Rey Bango

Web developer, honey badger

JSConf: It’s about friends and family

jsconf-nav-logoAs a developer advocate, I spend a lot of time at conferences. In most cases, especially with REALLY big ones, the ability to really connect with someone is incredibly tough just due to the shear number of people you see and meet.

JSConf is different. It always has been and I hope that it always will be. It’s specifically meant to allow you to connect with “people“. Notice that I didn’t say “developers”. At JSConf, I don’t feel like I’m there to talk with “developers”. I’ve become friends over the years with many of the attendees and every event has allowed me to meet new and awesome people. The conversations may at some point get technical but also focus heavily on our personal lives, be it careers, kids, health or even man-hair crushes (I’m looking at you Anton). And the best part is that most want to hear about that and we’re all seeing each other grow as human beings as the years go by.

It’s what I love about JSConf because there’s no pressure. When you see your friends bringing their families to enjoy the beach or parks, it really puts a different perspective on things. It helps to slow things down and allow you to appreciate the short time that you have to catch-up with those who you may only see once a year, but in some cases have had a profound impact on your life.

I’m grateful to Chris, Laura, Virginia and Cameron Williams for helping me feel that way. You guys are wonderful and looking at you during the event made me realize how special you are and how amazingly special JSConf is. Thank you.

MIX11 Interviews: Mike Taylor, Robert Nyman, Andrew Duthie, and John Bristowe

#ms_mix11_w

MIX11: So long MIX, Can’t Wait to See You Next Year

Today’s the last day of MIX11 and it was clearly evident. The rooms weren’t nearly as full as the first two days but there were still plenty of folks and great sessions going on. I gave my session on HTML5 polyfills and shims. Feedback seemed really good so I’m happy to have had the opportunity to present and want to thank Giorgo Sardo for entrusting me with such an important topic. Some of the feedback:

Attending a cool session by @ReyBango on HTML5 Polyfills and Shims #MIX11 by @anotherlab

@reybango Really enjoyed your talk. Cleared up some questions I had. Great job. by @FwdAnimation

Thanks to @reybango for a good session on #HTML5 polyfills! #MIX11 by @jimfields3

It’s always great to get good feedback and I’m grateful to those that attended and came away with something great from my talk. I was especially impressed by the number of developers who said they were actively using HTML5 and CSS3. It reinforces the need for this type of presentation so that developer can continue to push forward while not leaving their customers, who may not be able to use the latest greatest browser, twiddling their thumbs.

From here I fly off to San Francisco for the jQuery Conference where I’ll give my talk again before heading home. Good times!

#ms_mix11_w

MIX11 Day 1 Recap: IE10 & HTML5

Day 1 at MIX11 was awesome. The vibe was excitely what I expected: awesome and exciting. And the keynte kicked it off with the big news that the next version of Internet Explorer is already in progress and that IE10
Platform Preview 1 is ready for download
. Since the launch of IE9, the concern that I’ve consistently heard from developers is that they expected to wait another 2 years before a new release of Microsoft’s browser. From the tweets I saw yesterday, it seemed like there was a collective sigh of relief to know that a new version is under way and that there’s something to play with right now. Couple that with the list of IE10 features announced like CSS3 3D Transforms & Transitions, Flexbox, and ES5 Strict Mode (and more), and I genuinely feel that developers are excited to see the great progress being made by the IE team. Shoot, even Douglas Crockford is happy! He’s at MIX and I made sure to ask what he thought and he mentioned that the addition of ES5 Strict Mode made him VERY happy…and WE WANT CROCKFORD HAPPY!! :D

Another really cool announcement during the keynote was that Modernizr will be shipped with the ASP.NET MVC 3 Tools update. The importance of this can’t be understated. Microsoft has millions of developers building web applications using their tools and the fact that Modernizr will be shipped in Microsoft tooling is a HUGE validation to the work done by the Modernizr team as well as the importance of HTML5 to the future of web applications.

HTML5 is a hot topic with a ton of sessions focusing on the specification. I’ll be presenting on HTML5 polyfills and shims tomorrow to show developers how to leverage HTML5 while still supporting sites in non-modern browsers. It’s incredibly exciting (and intimidating) to be presenting to such a large group of developer so wish me luck!!

Interestingly, I kept hearing people mention the Knockout.js MVC/MVVM Framework for managing your code organization and providing data-binding. I hadn’t heard of it so I’m definitely going to have to check it out.

More to come later….

#ms_mix11_w

MIX11 Interviews: The appendTo Team

Had a chance to meetup with Mike Hostetler & MS MVP Elijah Manor of appendTo at Microsoft MIX 2011 ad we chatted about their new framework, Amplify. Check out the inteview:

#ms_mix11_w

Presenting at the jQuery Summit Online Conference on November 17th

Next week, Environments for Humans will be hosting their 2nd jQuery Summit Online Conference and what a great event it will be. The speakers (myself included) are just an who’s-who of the jQuery world so you can be sure to get awesome presentations during the event. Lined up are experts like:

  • John Resig
  • Jonathan Snook
  • Richard Worth
  • Emily Lewis
  • …and a lot more.

The event is divided into two tracks targeting designers on the 16th and developers on the 17th. I’ll be presenting on the 17th and will be discussing how to use the new jQuery Templates plugin to make code layout much easier.

You can register for the event by going to the jQuery Summit website and when you do, be sure to take advantage of the following code for a 20% discount on your registration: JQUERY2010

The great thing about this is by registering, you’re also helping out the jQuery project as Environments for Humans is donating part of the proceeds of the conference to the jQuery Foundation.

I’m looking forward to this event and I hope to see you there as well!

The Source Code for my Twitter Demo from the Think Vitamin jQuery Online Conference Templating Presentation

I just finished my presentation at Think Vitamin’s jQuery Online Conference and it was such a great experience. This is the first BIG virtual conference I’ve presented at and it ran smooth as silk. I really have to hand it to the Carsonified team; they have their act together. :)

The big takeaways:

  • Online conferences rock! No travel == less expenses.
  • The technology is good enough to be able to do this and WebEx is awesome.
  • Carsonified’s got this down. While some tech problems are expected, they’ve really got the process working well.

The only downside, from a speaker perspective, is that you really can’t see how your audience is reacting. That’s tough because sometimes, you’re able to adjust according to your audience’s feedback. If there’s dead silence, you know you need to bring them back. If they’re engaged, you know you’re on track. In a virtual conference, you can’t gauge that so it’s tough.

Lots of folks have asked for the code for the Twitter demo that I did. You can now download that below:

Download the Twitter Demo Source

I want to thank everyone for attending and for the kind words. I really appreciate it. I also want to thank Carsonified for giving me the opportunity to speak at a great event.

I’m Presenting on jQuery Templates at ThinkVitamin’s jQuery Online Conference

This coming Monday (7/12/2010), I’ll be one of the speakers at Think Vitamin’s jQuery Online Conference. I’ll be speaking about using the Microsoft jQuery Template plugin to produce easily maintainable dynamic pages via pre-built JavaScript templates. This is a great topic and it looks like the event is generating a lot of registrations. Very cool.

I’ll be joined by three other awesome speakers including John Resig, Karl Swedberg and Ben Alman. Here’s the breakdown of the sessions:

Topics and schedule

  • Beyond String Concatenation. Using jQuery Templating to Cleanly Display Your Data
    Rey Bango

    In this presentation, Rey will show you a new way to produce easily maintainable dynamic pages via pre-built JavaScript templates and the Microsoft jQuery templating plugin.
  • Testing Your Mobile Web Apps
    John Resig

    This talk will be a comprehensive look at what you need to know to properly test your web applications on mobile devices, based upon the work that’s been done by the jQuery team. We’ll look at the different mobile phones that exist, what browsers they run, and what you can do to support them. Additionally we’ll examine some of the testing tools that can be used to make the whole process much easier.
  • Taking jQuery Effects to the Next Level
    Karl Swedberg

    One of the first things web developers learn to do with jQuery is to show and hide elements on a page and then add some flair by sliding those elements up and down or fading them in and out. Too often, though, we stop there, missing out on the incredible range and flexibility of jQuery’s core effects. In this talk, we’ll investigate both standard and custom animations and how they can be used to create useful and fun effects. We’ll also build a couple effects plugins, explore parts of the effects API that are often overlooked, and learn how to avoid common problems when attaching these effects to certain events.
  • jQuery Pluginization
    Ben Alman

    In this live-coding session, Ben explains how, with just a little thought and effort around generalization, parameterization and organization, you can convert your “just get the job done” jQuery code into a legitimate, reusable, modular jQuery plugin.

This really is a great lineup and I’m looking forward to being a part of this great event. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done a presentation so this will be a good warm up for some other conferences I plan on speaking at later this year.

Be sure to use the following discount code for a 15% discount on registration: jquery15

TXJS JavaScript Conference Wrapup

Last Saturday I attended TXJS, my second conference of the year focused specifically on JavaScript-related discussions and presentations. The conference drew approximately 180 attendees consisting of some of the most well-known JavaScript developers in the world including Douglas Crockford (JavaScript luminary), Pete Higgins (Dojo Project Lead), John Resig (creator of jQuery), Andrew Dupont (lead developer of Prototype), and more.

Sessions

The conference was a bit different from JSConf, which I attended in April, in that it clearly was focusing more on client-side development versus server-side JavaScript implementations such as Node or Narwhal. The discussions, though, were similar in targeting the intermediate to advanced developer levels which demonstrates a maturing of the JavaScript developer community. Sessions were given by well-known developers such as Douglas Crockford (Yahoo!), Brian Leroux (Nitobi & mobile expert), John Resig (creator of jQuery) and Pete Higgins (Dojo team lead), to name a few.

While I attended several sessions, including some dealing cross-domain communication and Facebook’s abstraction layers, one sidebar impromptu session interested me the most because it really wasn’t supposed to be a session. A developer from the Selenium project asked John Resig, Pete Higgins and Ed Spencer (lead developer for Ext JS) to sit with him to discuss application testing. That turned into a full-on panel discussion about the topic attended by ~30 people. The feedback:

  • It was said that Selenium was not a great testing tool but it’s the only choice we have
  • Selenium’s lack of intimate knowledge of the major frameworks is a hindrance in spite of the fact that these libs are just JavaScript
  • Mobile is severely lacking adequate testing tools forcing developers to purchase expensive handsets to verify functionality

I also heard that John Resig’s presentation, “JavaScript on the Mobile Web”, was outstanding. John has been doing a tremendous amount of mobile testing, specifically to be able to build jQuery for Mobile and has documented quite a bit of information on the various mobile browsers and their support of JavaScript and the DOM.

Microsoft

Now that I’m working at Microsoft, I much more aware of what’s being said about the company because I want to be able to report on the good and fix the bad.

Some of the Good Points:

  • We sponsored the shuttle bus which was prominently mentioned during the keynote and heavily used by attendees for going to the event as well as returning to the sponsor hotel. It seemed that the shuttle bus really helped the attendees and I’m glad we handled that.
  • I spoke to a number of attendees who were both surprised and impressed by Microsoft’s expanded efforts to address client-side developers. Our announcements around IE9 relating to HTML5, CSS3 & related specs has also been a boon with VERY positive feedback about our direction. Developers are genuinely excited about this but are anxious for more information and transparency. Having IE PM Carter Rabasa attend TXJS was invaluable. He was able to vet questions for developers as well as offer feedback about HTML5 and CSS3.
  • The “IE6 Must Die” mantra was nowhere near the level that was displayed during JSConf. Feedback from several developers was much more empathetic with many simply saying that supporting IE6 is “part of our responsibility as web developers”. It’s not to say that anyone has to like the current state of affairs and I know I would like IE6 to go away (as would Microsoft) so we can leverage the cool new stuff but when you look at feedback from Tom Ochinno of Facebook where he clearly said that dropping IE6 would affect 5M+ users, that puts a very different spin on what we unfortunately need to support.
  • Douglas Crockford attended Jeffrey’s session and expressed how much he loves Reactive Extensions for JavaScript. This made me very happy for my friends Jeffrey Van Gogh and Matthew Podwysocki, who have worked so hard on this.

Some of the Bad Points:

  • Developers want more information on IE9 and that’s not something I could offer at this time. Always tough.
  • Developers want IE6 to go away (so do we!) and that’s not something I could offer either. I think we need to focus on outlining, in a central place, all of the things that would make supporting IE6 much easier instead of developers learning by the school of hard knocks.

By the way, mentioning Facebook, Haste, Primer & Boot Loader rock. Can you make that publicly available?! Please?! :D

Friends

One of the great parts of a conference is the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. I was very happy to see so many people that I only get to share virtual time with like Pete Higgins, John Resig, Brian Leroux, Jeffrey Van Gogh and a ton others. It was also amazing to meet people who I consider so incredibly talented and never thought I’d have a chance to hang with them like Dan Webb and Nicole Sullivan. Too cool.

To Kyle Simpson, thanks for spending some time talking with me at the hotel on Friday night. What a great conversation. I got see a different side of you man.

But most of all I really must thank Rebecca Murphey. Apart from putting on a great show, she truly is a wonderful person. Thanks for everything Rebecca and I will convince you South Florida is the next place to tackle. :)

Conference Feedback:

“briangarcia: Some random thoughts on the fantastic #TXJS . Anyone else think the event should be twice a year? http://bit.ly/dfv069”
“dcoder: Inspired by @joemccan’s #txjs talk; putting together a preso on wireframing and prototyping techniques and LoD. Now to find venues…”
“malsup: Major props to Rebecca and the yayCrew. #txjs was a first class event.”
“rogerpence: #txjs Was very cool. Crockford way cool and Resig so wise beyond his years! Other spkrs great, too. Great day! Job well done by all.”
“dstorey: Getting ready to take the Microsoft bus t @txjs. Hopefully it has hardware acceleration, but I’m not sure about the multiple engines.”

Pics from the Conference:
Courtesy Rebecca Murphey




Video Interviews Part 2 – Nicholas Zakas, Principal Front-end Engineer at Yahoo! on jQuery Performance and Menno van Slooten on his Automated UI Testing Framework for jQuery

I got some more videos edited and uploaded for you guys to check out. If you’re really into JavaScript, then you need to stay aware of what Nicholas Zakas of Yahoo! is doing. He wrote the book (literally) on JavaScript performance and he gave a presentation at the jQuery conference about that topic.

With testing becoming increasingly important for complex web apps, Menno van Slooten‘s automated UI testing framework for jQuery projects was a hit and he presented to a packed room. Ralph Whitbeck and I teamed up to do both a jQuery podcast and video interview of Menno:

After the conference and due to popular demand, Menno put his UI test framework up on GitHub.

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