Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending Fluent Conf 2014. My expectations were high, as it was my first conference out of Mexico. With O’Reilly as the organizer, legendary developers like Paul Irish and Yehuda Katz present, in the beautiful city of San Francisco, among the friendliest dev community in the US, you could tell that my expectations were clearly high.
Day One: Workshops
I had the opportunity to attend 4 amazing workshops. But I don’t want to make this post really long, instead I will talk about the ones that changed my way of thinking and working, starting with my very first workshop, with Kitt Hodsden. Kitt showed us how to improve the way we work, she talked about making our frontend workflow awesome and magical. She focuses on the DRY principle, making the changes easily, finding mistakes sooner. The workshop was short but rich in content. It was a good start, I learned a lot from her. After it was over, I was looking forward to the following workshop. So, next came a security workshop with Sasha Goldshtein. I was very curious about this topic. As a Rails developer I learned about a few security concerns, although I had thought it wouldn’t be an exciting topic. So he started speaking and explaining security concepts and techniques. He also mentioned who should worry about security. The answer was: everyone. He showed us how easy it was to intercept the conference’s Wifi connection and listen to our traffic. That was shocking and awesome at the same time. It caught my attention immediately. Sasha continued showing us the common vulnerabilities an application can have based on the OWASP top ten vulnerabilities, and got deeper and deeper into the topic. This was done in a live demonstration, he showed us these breaches at work. After one and a half hours of amazing content, I ended up with a different way of thinking, I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought about the issue. I’m thankful with Sasha for sharing this knowledge, he opened that new window for me to explore. So that is how my first day ended, setting the bar high for the next day.
Day Two: Conferences
I was really happy on this second day. I had learned a lot of new things and it was only beginning. I attended a couple of presentations, one of them by Kyle Simpson, that had an awful title (Where’s My Straw?) for his conference but the content was really good. And another by Elijah Manor, who reminded me of why I like to use jQuery, even when nobody wants to use. In my case, it is not because of page speed or performance, it is because of its simplicity and incredible browser support.
Day Three: because every good thing has to come to an end.
I attended even more great presentations. I got to reconsider email and its conversion rates thanks to Lee Mallabone, who showed us how to add more functionality to emails. She showed things I didn’t know where even possible, like adding dynamic content. The following presentation was about the cool stuff coming on Sass 3.3, from the voice of its creator, Chris Eppstein. I also noticed the existence of some amazing functionalities that are already there, like source maps. Finally, another excellent presentation from Lara Swanson, more concepts and ways to make your page faster, and what’s the impact of a slow page has in your conversion rates, she suggested useful ways to optimize your page.
And of course there were wonderful drink-ups, courtesy of Facebook and O’Reilly. But they still have a long way to go before they can be better than the ones we have at MagmaConf ;).
The conference ended, and I was tired, too many things to try and test in my near future. So, in summary, it was hard to absorb all of that knowledge in just a few days, but I’m glad I was there. I had the chance of talking to very talented developers among the attendees, and those interactions added value to the whole experience. I got a lot of tips and experiences I won’t forget easily. You definitely need to be there next year. I thank Kitt, Sasha and Burke and the FluentConf staff for everything. See you next year!
If you couldn’t go to the conference you can see the keynotes here.
Thanks for reading!