Fluent Conference, San Francisco 2016

Last week I travelled to San Francisco for Fluent Conf, a front end web development conference held every year by O’Reilly. It was fantastic to experience this event for the first time and meet many new and interesting people to chat with.

Universal JavaScript

I was fortunate enough to be talking on Universal JavaScript (you can find my slides on SpeakerDeck, in which I present my ideas and notes around building JavaScript applications that run not only in the browser, but on the server too. This includes its own challenges – most JavaScript libraries assume that a DOM will be present when they are executed, which is not the case on the server, but the benefits of being able to run your app on the server are worth the effort:

  • If the first render is done on the server, the time before a user sees content in their browser is dramatically reduced. Rather than wait for all the JS to download and execute, the first render is provided by the server before any of the JS is downloaded.
  • Any users who happen to not have JavaScript running, either on purpose or due to other issues such as network failures, still get an experience of your application.

Thank you to all the attendees that chose to come to the talk; I had a great time presenting it and I hope that it was useful information to have. I’m really excited to see the community get behind this idea of Universal JS applications (along with React, the Ember and Angular teams are working on solutions too) and hopefully in a year or so I can give that talk with some more answers and perfected code examples.

Favourite Talks

Some of my favourite talks from the conference were Jafar Husain‘s talk on Falcor, a Netflix JavaScript library for efficient data fetching that offers an improvement over traditional REST APIs when building complex client side JavaScript applications. Additionally ECMAScript editor Brian Terlson gave a great talk on the new ECMASCript process for adding features into the library; the yearly release cycle should lead to a much wider understood language and less developers feeling overwhelmed at the pace of change in JavaScript.

Conclusion

Fluent was a great event and I was very grateful to the organisers for letting me a part of it. Particular thanks to Peter Cooper for playing a huge role in organising the event and making it a really enjoyable experience.

The great news is that in 6 months time Fluent comes to Europe at Fluent Amsterdam and I’m already looking forward to hopefully attending that event too.

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