• EncodeTalent


By Simon Cook

On Thursday 6th of February 2020 at the Belgian Beer Bar, the Front End Dev Adl team (Shane SmithDan Harris and Matt Pigram) are hosting an evening of Lightning Talks. These consist of bite-sized presentations of around 10 minutes each, all on developer-related topics. It's a new format for the event and one the team is excited about!

I took the opportunity to interview each of the presenters ; below is one in a series of five conversations that will be released in the lead up to the event.

Ollie Boermans is a Senior Front-End Developer and Web Accessibility Lead at Fusion, an Adelaide digital product agency dedicated to taking a human-centric approach to creating experiences people love. He is also husband to a graphic designer and dad to an eight year old.

Fun fact; before shifting his focus to Software Development, Ollie was a graphic designer. While working at John Nowland Design, Ollie designed the iconic East End Cellars and Adelaide Botanic Gardens logos – which remain unchanged over twenty years later!

What is the title of your talk at Frontend Dev Adl?

Vanilla Nice

What is it about?

The better you know what comes for free in a modern browser, the more you can do without a heavy library or framework.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing to improve the life of software developers, what would it be?

Everyone would magically understand that building software is a process of uncovering the unexpected, and give up on fixed scope with fixed budget.

Can you describe the Adelaide tech scene in 5 words or less?

I came up with two options here – both of which speak to the fact, despite being in the industry for 20 years, this is my first Frontend ADL and first meet-up presentation:

1) I don’t get out much!

2) I’m here to find out.

Can you make a case that front end developers are more valuable than back end developers?

I totally could, but I would rather not! Pitting specialists against each other does not foster the mutual understanding necessary to work together effectively. While I value specialisation, it is useless without collaboration. The best work comes from specialists who understand each other.

How would your family describe what you do for work?

I usually keep it simple and tell people I build websites. I expect my family might mention design too due to my background. They wouldn’t be completely wrong. Although, these days at work I’m more of a back-seat driver when it comes to visual design.

What is one question I should have asked to make this an even more interesting interview?

For a more complete picture of my focus I ought to mention accessibility:

How does a focus on accessibly improve a website for everyone?

And how would you have answered it?

To my mind, accessibility is a measure of quality not a feature. Seeking accessibility applies healthy constraints to everyone who contributes to the creation of a site. To be successful these folks need to communicate and work together. The difficulty in making complex interfaces accessible is a force for simplifying them. The result is a clarity of purpose with a focus on the visitor – all too often lacking from sites we use everyday.


Ollie will be presenting at the Frontend Dev Adl Meet Up on Thursday 6th of February 2020 along with Darragh Kearns, Michael Timbs, Josh Young and Thais Aquino.

To register for this free event, go to https://www.meetup.com/Front-End-Developers-Adelaide-FEDA/events/267850251/ today

Encode Talent is a proud sponsor of Front End Dev Adl.

See you there!

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