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FRONTEND ADL RETROSPECTIVE



Thais Aquino - "Adding Flutter to an existing Android App"

Darragh Kearns - "Navigating the minefield when integrating React Native and Flutter"

Josh Young - "Frontend Dev: from a Backend Perspective"

Oliver Boermans - "Vanilla Nice"

Michael (Doesn’t have strong opinions on anything) Timbs - "Why Vue is the Best"


Congratulations to Dan Harris, Shane Smith and Mat Pigram for putting on another very successful event. This is one in a growing Adelaide meetup scene and highlights the quality of the people stepping up and getting involved right now in the community.

Post this event, I took the opportunity to get some feedback from the presenters about their experience and advice they had for anyone looking to follow in their footsteps.


SIMON: Thanks again for participating in the Frontend DEV event. How did you find the experience of presenting?

THAIS AQUINO

It was an amazing experience. The format of the lightning talks was interesting in the way different people from different backgrounds could have a taste on each of the technologies presented, what can help people to have a big picture of all that is running in frontend field.

DARRAGH KEARNS

It was really fun and once I got there it felt really easy and natural. I'd been practising for a couple of weeks and the nerves were a big thing beforehand, but they disappeared as soon as I started.

It was a great community to do my first presentation at, really attentive and interested audience with some good questions. It helped that a few people from PickStar and a couple of friends came along to support me.

JOSH YOUNG

Everyone was supportive and encouraging and made it easy for me to get up there and share my knowledge.

It was such a privilege.

MICHAEL TIMBS

This was my 2nd time presenting and both times have been great. The turnout always impresses me and it is a good feeling to see 75+ people in the room when you are talking.

The meetup itself is incredibly friendly and people were very supportive. There’s a good mix of people ranging from those looking for their first dev job, to seasoned devs. In my experience, it’s been very accommodating to everyone.

If you are intimidated by public speaking then this meetup would be perfect for a first talk - we are all there to support the local front end community

OLIVER BOERMANS

The experience was very positive. Folks were polite and even chuckled at some of my pre-written jokes which was a nice plus. Getting feedback that aligned with what I had put into it was particularly reassuring.

Talking to people afterwards and not needing to introduce myself by name was novel, I did anyway, seemed polite. Presenting made it easy to find conversations on the night, which gave me the opportunity to meet some people and even get some technical questions answered.


SIMON : Given your experience, what advice would you give a first-time speaker at a tech event such as this?

DARRAGH KEARNS

Practice. Once I got up there, muscle memory took over and I didn't need to worry so much about nerves.

Make sure you practice with the fact that you're going to be holding a microphone the whole time.

JOSH YOUNG

I would advise that anyone that wants to get into speaking to take advantage of an opportunity like this. I would suggest having there presentation including slide show completed at least a couple of weeks ahead to allow time to practice and get comfortable with their presentation.

MICHAEL TIMBS

I used to think that I didn’t know enough to be able to give a talk people would find interesting (I still don’t!) but everyone has something to share. Even if you have been building software for 6 months, there will be someone there with less experience and you might just be the best person to communicate ideas to them.

Even seniors miss new things or insights that junior devs can provide.

If you are a more experienced developer thinking about speaking for the first time, then I say get up there and share the wisdom you’ve acquired over the years. You might just save someone a tonne of effort and headaches.

OLIVER BOERMANS

First time speaker to potential second time speaker advice:

- Should I give another lightning talk, rather than trimming and squeezing fifteen into ten minutes, I’ll pad out a five minute talk instead. Packing it tight left me feeling overly scripted. More speaking, less reading.

- Write down the single idea first. If it is not succinct try again before filling it out with a story.

- If you want pretty pictures on your slides make an early start looking for them, finding the right images can be a huge time sink. Make sure the images help tell the story.


SIMON : Would you be willing to speak at this or other similar events again? If so, what topic would you like to talk about?

THAIS AQUINO

My advice is everyone have something to share, independent of levels or anything. You always have something to share that can help others, the opposite is true as well.

I love mobile development, so I will be providing talks around this context in GDG Adelaide and any other events that I have an opportunity to talk too.

DARRAGH KEARNS

I'd absolutely do it again, it's such an awesome experience. Not sure what I'd talk about, but we've been doing a lot of interesting stuff at PickStar lately. We're moving our frontend to Nuxt.js with a headless CraftCMS feeding the content through GraphQL (I know, a lot of buzzwords). But we found a weird issue, where each page that generated was slightly larger in size to the previous one, and had to do some black magic to fix it.

I'd also be interested in talking about things like the imposter syndrome (the idea that people feel like an fraud and they aren't actually qualified for the things that they do, even though they are).

JOSH YOUNG

I would love any opportunity that I can get to speak again.

I am currently thinking about some talks on security, UX and possibly some deep dives into packages/frameworks.

MICHAEL TIMBS

I like to get up and talk about things from time to time. Mostly it makes me stop and question if I really understand what I’m talking about. Nothing makes you solidify your understanding of something more than the fear of saying something stupid in front of people.

I’ve given a talk on testing, and Vue at the front end meetup now. The other front end technology I feel very opinionated about is TailwindCSS so maybe you’ll see me talk about that one day if nobody else does. The utility class approach is by far the fastest and easiest way to write CSS that I’ve come across. It also scales incredibly well.

Outside of front end I’ll probably put together a talk or two about serverless architecture. I’ve recently transitioned from container based SOA to full serverless microservices stack and it was a fairly big change in thought process. There’s been a few challenges I’ve been wrestling with and I think I’m getting close to getting on top of it. Once I am confident it would be good to share that journey and those learnings.

OLIVER BOERMANS

I’m keen, although I’m also interested in hearing from more than the usual bunch. So I’ll do my best to leave ample opportunity for others first.

Should the need for another beard with a mike arise, I’d like to talk through some code that creates something visual. SVG seems like a good candidate.


Encode Talent is the proud sponsor of Frontend Dev ADL - look out for the next event announcement shortly!

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