On day two, we delved into our Web Developers Workflow track during which we presented tips on which tools help to enhance workflow, increase code quality and let developers concentrate on true innovation without being bogged down by basic setup and ongoing maintenance. Here’s a breakdown of what was discussed during the event:
Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery foundation, Dave Methvin, highlighted some of the features in jQuery that exist now. Dave showed us some really interesting features of jQuery and took a deep dive into the nitty gritty of older jQuery APIs.
AngularJS is arguably the most popular client-side MVC framework around these days, so it’s no surprise that it made a presence at the Modern Web Conference as well. Burke Holland, a Developer Advocate at Telerik, entertained and enlightened us on AngularJS directives during his presentation. Angular, although popular, definitely has its complicated parts, and Burke really helped add clarity to some of the “computer sciency” things in Angular like scope, transclusion, and many others. His demos on creating reusable directives really inspired the viewers and clearly showed how powerful Angular can be once you get passed its initial learning curve.
Day one wrapped up with a presentation by Estelle Weyl. She capped off the day with a great talk on CSS3 animations. It was very cool once again to see the power of what CSS can do for a web application. She was able to demo some fairly complicated animations that require only a few lines of CSS and once again, the viewers of the conference were blown away by the things you can accomplish in CSS.
The second day of the Modern Web Conference was all about tools that developers use to make our lives easier. Seven great talks were given on day two that showed the audience how to be more efficient when working with client side code.
Starting off the day was a highly informative talk on one of the most important tools of working on a team these days, Git. Jordan Kasper gave a very thorough run through of all that you can accomplish with the most popular DVCS (Distributed Version Control System). He demo’d getting started with Git all the way to connecting to GitHub, working with
Git bisect, rebasing, and several other of Git’s built in tools. Everyone had a great time learning about Git and one viewer even said that Git was much less of a mystery to him now after having heard the talk.
I actually spoke during the second slot on day two about the importance of unit Testing your client side code. I covered the basics of why you need to unit test your code for things like bugs, design, and maintainability. I also talked about some of the different testing strategies that exist out there like TDD and BDD. TDD on the client side was definitely the biggest focus of my talk and I also discussed red/green/refactor while working with the simple test framework, QUnit.js. A few other tools such as Sinon.JS, plato, and Blanket.js were also presented. These tools can help ensure that bug free-ish code make their way into production and the time spent fixing bugs is lessened by focusing more on the code at the forefront of a project rather than after launch.
A lot of developers tend to spend the majority of their time in the Chrome developer tools, but Raymond Camden of Adobe aimed to prove that there are many great features of other browsers including IE11 that can also be a great help to developers by showing off the developer tools for Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera, and proved how each one can handle an error or some edge cases slightly differently. The audience was very surprised to see just how different the debugging experience can be from browser to browser, and was also enjoying the pictures Raymond had in his presentation as well as his awesome tattoos.
bower install backbone. It’s much simpler to work with Bower because it works similar to NPM where you have a
bower install when you need them. He also exhibited how easy it is to add Bower to your library and make it usable by anyone.
No front-end application these days would be complete without some sort of automation. Whether it’s a library or a web app, it’s important to have something like Grunt or Gulp running tasks on your code such as testing, minifying, deploying, etc. Elijah Manor from Dave Ramsey in Franklin, TN showed off how easy it is to get started with Grunt. He showed off some of the popular plugins that you can easily implement in your build and also noted that there’s almost 3,000 plugins you can use with Grunt! This talk helped a few in the audience go from hearing about grunt to wanting to go try it out for themselves.
The final talk of the day was a very technical intro to a new vm tool known as Vagrant. Tim Ambler went straight into demoing this very cool new virtual machine system. He explained how you simply install VirtualBox, and Vagrant and can get started with a Vagrant setup file to tell vagrant to quickly and efficiently set up a virtual machine that latches on to your current system. There are many different images you can use from the Vagrant cloud or create your own Vagrant image to allow you to setup a server running Ngnix, Ruby, and Node in a matter of minutes. Vagrant looks like a great tool to manage a team of developers on different platforms because no matter what OS they are running, a VM will be created that the developers can easily connect to and run applications.
The first virtual Modern Web Conference was a great success and left me excited to go play with all of the new information I had amassed over just two days! There were so many new tools and frameworks presented that I couldn’t wait to try for myself. We’re looking forward to another Modern Web Conference next year to continue promoting how powerful the Modern Web is compared to techniques we were using not that long ago. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come as web developers and designers and there’s no telling where we’ll be next.