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Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding

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5 Tech Talks That Changed How I Approached Software Engineering

The first conference I attended as a web developer was the first jQuery UK conference back in 2012. After this, I was hooked and would regularly find myself attending conferences to help me to learn and grow.

I really love to hear from all the amazing speakers that conferences I have attended offer and learn about how they solve software engineering problems. This in turn has had an impact on my own approach to software engineering.

With it being a year since I was last able to attend an event in person I thought I would write a post about my favourite talks I have seen over the years, all of which I feel remain very relevant to this day.

5. "Getting more from Git" by Alice Bartlett

First up, I want to mention an awesome talk by Alice Bartlett on how to use Git more effectively.

Git is a tool we use every day as developers and the way in which we use it can have a huge impact on how our teams interact with our code. If we use it well it can streamline the way in which teams work, if we use it badly the history doesn't tell us anything and we are effectively using it as a shared file system.

In this talk, Alice Bartlett takes us through Git in more detail than we are normally used to and share her learnings of using it over the years.

4. "From Milliseconds to Millions" by Harry Roberts

Web performance is really important, and in this talk by Harry Roberts, he talks about how milliseconds in load time can impact both your users and your business significantly.

The thing that I really liked about the way in which Harry presented this talk is that it really helps the audience understand the benefits of investing in web performance.

3. "Bet you didn’t think your browser could do that" by Monica Dinculescu

In this talk, Monica helps us to reconsider the preconceptions we have of what can be achieved when building a static website.

As part of this, she demonstrates how browsers and technology have been evolving so there is a lot more you can build without resorting to building a serverside application.

2. "Building an interactive IoTshirt with MQTT" by Jo Franchetti

I love playing with the Internet of Things and home automation so while this talk didn't impact my day job it did play on my heartstrings of what I code in my spare time.

While demonstrating how to build her IoT t-shirt she does an awesome job of also demonstrating some cool tech along the way. This is probably what resulted in me going back to playing with JavaScript powering my Lego robots.

1. "You should use [insert library/framework], it’s the bestestest!" by Paul Lewis

Finally, we have this talk from Paul Lewis that I saw at ffconf all those years ago that busts myths around JavaScript Frameworks. It is by far my favourite talk I have ever seen.

It's worth noting that while some of the tooling he uses looks a bit different now, it still all remains very relevant. I recommend this talk to any engineer I manage as the talk to watch to make them think more about the tech decisions they make.

Wrapping Up

I picked these 5 talks as I found that they are still as relevant today as they were when I saw them. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

As a final part, I want to thank all the amazing speakers I have seen speak at meetups and conferences over the years. Your teachings have really helped me grow as an engineer and I appreciate all the time you all put into writing the talks you gave.

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