Golo Roden - The Next Big Thing
Robert Kuzelj - Who is Afraid of the Whitespaces?
An interesting pseudo-psychological look at programming during which Robert made two interesting points. Firstly, your brain is hardwired to pattern match, therefore an enforced structure in your code is a good thing, it makes it easier to comprehend. However, this doesn't necessarily have to come from the language itself, it can instead come from coding conventions and reviews.
The second, you can only hold about 200-400 lines of code in your working memory. For me, this explains why moving to a new project (and therefore codebase) is so difficult for the first few days. It also suggests a good maximum limit for code reviews.
Dominic delivered a very fast-paced, very technical overview of some of the core topics of distributed systems. His top tip - read this paper.
Tobias Schneider - Handle Binary as Easy as /123/
Tobias is the creator of Gordon and a developer on Shumway. Both projects that aim to run Flash content in the browser without requiring the plugin.
Time ran away with Tobias, so sadly he had to rush through the last few slides which introduced RecExp. As best as I could make out it was a regular expression-esque syntax for parsing binary streams. That might sound a bit crazy but he had a convincing demonstration involving parsing the dimension headers from PNG files using just a single simple matching expression.
Karolina Szczur - The Pursuit of SimplicityPavel Filippov - Be Simple, But Not Simpler
An interesting pair of talks to put back-to-back, Karolina flew the flag for throwing away abstractions and Pavel for making the most out of them. Each speaker passionately extolled the virtues of their approach and rubbished the arguments of the other. However, during the questions it became obvious that in reality they agreed with each other - if you use an abstraction, make sure you understand what it does and does not do, and make sure you are consistent in using or not using it.
Unrelated to the main content of the talk, Pavel made the following observation (which I found to be a terrifying thought!) about the controversial subject of re-writing git history -
"When your grandkids come to github and ask - why this commit comment?"
Jed Schmidt - Browserver: A Node.js HTTP Server, In Your Browser
I'd not heard of Jed before he took to the stage. However, as soon as he started presenting I found this fact very surprising. His talk on Browserver was as hilarious as it was intriguing. I had a feeling this wouldn't be the last I saw of Jed across the weekend.
Browserver assigns each connected client a sub-domain and the server then acts as an HTTP to WebSockets gateway. It's certainly an interesting idea and could work nicely with a webhook-enabled service, but I can't see it replacing Apache or IIS just yet!
Adam delivered an interesting talk on testing with a battle-cry that no one tool yet delivers the multi-device, multi-paradigm testing experience he thinks the web needs.
Ben Green - Rite Moar CSS
Matthew Bergman - Zombie!
In Matthew's first speaking outing, he passionately urged the web developer community to look beyond semi-colons, to acknowledge that like it or not we're all in the same boat, and we would do well to remember that.
At the end I was lucky enough to get the chance to give a lightning talk on the CSS 3D perspective property I've blogged about before. I joined other interesting talks about a scoring system for licenses, polymorphism != classes and an introduction to the unhosted movement amongst others. It was a great experience and I was chuffed when at least one person admitted to learning something from my talk!