Fronteers 2016: My thoughts

In 2016 I visited the Fronteers conference for the sixth time in a row. You can read my notes in an earlier post on this website.

Fronteers is one of the most popular conferences about front-end technology and deservedly so. The organisation always deliver a top-notch conference: excellent speakers, great food, great people and lovely merchandise. It is always something I look forward to during the year.

Especially when I was just starting to be a full-time front-end developer Fronteers was something where my mind was blown. In the train back home I was always thinking “OMG, that was awesome - but I can never do that!”. Unfortunately that is not always the case anymore.

Scope of topics

The scope of topics talked about during Fronteers seems to grow larger and larger every year. Ofcourse this is a logical consequence of the landscape of front-end development growing at an unbelievable pace. Tools and techniques which are the bee’s knees today are deprecated and ancient tomorrow.

However, that growth also means you cannot do everything yourself anymore. I try to focus on a few topics which I care about. Other topics, like animation, are great - but not something I’m very actively involved or interested in. The results is that talks about topics which I care about only scratch the surface and don’t offer anything new to me - other than a reassurance that I’m on the right path. On the other hand a topic like data visualisation is nice and interesting to me for 15-20 minutes, but two 50 minute talks in a day is a bit too much for me.

The conclusion to me is that maybe a focused conference like CSS Day is better and more interesting for me. It’s focus on very specific subjects instead of trying to cover a bit of everything appeals to me. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great time at Fronteers ofcourse!

Inspiration to share

The Jam Session featured short talks by attendees of the conference, with a time limit of 10 minutes. It’s an excellent opportunity to share your ideas or simply to learn how to talk in front of an audience. This year was the first time I attended the Jam Session and it was actually one of the reasons why I decided to finally get my personal website up and running.

I’m not sure who it was, but someone mentioned during Fronteers that we all have experiences and knowledge no one else has. Knowledge that other people could benefit from. I’ve always suffered from Imposter Syndrome, thinking that whatever I do isn’t good enough. Various talks during the Jam Session and Fronteers convinced me otherwise: I know quite some things about topics like WAI-ARIA, progressive enhancement and accessibility as well. Maybe I should try to do a talk at next years Jam Session?

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