Last night John and Rosemary from the Web Directions team held the event What Do You Know (WDYK). Web Directions run several cool events for the web and digital industries.
The Web Directions events are aimed at designers, developers, product managers, creative and art directors – and pretty much anyone interested in digital tech. I’ve been attending their events for many years and couldn’t recommend them more highly.
A few of their upcoming events are worth mentioning:
Respond is Australia’s Responsive Web Design Conference happening over 2 days in both Melbourne and Sydney.
From the team behind GovHack, Transform is Australia’s Digital Government Conference. Digital technologies are “transforming” governments world wide. The term “Digital by Default” is something you’ll start hearing a lot more about. If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll love this event.
I thought I’d publish my notes from the evening for anyone interested in the event that might have missed it. It’s hard to do all of the presentations justice – they were all excellent. If you’re a speaker and want something corrected or changed, please get in touch.
Web Performance: A Functional Guide to HTTP/2
The first talk of the night was by Peter Wilson on the topic of Web Performance HTTP/2, titled “A Functional Guide to HTTPv2”. He started the talk with a demonstration of the current page load time, “in awkward silence”, which was very effective at driving home how long the average page takes to load.
Pete will be also presenting at Respond, his talk alone is a good enough reason to attend if you’re in Melbourne.
Lessons from alm.tools
Basarat Syed (@basarat) – alm.tools, and That TypeScript Guy
Bas is the creator of alm.tools, he’s an enthusiastic developer and chances are you’ve come across his work.
He’s doing a lot of interesting work, check out his website at: http://basarat.com/.
Leonardo explained how semantic release will change your life forever. It’s a big call, but he gave a passionate live demo on his cz-customizable codebase and Travis CI to prove and demonstrate how it works.
You can check out Semantic Versioning (semver.org) for more info.
Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:
MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,
MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and
PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.
Additional labels for pre-release and build metadata are available as extensions to the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format.
Some of the things it can automate is detecting if a release is necessary or not and checking for vulnerable NPM packages. It can figure out the next release number type based on commit messages (major, minor or patch), generate changelog and bump package.json.
The motto of Leonardo’s talk was to work smarter, not harder. Something always worth focusing on!
The Agile Buzz
Daina gave a solid explanation of why Agile Development is much more than a buzzword and how it’s about adding value.
She covered some background of Agile, how to embrace “agility”, The Agile Manifesto (and much more):
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.
The essence of Daina’s presentation was to reach the goal of “making better software” – which is what it should all be about.
8 Actionable On-Page SEO Tips
Regular attendee and speaker from the Melbourne SEO and WordPress Meetups, Jamie gave a brilliant list of actionable on-page SEO recommendations that can be used on all projects.
He broke his talk into 8 sections, noted below:
1) SEO plugins
2) Separate Keywords
3) Keyword Rich URLs
4) Keyword in Titles
5) Meta Descriptions
6) Labelling media correctly, use file name, ALT tag and descriptions
If you think it’s spammy, it probably is..
Give things time.
Search is a topic I’m quite passionate about myself and I always pick up some new tips listening to Jamie.
Simon covered the topic of being practical about moving towards a goal incrementally (think components rather than entire pages), one step at a time.
His talk was very entertaining and he talked about making changes where you can get real wins without the overhead of change management that can stifle progress. The main thinking is to move gradually to responsive, not major cosmetic changes, so this is something that *can* be done gradually.
A good point that was made was to not be afraid to make changes to existing code.
Your code is bad, and that’s ok. — Proverb
Simon offered several practical code tips, but ended up by saying that this type of work is never finished, so don’t expect an end date. You should always be cleaning things up and improving.
John Allsopp hit a cord with me when he talked about Australian Boards being under represented by tech folks, and how we, as a community need to take responsibility for this. Skills like writing and speaking are critical to this, they’ll always be an incredible benefit to you – and an important step towards taking on these responsibilities. There are plenty of events looking for speakers and websites sites looking for writers!
It was the first time I’ve been to the Zendesk offices in Melbourne, it’s a very nice setup.
It was an awesome night, I’d recommend getting along to one when you have a chance!