Blog von Thomas Puppe, Web Developer.

Front Trends 2016 in Warsaw: Day 1

Summarizing the first day presentations of the Front Trends 2016 conference in Warsaw. Covering pranks, animations, static sites, RxJS, performance, and leadership. A speakers list can also be found on 2016.front-trends.com/speakers/.

The venue: Warsaws Star Club
The venue: Warsaws Star Club

Opening by Tim Holman

Keynote: The Web in Motion by Rachel Nabors

Rachel talked about Apps vs Websites, and how Apps often provide the same content, but look much nicer because transitions between states are animated. If there is only old state -> new state, the users brain needs to do heavy interpolation work. If the transition is animated, there is less cognitive workload on the user. So the goal is to eliminate sudden visual changes. Rachel takes two excurses to dark patterns/ads and technical history of animations (Flash, SMIL. CSS Animations) and closes with the Web Animation API.

The difference between web and native starts to blur. The Web is moving forward.

Lovely presentation slides with selfmade comic drawings!

Static Sites go all Hollywood Phil Hawksworth

Phil Hawksworth speaks about the advantages of Static Site Generators and the situations where they are a good choice. Embedded in Praise of simplicity and "Short Stack development". Key argument: SSG moves complexity and potential failures away from the user, because if things go wrong, it is in the building step and not while actually serving a user's request.

Simplifying is not dumbing down. It is focussing on what matters.

Working with the web and the future by Sally Jenkinson

Sally Jenkinson had a rather abstract talk about how our decisions of today affect the future. In positive ways (visionary user interfaces) and negative ways (technical debt). I learned about the "White Elephant" analogy.

The future is a spectrum, not a single point in time. Think of the next sprint, the next month, the next year, the next ten years – at the same time.

Lightning Talks

RxJS – Destroy the state machine by Stenver Jerkku

A technical talk with lots of code samples. In short: RxJS is like "Promises on steroids", providing more possibilities and code which is easier to read. It also has brilliant testing tools and is available in various languages (Scala, Ruby, Java, ...).

Untangle your code with yield by Staś Małolepszy

Very technical talk, completely in code. This was fascinating, in the sense of Clarke's law. I will need to check and work-through the presentation. Buzzwords: ES5, function generators, yield, iterators.

Staś did some live coding (live-uncommenting, actually) with split-screen of code and results. Not sure if this setting is also part of the demo repo.

Once more with feeling by Tim Kadlec

Tim Kadlec held yet another performance talk, making fun of the fact that this topic has been talked about a lot in the last years. ("There's a secret club of people who need to say 'The fastest Request is no Request' two times each year.")

Measurable performance improvement (DNS-prefetch, preconnect, preload, prerender, async, defer, inline critical CSS) is important. If there is nothing left to speed up, you can increase the perceived speed (skeleton rendering, changing status text on progress bars). And sometimes you need to add an artificial delay, because people do not trust a credit card validation which runs too fast.

Everything on your page should have a value, because everything has a cost.

Leadership in an Ever-Changing Industry by Meri Williams

Meri Williams cursed more than other speakers while explaining what makes a good geek manager. in short: giving/explaining/allowing people PURPOSE, AUTONOMY, MASTERY and INCLUSION. And keep developing your own mastery in TECH, TEAM and TOOLS. People need to say "yes" to these questions: "Am I expected? Am I respected? Can I be myself and be successfull here?"

Be a bulldozer and a cheerleader. Get shit out of their way and tell them they're awesome.


Next read: Front Trends 2016 in Warsaw: Day 2