Back From the dotJS 2015 Conference
Producing a write up of a conference is never easy. There is the opinionated one which never really satisfies readers who want to learn what’s happened and the exhaustive one which is too long and boring, so I’ll just do nothing of these two and write about the talks I liked the most.
Reactive Programming by Andre Medeiros
I’d seen some of his work before the conference and to be honest, I was prepared for some trolls about React. But, and it’s a fantastic difference of dotJS, you never really know what the speaker will talk about. Andre presented a really clear and precise introduction to reactive programming illustrated with examples and concepts. He concluded by showing how RxJS embodies these concepts. Whether or not you knew about reactive programming, I think this was really interesting.
WebRTC by Eric Schoffstall
As an intensive Gulp user, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that Eric, aka the creator of Gulp, didn’t talk about it. This did not came up as a big surprise though because of the huge amount of other projects he is involved in… What he talked about was still pretty amazing anyway. WebRTC is a great new standard (or will be) to create peer to peer connections between browsers without a server. Unfortunately it’s only supported on Chrome and Firefox and this most often limits the use of WebRTC for demo only. After working on each browser (including mobile ones) to find a way to emulate WebRTC (with plugins most of the time), Eric announced a new library called rtc-everywhere that applies everything he found to make it work on every platform!
Minimalistic Webapp by Henrik Joreteg
Even though I’m a fan of good frameworks, I was very interested with Henrik’s approach. He started by reminding us once again that we should think the Web on mobile now. The connection and the performance of the device of our users will be bad and we’ll have to address that. But he did not stop there like other talks I’ve seen. He explained that it’s possible to use most of the modern web development concepts such as a virtual dom or a router without any big framework. He outlined a PoC application with these concepts including Redux which is only 8kb!
Web Profiling by Samuel Saccone
Which web developer has never faced profiling tools without being totally lost? We know that they are really powerful and as Web developers we should be able to use them. However, we often still don’t know how to read all these data. Samuel, in a funny talk, explained that even he, as a Google engineer, can’t make any sense of it out of the box. He gives us many hints to start working with these tools. The most important I’ll remember is that in profiling, like in any other debugging session, you don’t snapshot the whole application thinking you’ll find something. You have to focus on a very specific point at a time. Tools like the memory snapshot has diffing features to compare the memory before and after a specific action on your website which will allow you to work with smaller, understandable pieces of data.
Just like other dotJS conferences I attended, this one was a great experience. If I must give a piece of advice, I would say that if the very first opus in 2012 was perhaps too “motivational” and not technical enough. This year was perhaps too much about “learning” like for the ES6 talks. I go to the dotJS conference to get hints on the directions of the great JS community, not so much to actually learn something.