Right from the day it was announced, to the day we booked the tickets, it was an exciting wait to attend this fabulous event. I have been an avid reader of Smashing Magazine for almost a decade. It helped a lot throughout my web development learning process. In fact, it taught me more about web design and development than anything from a formal education, if I am being honest. There are of course other online resources that stood shoulder-to-shoulder to Smashing such as A List Apart and more. The Magazine’s website itself has been a metaphor of all the good practices it preaches.
The front-end team at Rated People had been looking for a conference to attend since September last year. By end of the year 2017, we had following on the shortlist:
- Render Conference (Website)
- Smashing Conference (Website)
- DeltaV Conference (Website)
- CityJS Conference (Website)
Even with this short list, it was very difficult to choose one as we only had the budget for one. After all the roundtrips to speakers pages for each of them, half of our team decided for Smashing and other for CityJS – being eager to listen to Kyle Simpson.
The lineup at Smashing was just great. It became a little slow with couple of talks on day 2 but still it has been amazing. Not to forget to mention all the fun, swags and food that was there in addition to the interesting talks.
Apparently there were so many mysteries to guess! The mystery speaker turned out to be the “Internet Plumber”, Ilya Grigorik, and that was the best thing to start the second day with!
Recently I came across a new static site generator, Eleventy (11ty), being built by Zach Leatherman and I contributed to it as well. It was a great pleasure to actually meat Zach at the conference as well as to hear him as speaker as he talked everything about Web fonts. It felt so relevant to hear Andy Davis talk about how all the third-party tags can derail the performance of the web pages without being noticed. He talked about good practices that can be used in parallel to these third-party tags so that side-effects remain minimal. Umar Hansa’s talk with live demos about Chrome DevTools was another great session. It was great to finally meet this amazing gentleman in person after following his tips via newsletters, tweets and videos.
The mystery event of the day was Vitaly’s birthday! The mystery theme of the whole conference came with clues in speakers’ slides. Every presentation had a hidden clue about it that Vitaly then later went through at end of the conference. It was London Underground and I did notice this in few slides but I thought it is possibly all about featuring the host town of London. There were activities before the conference, after the end of first day and during short breaks on conference days. Mozilla and Netlify ran interesting sessions respectively during lunch time both days.
Overall it was a great experience for couple of days of learning new fantastic things happening in Web Development sphere and meeting all these great minds in one place.