My Fronteers 2010 experience

Every liiper gets a time and money budget to learn new stuff. The past four years I attended the Paris Web conference and came back every year with fresh ideas. But this year I decided it was time for a change. That's how I ended up attending this year's Fronteers conference in Amsterdam.

Now that all the videos of the Fronteers talks are online, I wanted to shared with you what I came back with, so that you also go benefit from this resource.

The Venue

I have been to some conferences, but this venue just rocked them all. We were hosted in the Pathé Tuschinski movie theater in the middle of Amsterdam. The pictures I took of this place describe how perfect this place was, much better than I could explain it with words:

pathe tuschinski in Amsterdam

The Lineup

The lineup of speakers was pretty impressive. Paul Irish, Jeremy Keith, Nicholas Zakas, Robert Nyman, Christian Heilmann, Stoyan Stefanov to name some of them. A whole bunch of wise guys. It was a blessing to listen to what they had to share.

The topics

CSS3 , javascript and of course everything around HTML5 were the trending topics. Lately, I somehow got an overdose of hearing about HTML5 everywhere again. But those speakers all presented their stuff with their own perspective and that made it really pleasant and inspiring to follow.

Jeremy Keith, for example, took us through the design principles on which HTML5 is built. I am still fascinated on the vision behind this standard. I truly believe such principles are what made the current standard a success and what will ensure its future.

Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of opera and long time member of the CSS working group went with us through the new features of CSS3 . He shared some pictures and anecdotes of the times he spent with Tim Berners Lee in the CERN, about 20 years ago, to illustrate what was inspiring them while creating the concept of CSS.

Meagan Fisher and Jina Bolton gave us their web designer perspective. Meagan showed us how she uses the new CSS3 properties to give even a better look to her designs on browsers that support them. Jina told us about the workflow she goes through while writing CSS.

I'm not a designer, but I envy their talent and creativity. A journey in a mind of such designers was a real gift to me.

I think you got the point and I won't comment every talk as you can find them online. Let me just recommend three of them to start with.

The 3 talks you should see

Progressive Downloads and Rendering” by Stoyan Stefanov

If you care at lot about performance for high traffic websites this is the talk to watch. Probably the talk where I learnt the most.

Reusable Code, for good or for awesome!” by Jake Archibald

Jake talked about how to design an API and making sure it's reusable. He mostly uses javascript as example, but the principles he presents (and which I cherish too) are relevant to any coding environment. The bonus of this talk is how entertaining that guy is.

Reasons to be cheerful” by Chris Heilmann

This is THE talk I would recommend to everyone working for the web. For about an hour he tells us why we have one of the most awesome jobs in the world. I enjoyed sitting there and contemplating his speaker talent delivering all the reasons why I do this job.


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