Takeaways From Fluent Conference 2015 (Fluent 2015: 1 of 5)

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A few weeks back, Matt, Bernie, and I took off (temporarily!) for San Francisco. Our destination was Fluent, one of the largest web development conferences in the world. Of course, we also found some time for good beer, good food, and good coffee—not to mention a handful of selfies on the Golden Gate.

Fluent touts itself as a “new event for developers working with JavaScript, HTML5, and other web technologies”, including the “full scope of the Web Platform and its associated technologies, including WebGL, CSS3, mobile APIs, Node.js, AngularJS, ECMAScript 6, and more”. Between the 80+ speakers and dozens of lectures, the conference covers a lot of ground. Nonetheless, we found the talks tended to focus on four key themes:

The Frontend is Expanding
What used to be limited to HTML and CSS has grown into an entire ecosystem of libraries, frameworks, and technologies which enable client-side functionality, unfathomable just a few years ago. Frameworks, web components, web sockets, platforms, and JavaScript tools are fueling this revolution.

…But The Web is Still The Web
As different as the web looks now compared to the early days, its core tenets—content, delivery, ubiquity—are unchanged. Designing for consistency is controversial, but designing for universality remains a steadfast standard of web development.

JavaScript is Evolving
From LiveScript, to ActionScript, to ES6, and everything in between, JavaScript is a living language. Despite the naysayers and doomsday soothsayers who have predicted its demise nearly since its inception, the language continues to defy expectations, becoming more robust, more functional, and more pervasive than ever before.

User Experience is RAIL-ly Important
For better or for worse—Actually, no. Scratch that. Just for better—UX is here to stay. Quantifiable performance metrics foil empathetic design principles to advance the field that’s becoming a core value proposition, rather than a nice-to-have, for the next generation of web products.

Over the next few posts, Bernie, Matt, and I will report on some of our biggest takeaways related to these topics. Stay tuned for the next installment in our series of Fluent blog posts.