A Day of REST Conference

I’m on the train home from London after 2 of days of learning about the new WordPress REST API.

Day one was the conference itself, and the second a hack day. The whole event was organised by Human Made, who’s employees, among others, have been spearheading the project — A project that is going to change people’s attitudes towards websites. It may sound a bit dramatic, but I firmly believe that it’s going to push developers to raise their game and increase experience expectations from web site user’s perspective.

We’ve started to see “single page apps” and native app style web experiences from big players over the past few years, but now with WordPress offering the foundations to build these things right into the core product it opens new doors for everyone. The barrier to entry has been lowered and will continue to lower as it matures, examples and articles are written, and ideas permeate through the very large and active WordPress community.

The talks themselves were all excellent – I’m hard pushed to choose a favourite as they flowed perfectly and progressively built on the ideas presented by the previous speakers. A perfect package of presentations. The day ended with me very excited as to the possibilities. It’s time to dive into JavaScript.

Great after party, too. Beer is expensive in London. That’s just the way it is.

Day 2 brought the “hack day”, luckily it didn’t start until 10:30, I was feeling a bit rough because I’d spent too much money the night before. Having never attended a hack day before I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a big apprehensive to be honest but I figured “what the hell?”

It was set at the Mozilla offices, which are far nicer than my office and probably nicer than your office too. Around 60 people attended. Starting with people suggesting ideas to “hack on” it immediately felt very relaxed and “community” like.

I got involved with the documentation, in a team of 7 look at this web-site. Firstly we discussed how we’d like to see the documentation improved and then after lunch we got on with it. I got a commit accepted and merged to make it more clear that version 2 docs were available. Not the most exciting or taxing thing in the world, but still, it needed doing.

Next time I’ll probably tackle a coding issue now I’m more confident.

I had a great time and I learnt an enormous amount. So pleased to have gone.

Laracon EU 2015 – Thoughts

I’ll admit, I expected more talks about Laravel specifically. This wasn’t the case. It was more a conference for developers.

Sitting in a conference venue going through endless code talks is not a good way to learn. One or two piques the interest but this stuff is best learned in a more comfortable environment with Laracasts. It’s not something you can take in endlessly throughout the day gabapentin 300 mg.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the code talks. As I said on talks of note on day 1, Adam Wathan’s code refactor talk I thoroughly enjoyed, but sitting through a day of it would be too much.

Looking at the comments on joind.in it seems some had different expectations. It’s easy to dismiss them and ridicule, but I’m going to practice empathy here. They’d paid a lot of money and had an expectation of their return. Perhaps a wildly unrealistic expectation, but it was there. Many factors may have contributed to this; not having been to previous conferences, previous Laracon, lack of expectation setting on the conference organiser’s part… who knows, but it was there. Hopefully, those people, on reflection, will be able to look past it and realise the benefits. It’s a shame, but being a single-track conference, you get what you’re given.

Personally, I prefer single-track conferences because I learn things on topics I may not have gone to, and I don’t feel guilty for missing another person’s talk. But then, you may have to sit through some talks that aren’t your cup of tea. Pros and cons.

I’d definitely go again. I learnt a lot and met some nice people. It was an experience.

Laracon EU 2015 – Day 2

I was far more refreshed on day two after resisting the urge to go out with the people I’d met the night before. I half regretted it as it turned out some prominent members of the community were out, but ne’mind. I slept.

After being somewhat shocked when my Airbnb host turned up unexpectedly as I sat eating my breakfast in my underpants, I headed to the conference.

There were three standouts for me on this day.

★ Jessica Rose – Impostor syndrome and individual competence (joind.in)

I’d be very surprised if not everyone in the room didn’t suffer from this to a certain extent their explanation. There was some good advice on dealing with it, how to behave when others are suffering from it, and an overall sense on “Actually, I’m OK”.

★ Lorna Jane Mitchell – Advanced Git for developers (joind.in)

Plenty of examples and takeaways. I’ve seen elements of this talk before but there’s always more to learn with git. Lorna presents it really well with live examples. git rebase -i FTW!

★ Konstantin Kudryashov – Min-maxing software costs (joind.in)

This is the second time I’ve seen Konstantin speak (the first being at PHP North West 2014), and like the first time, he didn’t fail to deliver. This guy knows his stuff and explains it well. This talk was code related but actually showed very little code. In fact, the takeaway was “Code as little as you can”. That’s somewhat simplified, but the premise is that through experience and gained knowledge you weigh up when to write something from scratch and when to use existing code from another developer. The concepts of Cost of Introduction, Costs of Change, and Cost of Ownership helped me define my thoughts and I’ll certainly consider these things going forward on new projects far more.

Unfortunately I had a plane to catch so had to leave early during the last talk, which I was really annoyed about, since it was Jeffrey Way! Jeffrey has taught me so much through Laracasts. Oh well, I’ll watch the video.

Laracon EU 2015 – Day 1

My first Laracon and my first conference for quite some time; day one has provided me with much to think about.

All the talks have been of a very high standard but the two, well, three, that stand out most are:

★ Matt Stauffer – Empathy Gives You Superpowers (joind.in).

This was the keynote talk and set the scene. Empathy makes you a better person, a better coder, a better… everything in all aspects of your life. Having empathy takes times to learn and develop and should be practiced. Specifically with coding, it will empower you to better understand your users and therefore build better user experiences.

★ Adam Wathan – Chasing Perfect (joind.in).

Some live refactoring action that explained a design pattern I hadn’t heard before: The Null Object pattern gabapentin 100mg. Well explained and entertainingly presented. I’ll defenitely be using this in the future.

★ Taylor Otwell – The Tao of Laravel (joind.in)

And finally, the talk by the man himself. Taylor opened with the philosophies behind what he is doing – to take away all the pain points of app development, and then introduced Laravel Spark. This is more boilerplate code that gets you to where you want to be quicker, so you can start building your actual application and not have to repeatedly code, login, authentication, user groups, subscriptions, billing… another game changer.

I’m ready for day 2.