding CSS for Scale (Sareh Heidari): Sareh works for the BBC and talked us through their SASS Framework Grandstand. Quite impressive to see how she implements frontends for millions of users and interesting to see how the BBC manages to use the same technology for multiple sites.

  • Getting Reactive with CSS (David Khourshid): David used CSS-Variables with JavaScript to build remarkable interactive sites 😳. Great to see how you can push the technology!

  • Let’s Build a CSS Game (Una Kravets): This talk was one of my favorites. Una created a game in CSS 🚀 and walked us through her code in a live coding session. The excitement, preparation and self-confidence she put in this talk together with so much deep technical insights was just amazing!

Day 2: JSConfEU

  • The opening: As every year the bar has now been raised even higher! Those guys are crazy 😂. Controlling controlled the whole stage with web technology, building a demo to test upfront in WebGL: just wow!

  • The Browser Hackers Guide To Instantly Loading Everything (Addy Osmani): Addy’s talks are always great to watch and this was no exception! Performance matters and his talk did inspire to do even more to improve loading times of our sites.

  • Immutable data structures for functional JS (Anjana Vakil): Anjana did a great job explaining immutable data structures in an easy to understand way – even if you had no clue before.

  • YES, your site too can (and should) be accessible. Lessons learned from building (Laura Carvajal): It is good to remind us of the many people who can’t use the internet in the way we do every day. I am dedicated to try out Laura’s idea to disable the mouse for a day to see how our apps work with only the keyboard.

  • Keeping passwords safe in 2017 (Emil Bay): Emil gave input on how to store passwords safely. Good thing he provides secure-password for nodejs (link).

  • Sequential Art, Comics & SVGs (Zahra Jabini): Zahra created a solution to make it easy for designers working in Adobe Illustrator to create overwhelming stories on the web with SVGs without learning how to code. See for yourself how that turned out (spoiler: looks amazing!).

Day 3: JSConfEU

  • A Cartoon Intro to WebAssembly (Lin Clark): Understanding technology through the art of comics sounds pretty cool? It is! I haven’t looked into Web Assembly before. Web Assembly allows developers to deliver code on a lower level and improve performance. It will be interesting to see whether library developers can use this to make frameworks much faster without changing the APIs we use.

  • Sharing is Caring - Patterns for JavaScript Library Design(Maggie Pint): A talk well done on how library developers should make it easier “for the rest of us” to use their products. Made me realize again how it is essential to create things that are easy to use, wether it’s an UI or an API.

  • Real world connectivity: Beyond the bubble (Ben Schwarz): Most of us browse the web on fast internet on an even faster machine. Most of the world doesn’t! Make your sites accessible for them, too.

  • Go Offline First to Save The World (Maureen McElaney): Offline First is an approach to make websites and apps able to work without a network connection. While I did know the technology and used e.g. PouchDB on my rumpirates app, it was nice to get to know other projects, like HospitalRun, an open source project that manages patient information where people in Africa needed to transport paper documents all over the place before.

  • The Legacy of the JavaScript Community (Whitney Williams): What an end to a great conference! Whitney talked about the JS community and I found so much to adapt to my daily work with developers and how to create a better culture and be aware of my own style of leadership.

Jonas is a freelance product manager and web developer. He translates between developers and humans. Born in Germany he now travels the world and works remotely.

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