Back in June I was lucky enough to head over to sunny Amsterdam to give a talk & run a workshop at the Dutch PHP Conference.
Of course, everybody was super friendly, the conference was really well organised and full of interesting talks and I had the pleasure of meeting loads of talented people from all over Europe!
Workshop: Hands on with the modern front end stack
It can be a daunting stack to approach & setup for the first time, especially if you're not familiar with the JS ecosystem. I'd recently given the team at Envato a high level introduction, so I decided to run a workshop along those lines with the aim of helping people understand & actually start using these tools.
It turns out workshops take way more preparation than talks. Finding a balance between talking/slides & hands-on coding time for an unknown audience with varying levels of familiarity topic is tricky - I have a newfound respect for all the teachers out there!
Talk: The UI is an Application
Most of my day to day work, blog posts, talks & side projects over the past couple of years have had a common theme: that UI code should be treated as real application code, approached with the same engineering mindset as we approach code that runs on servers.
I wanted to explore what happens when you go all in on this idea. Here's the talk overview:
The UI is no longer just a ragtag collection of templates, scripts & styles shoehorned in alongside “real” application code, but is now a rich, complex piece of software in and of itself.
My talk was well received and I was pleasantly surprised at the appetite for all things front end at a conference for a server side language. The conference & community at large seem to have a nice overall focus on just shipping great, fast websites & trying out new methods of achieving that goal, rather than being hyper focused on PHP itself. I'd love to see more of this from the Ruby & Rails community (and in the past few months there have definitely been some encouraging signs!)
Here are the slides!
Between the dedicated front end track and the not-super-PHP-specific nature of the conference, I also got to see a bunch of really great talks. Some of my favourites were:
- Arne Blankerts' talk on Content Security Policy
- Rachel Andrew's excellent introduction to CSS Grid Layout
- Vincenzo Ferrari's talk on Ionic Framework and AngularJS which, along with a presentation by Lauren Tan at MelbJS earlier this year on the Ember developer experience, had me wishing for a little more consistency & stability in the React ecosystem
- Marcus Bointon's talk on all things networking
- Daan van Berkel's excellent talk on Ada Lovelace and the beginning of programming (video of the same talk from another conference)
Overall I had an amazing time, learned lots and got to meet a bunch of really talented people (Belgians: the friendliest people on earth?). If you're thinking of either attending the conference or submitting a talk for the 2016 edition, I highly recommend it!
Big thanks to Martin, Joni, Robbert, Angela & the rest of the iBuildings team for having me & organising a fantastic few days!