My most favourite talks in 2018

Stefan Baumgartner

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It’s that time of the year again! For the fourth time in a row, I’m sharing my most favourite conference talks of the year! And again I found some incredible gems that I can’t wait to share with you!

Before we start, let’s have a quick recap on the previous years:

Now it’s the fourth part of this series, which means I have to de-construct everything I had done before and let in some new things. Let’s call it My most favourite talks of 2018 - the Audience awakens. Let’s go!

Isabella Silveira De Souza - Empathy Driven Development #

Empathy Driven Development by Isabella is not your everyday performance talk. Instead of jumping right into performance optimization land, Isa takes her time to showcase life in Brazil. Life that can be totally different from what I as a Central European am used to. Sometimes the differences are big. Sometimes nuanced.

Isa centers around communication. And how people in Brazil use the web to stay connected, even if some boundaries might appear in real life. Fascinating!

From there Isa segues seamlessly into a tech heavy performance optimization talk. Solving real problems of real people. Chapeau! 👏

Richard Feldman - Billion Dollar Foresight #

I know Richard Feldman as the Elm developer advocate. In his talks, he seems like he’s the happiest client side developer only because of all the functional programming extravaganza Elm brings to him. I never touched Elm, but I enjoyed his talks nonetheless.

This one is arguably one of his best. Instead of flat out going into the wonders of Elm, he reiterates on the “Billion Dollar Mistake” of introducing null references in programming languages. A concept that some languages want to get rid of. Languages like JavaScript, well, they have even two null reference concepts.

Richard shows the struggles of null in an incredibly entertaining way. Leading to the age-old question: What if there were no null references?

I immediately bought his book “Elm in Action” afterwards. Check it out, it’s a fun talk:

Siren Hofvander - Making Security an integrated part of the SW Dev Lifecycle #

I had the pleasure to see Siren’s talk this year life at DevOne. Siren gave probably the best introduction to security in software one can think of.

Where the usual security talk is filled with creepy stories of big security holes and the devastating effects of not thinking everything through to the end, Siren takes a step back, tells everyone to relax, and shows a good way of taking on security one step at a time.

I found this talk incredibly inspiring and uplifting. Also wonderfully presented. Be sure to check it out.

Sophie Albert, Dan Abramov, Ryan Florence - React Today and Tomorrow and 90% cleaner React #

Not a year without a framework talk, hm? You might know that I’m incredibly late to the React party. Nonetheless I have more fun using it than I ever thought I would have.

The fun comes from using functional components (in conjunction with TypeScript). In this talk, Dan and Sophie show us the future of functional components by introducing the concept of hooks. A concept where I got the feeling for the first time in a while that this might be an absolute game changer.

Brilliant way of presenting, wonderful life demos. And once you thought: Can this be real, Ryan Florence comes on stage to show a real world example refactored with hooks. Just to make you even more excited.

90 minutes of footage worth to check out!

Kelsey Hightower - Kubernetes and the Path to Serverless #

I’m pretty new to the whole Kubernetes thing and most likely won’t touch it too much in my career. Nonetheless, I enjoyed Kelsey Hightower’s take on Kubernetes with Serverless.

I won’t spoil too much, but Kelsey’s way of presenting is so engaging, fun, inspiring and motivational. He gets an audience applauding the black heroines of 60s NASA, segueing into modern day cloud computing. Then going into a light and fun talk about FORTRAN in the cloud.

All genuine and to the point. What a captivating stage presence. 👏

David DeSandro - Read color hex codes #

I’ve seen David speak at Front Trends in Warsaw way back in 2013. For whatever reason, I have never seen a talk from him since then until this one he gave at DotCSS in December.

And what a talk it was! David is colour blind. And a designer. He chooses his colours by looking at their hex code. That’s how he’s able to understand how hue, lightness and saturation play together.

Look at this talk. I’ve been working with colour spaces for the last 20 years, I would have never thought about this human friendly way of interpreting hex codes.

Highly recommended. Most likely my most favourite talk of the year.

Shameless plug: Automating UI development #

A shameless plug: My most favourite speaking experience in 2018. Talking together with Katrin about some work we’ve been cooking for the last months at Europe’s biggest Angular conference.

I’ve spoken at lengths about our talk in another place. Allow me to end this list with a quick link to the video.

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