Behind the Scenes of CSS Dev Conf 2015


CSS Dev Sharks

Behind the Scenes of CSS Dev Conf 2015

I recently had the opportunity to work with the latest CSS Dev Conf at the Queen Mary in LA, and it was a blast. There were so many talented speakers, developers and programmers – making up the best conference experience for front-end developers and anyone who loves to code websites. Thanks to the main conference organizer, Environment for Humans, for creating such a wonderful conference for our growing industry.

There were three different tracks for all attendees covering some of the latest topics in front-end technologies. Below are some highlights from my takeaways*:

  • The power of SVG: scalable vector graphic, widely supported by all browsers, easy to be manipulated using CSS and Javascript, and can be generated by Javascript, boost performance with small byte size (and gzip) when using it right. SGV is XHTML – once you design it in Illustrator, you already write the XHTML code for it. See Sara Soueidan’s slides for the process and techniques on using SVG.
  • Flexbox: all it takes is {display: flex;}. It’s is not magic, nor an ultimate weapon for responsive design. It’s just a better practice to deal with unpredictable content and context in the blooming digital age. Check A Complete Guide to Flexbox by Chris Coyier on CSS-Tricks and Solved by Flexbox by Philip Walton for more details.
  • Animation: pure CSS animation and even more complex SVG ones with Javascript support are fully covered. Check out Sarah Drasner’s codepen for tons of amazing example from our champion speaker this year. If you want to wow your brain, check out one of the “Best Of” speakers, Gregor Adams, the Jedi master of Fractals CSS. Or visit motion design principles from the keynote speaker, Val Head.
  • Data visualization: Amada Cheung from DockYard covered responsive data visualization from head to toe, including how to pick the right charts and graphs to best represent your data, as well as how to maintain performance, accessibility and maintainability.
  • Process: documentation and consistency in design and code was presented by Jina Bolton from Salesforce in her Designing a Design System talk, while Marcelo Somers perfectly addressed how to best use frameworks and pattern library in his Fight the Zombie Pattern Library talk giving designer and coder a perfect perspective on maintaining a better workflow.

CSS Dev crowd
There were a lot of perks for being behind the scenes at CSS Dev Conf too, like:

  • Working with an amazing team of conference organizers and volunteers.
  • Learning about the wonderful beauty of the Queen Mary and the matrix inside it to guide attendees to the right places, all the time.
  • Being on alert most of the time to keep everything running smoothly – it sounds stressful, but was actually super exciting and rewarding.
  • Helping with the registration desk, lost and found and FAQ anytime, anywhere.
  • Preparing a huge amount of fun in attendees’ swag bags, and attending two huge parties sponsored by IBM and Dribbble + Creative Markets.
  • Attending one of the best CSS conferences in the US, in shark costume, occasionally…

CSS Dev swag

*At SA, we’re fascinated about the latest technologies in the industry. We love to share, too. For sample codes and in-depth explanations, message @mybach on Twitter.


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