Frontend week in Budapest

Last week I attended my first two frontend conferences – CSSConf & JSConf Budapest 2019.

My week in Budapest started with Rust meetup. Sadly the organizers didn’t expect that any foreigners will attend the meetup. Half an hour long talk wasn’t enough for me to learn any Hungarian, but I still had a great time talking to everyone afterward.

On Tuesday I attended the JAMstack workshop organized by SuperCharge. We worked on a simple webshop written with Gatsby. We configured deployment to Netlify, integrated Netlify admin to manage the content and implemented a few basic features to get familiar with the framework.

After the workshop, I went to Reactive meetup. The most interesting talk was from Tibor Szasz about his side project – a web app where you can design and buy customized shirts using generative art. He talked about challenges on frontend and backend to get a smooth experience from designing to making an order.

CSSConf Budapest 2019

Wednesday was time for CSSConf with 9 talks. I wasn’t expecting much from the CSS conference and was pleasantly surprised with inspiring and technical talks.

Yu Ling Cheng and France Wang presented DevUX culture that aims to improve collaboration between designers and developers in their talk Building Better Products Faster: DevUx is the new DevOps. They walked us through four levels of collaboration between designers and developers with examples of collaborations when things went wrong and suggestions to improve.

Alan Stearns encouraged us to report browser bugs in his talk Getting Browser Bugs Fixed. The very least we can do when we encounter a bug in a browser is to try finding an existing bug report and vote. With voting, we help developers to prioritize fixing the bug. If we can’t find an existing bug report we can write one. We shouldn’t worry about writing a duplicate bug report. It will get marked as duplicate but it can still be useful. Someone else might use the same search terms as we did and wouldn’t be able to find the original bug report without our duplicate. Another thing we can do is to write a test and submit it to web-platform-tests. When we report a bug we help a future ourselves as we might encounter the bug again, we help other developers and everyone else that uses the browser.

JSConf Budapest 2019

My week in Budapest ended with two days of JSConf. Similar to CSSconf there was a mixture of technical and inspiring/creative talks that gave me lots of ideas for side projects.

In Essential JavaScript debugging tools for the modern detective, Rebecca Hill talked about debugging JavaScript code beyond using console.log(). Console object has a lot of other useful methods we can use to improve debugging. To get nicer outputs in the console we can use console.table or group logs using For even better debugging experience we should use breakpoints and debug code in browsers developer tools or configure debugging in our editor. Rebecca showed us a few nice tricks to debug code in Chrome’s developer tools.

Rubén Sospedra talked about using finite state machines to handle different state representations in Mastering UIs with Finite State Machines. Using finite state machines for UI can improve code readability and makes code easier to test and maintain.

In Taming “Git”osaurus Using Mystical Trees: Understanding complex git trees in the developer fairyland by Damini Satya Kammakomati we learned about the content inside .git folder and how git internally handles the most commonly used commands.

Lightning talk

Lightning talk

I gave a lightning talk about my custom app for tracking work hours that helps me analyze and improve my productivity. After the talk, I received a lot of positive feedback and had a few discussions about remote working and productivity that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

Final thoughts

CSS & JSConf Budapest and all events before the conference were a wonderful experience. I’ve learned lots of new things, had interesting talks during the breaks, and made some good friends.

It was great to see that organizers cared about the environment. The venue had almost no additional decoration promoting the event. We didn’t get a bag of useless swag that you usually get at other conferences. All drinks were served in glass bottles and leftover food was donated to the local shelter. I hope that other conferences will start doing the same.

Amon Stopinšek

Amon is a Python/Elm/JS/HTML/Nix developer walking up and down the stack on a daily basis.

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