Full Frontal 2012

16 Nov

Freedom to explore is a powerful thing’; A sentiment shared with us by FullFrontal 2012’s final speaker Chris Wilson and a quote that every developer and company director should take to heart. Chris was one of the many speakers enlightening the 200+ listeners who crammed in to the Duke of Yorks picturehouse for Brightons Javascript centric FullFrontal conference. It is not a conference celebrating Steven Soderberghs 2002 film starring Julia Roberts.


Curated by Remy Sharp, who started the conference after his wife Julie told him to stop moaning about there not being a JS conference in Brighton and to just ‘put one on’, FullFrontal pulls in developers from all around the world and speakers whom this year travelled from as far as Vancouver to illuminate our perspective on growing concerns and innovative techniques within Javascript, the web and testing.

Kicking off with a faceful of pastry and coffee, FullFrontal set out to tackle the debate over whether the web is still relevant or has the application based mentality taken over. Should we throw away the pure html just to progress or should we not jerk react but instead look further into how we should code. Talks from James Pearce and John Alsopp highlighted both sides of this argument with both speakers stating that the web needs to stay relevant to fight with app platforms. The opinionated amongst us took to either side quite profusely with debates continuing after the conclusions of the mornings talks, with developers standing in ‘warriors’ esque groups debating whether it is time to evolve through cutting down code or should we respect and improve what we have. These two talks were so provocative that they sparked conversation for the rest of the day

Imperative programming – the art of telling a computer how to do things
Declarative programming – state what you want to happen in various conditions.

Mass Effect of Geek

A gaggle of developers in one place meant that everyone was going to be buzzing off caffeine and that the free haribo was never going to last very long. It also meant that like minded individuals could network and agree/disagree on the subjects spoken about. Following on from the morning’s proceedings, there were two more talks with the first being about Offline Storage, which was delivered brilliantly by Andrew Betts, who is a technical wizard for the Financial Times in London. What was so great about this talk was the comparison between the supposed dead medium of print and the blooming digital medium whilst showing that even though you can evidently do more with Internet technologies, the perks of printed media should always be considered when designing an offline application.

Should we be living in an age where we are constrained by how much Internet connection we have or should we be able to have the same functionality offline as we do online? Andrew belives that the offline experience should be just as useful as the online equivalent, an ideal that developers are slowly starting to implement into their apps. Why should you not be able to read your emails whilst offline? A truly insightful talk and one that got me thinking about how to integrate the ‘family’ ( see photo ) into my next online app.

Full Frontal Slide

The age of the console

‘Is it time to start adapting our web experiences for the console generation?’ asks Anna Debenham before showing to us the capabilities, or lack of that the current generation of games console browsers have. It’s frustrating as a web developer to constantly cater for browsers that are about as compatible to future code as fish are without water so to hear that there is another ace in the potential browser hate pack is not good news. As of last week, console browsers make up for 16% of Internet browsing. An amount that looks small in number but when put in context, it makes up for over 40 million people. probably.

Talks and Talks

FullFrontal was a strong event this year with the afternoon having a strong line up consisting of Paul Kinlan ( talking about the best way to build web apps , Rebecca Murphey ( who made everyone feel awkward when she showed us the real way to test Javascript. It’s not hitting Refresh by the way ) before Steven Wittens wowed the audience with Math and how it is so much more than the lessons you hated at school. For proof of that statement, check out Steven’s blog.

FullFrontal is a fantastic day for anyone with even a slight interest in Javascript and/or web development as a whole, and with tickets being on the cheaper side of a three day cruise, it’s really worth investing when the time for ticket buying comes next year.

Thank you to Remy for the day as I will certainly be back next year.

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