Stefan Baumgartner

Web ops, performance and front-end

My most favourite talks in 2017

30 December 2017 by @ddprrt | Posted in: review

So it IS finally a tradition. After my most favourite talks of 2015, and the top talks to watch in 2016 – the conference videos strike back!, we complete the trilogy with my most favourite talks of 2017 – Return of the Bingewatch:

If I would be completely honest, I would send you to the Script’17 playlist on YouTube. Yes, this is my own conference, but I’m incredibly happy in how amazing the line-up for 2017 turned out.

But of course there is more. As a conference organiser, I try to keep an eye on outstanding topics and compelling presentations. So let’s see what I enjoyed as well:

Tom Dale - Making the Jump: How Desktop-Era Frameworks Can Thrive on Mobile

One thing that always gets me excited about Ember and Glimmer are the EmberConf keynotes by Yehuda Katz and Tom Dale. In about an hour of time, they present concepts that will define the framework space for the upcoming year. Ember might be one of the frameworks which have a smaller audience, but they also gather a cult following. For good reason! This solo session by Tom Dale is basically the digest from 2017 EmberConf keynote. Frameworks as compilers is something we will hear a lot more often in the future. Enjoy!

Nadieh Bremer - Hacking the Visual Norm

I had the pleasure seeing this talk by Nadieh Bremer at beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf this year. I always like exploring new topics where I have basically no knowledge of, and Nadieh gives a whirlwind tour through her work in data visualisation. Her work is simply astounding! I never thought that information displayed right can be this wonderful form of art! And Nadieh’s passion for her projects can be felt every single minute of the talk. Watch it and get hooked!

Lin Clark - The future of the browser

Lin’s talk on the future of the browser has been around this year and for good reason: The story of how Mozilla created not only its own programming language (Rust) but also revolutionised browser rendering with it is second to none. I saw this talk at JSKongress in Munich this year, just in the same week the new Firefox version with Quantum went GA. I’m not sure what got me more exciting: Seeing this talk and then using Quantum, or using Quantum and getting more information in this talk. In any case: If you haven’t seen it, watch it. This recording is again from beyond tellerrand, this time in Berlin.

Alex Russell - Web Components: Just in the Nick of Time

If there’s a gem talk at PolymerSummit, it really shines. And this closing keynote by the inventor of web components – Alex Russell – is a wonderful story of how web components were created, and how they became what they are now. It was a rough ride, but I think the spec is now in a really good shape, and Alex’ talk undermines my feeling. I’ve seen Alex live about five years ago at Front-Trends in Warsaw and had the chance to speak with him afterwards. An amazing speaker and overall nice guy, it kind of wonders me that this is only the second talk I’ve seen from him. Check it out:

Guillermo Rauch - Next.js: Universal React Made Easy and Simple

I’m never too deep into the React space, and somehow I still manage to live quite good without it. Still, the whole approach of Next.js from Guillermo Rauch’s company Zeit is everything I want to see from a framework: Low entry barrier, easy to manage learning curve, and never in the way of developers. You get a lot when you just start simple things, and the more you use it and the more you have to touch internals, the more flexible it becomes. Very well designed (like all of Zeit’s tools), and for me almost the only way to do React at all. Guillermo’s talk on the future of Next.js will excite you as well:

Lea Verou - CSS Variable Secrets

Lea’s talk are one of a kind. Not only is the way she does talks so incredibly unique, also the content is something you are never going to find elsewhere. Her talk on CSS variables is no exception. I always thought I had a good understanding of how variables work and what their big power is, but after seeing this talk I knew: I just scratched the surface. Lea gives some amazing use cases, and she still follows her core principle of all CSS secrets talks: You see an example, but you learn a quintessential concept of the technology underneath. Chapeau!

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