I like to visit as much different conferences as possible. This Autumn I had the pleasure to visit three conferences for my first time. This Blogpost will not contain epic recaps of these. Instead I try to describe what they are about, recommend a few talks and maybe it could help you to decide whether JSconf, CSSconf and Fronteers are the Conferences of your choice (in case you haven’t been there).

CSSconf EU

CSSconf EU was a small, one day single track conference focused on (guess what) CSS which happened in September in Berlin. You might think something like »how did they managed to fill a whole day with just CSS topics?«. Let me tell you that the organizers (@kriesse and @frontdevde) did an awesome job selecting 11 damn interesting talks from CSS secrets over performance (»the critical path« and tools) to one almost psychological talk. Make sure to visit the website to see the full schedule.

I like the fact, that almost each and every talk was technical or at least had a practical orientation. There was definitely a lack of those purely inspiring / motivating kind of talks which was just perfect for me.


My favorite talk which really blew my mind was the one about »CSS Performance Tooling« by Addy Osmani (@addyosmani) which shows tools to handle the next level of performance optimization:

But the other performance related talk named »CSS and the critical path« from Patrick Hamman (@patrickhamann) was also excellent and explained the »problem« with the »critical path« aka »above the fold« CSS in great detail:

The third talk I like emphasize is the one about »Styling and Animating Scalable Vector Graphics with CSS« from Sara Soueidan (@sarasoueidan). It contains info about with the 6 (!) different SVG embedding techniques and the different approaches to style and animate SVGs among other useful things:

Bottom Line

CSSconf EU was a banger and I hope I can make it to the 2015 version of it. The same goes to you: be there or be square!

JSconf EU

JSconf EU took place just one day after CSSconf EU in the same venue (how convenient can it get?) and was a bit larger than the event before. They had two days with two simultaneous tracks. One at the same hall where the CSSConf talks happened and a larger one next door.

Sadly I didn’t gain that much from it compared to CSSConf. I’m not sure about the reason. Maybe I was just packed from the day before but I wasn’t that happy with the talks as a whole. Yes, there were outstanding talks but there also were many based heavily on the server side (HTTP 2.0 and QUIC) and on the other hand very basic talks (Type coercion). Once in a while I thought that you have to be JavaScript Developer to feel comfortable with the schedule (and I’m just a random Frontend Developer). So please have a look at the website to see the full schedule.


The talk which enlightens me the most was called »What the heck is the event loop anyway?« by Philip Roberts (@philip_roberts). After that I finally understand why setTimeout(fn, 0) is sometimes useful:

You can find the tool he used to visualize the event loop over here: http://latentflip.com/loupe/

The second most interesting tech talk gets to the bottom of ServiceWorker. Jake Archibald (@jaffathecake) explained in a talk with the title »The ServiceWorker is coming, look busy« that the ServiceWorker ist more than a fix to the douchbaggy Application Cache:

Beside that I would like to recommend two brilliant entertaining talks from the category »Laugh your ass off«.

There is »GIFs vs Web Components« by Glen Maddern (@glenmaddern) which is about building a web component to build something like a GIF on steroids:

And Arne Martin Aurlien (@arnemart) with the talk titled »Implement an Esoteric Programming Language for Fun« who uses his own command line slide deck:


Lastly I visited my first Fronteers Conference in Amsterdam in October. I wanted to attend a Fronteers Conference since I saw the Video from Lea Verous mind-blowing talk called »CSS3 Secrets: 10 things you might not know about CSS3« in 2011. I’m so happy that I made it to #Fronteers14 even though I had to leave early and missed a few talks at the end of the second day. One could summarize the event with just a few words: Many amazing people come together in a beautiful city to meet in an extraordinary location to talk about amazing things.

Side notes:

  1. We spent the nights on a house boat which makes the Amsterdam experience authentic as it can get. :smile:
  2. I produced my most »effective« tweet so far during the conference. This is what happens when @smashingmag retweets one of your Tweets. :open_mouth:
  3. I had the chance to talk to have a little chit-chat with Vitaly Friedman (@smashingmag) for the first time and with Sara Soueidan (@SaraSoueidan) for the second time. Definitely two of the friendliest fellows in the whole industry. :kissing_heart:


I can only present photos since the videos from the conference aren’t available yet. Make sure to check the Fronteers Vimeo channel or follow @FronteersConf on twitter to get notified about the availability of the videos.

First things first: The openening talk was definitely one of my personal highlights and offered the qoute of the conference. It was Heydon Pickering @heydonworks talking about »Getting nowhere with CSS best practices«:

Quote of the conference

Sara Soueidan (@SaraSoueidan) had another great SVG and animation related talk called »Animating SVGs with CSS and SMIL«. I was happy that she took the time create a whole new talk and didn’t recycle the one from the CSSconf EU. This talk was amazingly packed with useful information about how to get crazy with SMIL:

Animating SVGs with CSS and SMIL

Paul Kinlan (@Paul_Kinlan) talked about the diversity of the web platform and tools you’ll need to make intelligent decisions when deciding on feature levels and browser support:

This is the web platform - Paul Kinlan

There are more pictures in my Fronteers 2014 Set on Flickr.

Last word about the sponsor

Thanks to my lovely employer Micromata for making all that possible for me :sparkling_heart: