I realised while sat in the main room at jQuery UK that I hadn't been to a conference as an attendee without speaker or organiser duties for years. It made a nice change.
jQuery always feels like one of those utility things, I use it every day on pretty much every project I do, but I don't feel like I really know everything about it, this was the main reason for attending and boy was I right. There was so much to learn here that it was slightly scary. During the day I attended eight sessions and by the end my poor head was hurting rather a lot.
The format for that day was very similar to the LUGs that continue to run around the world, but with the numbers dialled up (around 700 people) and the organisation level just that tad more... well organised. This is the difference between having the money and being able to devote people to the job full time. White October Events do a very good job indeed. Although that's not to say the venue was perfect; the main room was excellent but the second and third tracks were too small, so they were constantly overflowed, hopefully we'll see recordings of those sessions in due course.
The speakers were almost all excellent. The sessions I did were:
- The state of jQuery - Adam J Sontag
- A love letter to HTML - Jen Simmons
- Build for the future - Paul Lewis
- Engineering colour on the web - Lea Verou
- Building multi-screen web apps with ember.js - Yehuda Katz
- Components and modules for front end sanity at scale - Andrew Betts
- Graphical effects you didn't know browsers could do - Divya Manian
And the result of all of that is that I have a *lot* of reading and learning to do. Some of the headlines, but definitely not everything I picked up include:
- Check out the FT web projects. I already use a couple but there's so much there in the public domain: https://github.com/Financial-Times
- Cloudant seems like an interesting acquisition by IBM: https://cloudant.com
- Mandrill looks like a good alternative to Mailgun that I currently use: http://mandrill.com
- The Google PageSpeed Insights page is a useful tool to check you've optimised your website for performance: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- I *really* need to try (yet again) to understand why I should use Angular JS. Ember JS is interesting to but seems even more over the top to my mind: http://emberjs.com
- I need to nudge browserify higher up the todo list of things to learn: http://browserify.org
Overall the day was excellent and I have no doubt that I'll be back in 2015.