Dan Davies{ Front-end Developer }

jQuery UK

17th May 2014

I’ve finally got some time to talk about a conference I’ve just got back from. jQueryUK Conference in Oxford.

A few months back, we saw the event advertised in the office and thought, it might be nice for some of us to go. At the time, I was a Front-End dev so it seemed a good event for me to go to despite the lack of really good jQuery knowledge. The longer it went on, I thought actually I’m a bit of a fraud going to a jQuery event when I still can’t write a function and with the move into the UX department, I thought it best I didn’t go plus I know Joel Hughes was desparate for me to go to Port80. But I never really said anything and decided I’d go to Oxford regardless. I might even learn something plus it’s another place to tick off.

Anyway fast forward to this week and I was raring to go. I’ve recently picked up jQuery again and felt now was the right time to be going to the conference but still I wondered if knowing literally fuck all about javascript, what would be there for me?

Well I have to say. Quite a lot.

I’ll start off by saying Oxford looks lovely, from what I saw which was very little. I spent most my time in a Holiday Inn miles away from town or in taxis to and fro from the venue. But yes, I’m going back. Oxford to me is what England is all about.

Secondly and the reason you are reading this I guess. The event.

I’d never really taken much notice of the speaker lineup. I knew a few faces but I have to be honest, I went down with the notion that it would be over my head and I’d feel very out of the loop.

The conference was to be a 3 track thingy. Very new to me and despite the fact I never left the first room, it was clear other people liked the idea of having multi-track events.

Starting off the event was Elliot Jay Stocks Adam Sontag from jQuery. He talked about the state of jQuery. Informative and not too hard to keep up with.

Next up was Jen Simmons. I had no idea she was responsible for the Drupal theme that I’ve looked at for 3 weeks so really wanted to heckle her. She spoke about HTML and how it all began. You can catch her slides here.

It was at this point the talks split. So next up for me was Paul Lewis from Google. This talk blew my mind. It had a mix of FE, js and UX. YES! UX! He spoke about how we should be considering all sorts of things in terms of performance from mobile upwards. You can catch his slides here.

We then got to listen to Lea Verou and color with CSS. Learnt a load of new stuff and an insight into what new features are coming in CSS as well as the history of colour in CSS.

After lunch, it was Yehuda Katz’s turn to speak about Ember. I got lost in this one (Sorry) but Ember looks pretty neat. I’m just thick and didn’t really get the whole thing.

Andrew Betts from FT spoke next about building components and FT’s Origami project. Again, this was a great talk as it included a lot of stuff I’ve looked at for the UX side of my role. Would love to see more of their work at FT.

We are into the last couple now and next up was Divya Manian from Adobe. She spoke about graphical effects and browsers. Again, this was great as it was about CSS, nothing too taxing. Out of all the talks up front, this was one I wanted to see and wasn’t disappointed.

Finally we had Andrew Nesbitt (Github) and Francis Gulotta talking about Hardware Hacking and javascript. I’ll be honest, I only stayed for this one as I was comfy as I had no idea what to expect but it was fantastic. They made a fruit piano, a twitter enabled hat and best of all, a quadcopter that flies via a hoodie. You can view the quadcopter here. It’s amazing what you can do with stuff now and has made me and a few more I am sure keen to buy a quadcopter.

So that was the roundup of the talks. There will be videos and I’m sure we’ll see more slide collections going up. Big thanks to all speakers, the organisers White October who did a fantastic job. Have to say I went down not knowing what to expect but really, the day went well and I wasn’t left sat there wondering what was going on. It was a great selection of talks.

It was great to catch up with old friends and new ones too.

I’ll be going to 2015 if they do one without a shadow of a doubt. Probably get a closer hotel to the station though.

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