Since last year I remember it being wise to be out of office on 1st April to avoid becoming a victim of the cruellest April Fools jokes. As we constantly try to keep best practices in mind with an eye on recent innovations happening in the field of web development, this year I fled to the Fronteers Spring Conference in Amsterdam, Fronteers’ first single-day front-end conference during springtime.
The combination of the setting at the waterside, the weather— incredibly sunny—and the free sunglasses received at the entrance firmly confirmed that spring feeling.
What followed was a day filled with nine 20-minute talks split into three sections with panel discussions following each section, led by Phil Hawksworth. All of that around one main topic: web performance. It turned out to be one of the best choices to make when wanting to escape what April Fools’ Day entails.
I especially looked forward to the first sessions, about visual performance. Tobias Ahlin (former product designer and developer at Spotify and GitHub), Paul Bakaus (developer advocate at Google) and Bram Stein (web developer at Typekit) underscored best practices around smooth web animation, perceived speed and web fonts performance. They answered questions like “How can we benefit from knowing how browsers do not handle all visual modifications in an evenly performant manner?” and “In what ways can we optimise the huge toll of loading web fonts?”
The final sessions of the day focussed mainly on how the new major release of the web network protocol can be exploited to increase web performance, while the three speakers before lunch discussed accessibility and performance, e.g. how to implement responsive web design with performance and accessibility in mind.
Fronteers’ members are currently mainly based in The Netherlands and I should thank them here for having organised a very inspiring day. Mathias Bynens, one of the speakers at the conference, was introduced as one of the Belgian members trying to give the Belgian community a foothold. So I may well conclude that I’m already looking forward to the first Belgium-based Fronteers conference!