The kaidez JavaScript Conference Tour: Leg 1: Fluent 2012/San Francisco

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I was hoping to attend at least one JavaScript conference this year…luckily, I’m going to two! First up is O’Reilly’s three-day Fluent Conference in San Francisco (with June’s TXJS 2012 in Austin being the second one). Conference dates are May 29th through the 31st: premium training sessions on the first day, keynotes and public sessions during the other two days.

My Goals

Like I said in my last post, I’ve realized that I understand JavaScript a hell of a lot better than I give myself credit for. While I’m not a guru, I’m well past trying to figure out how it works. The time has come for me to understand the best case scenarios of “when “and “why” to use it, along with some top-notch implementation techniques.

Fluent’s first day training sessions and subsequent public ones should help me in meeting these goals…the full list of courses and sessions is here.

Premium Sessions I’ll Be Taking

The premium training day offers a morning and an afternoon block of sessions, allowing attendees to pick one from each block.

Here’s the full list of premium training sessions: I’ll be attending “Breaking HTML5 limits on mobile JavaScript” with Maximiliano Firtman in the morning and “Writing robust Node.js applications” with Tom Hughes-Croucher in the afternoon.

I’m a big fan of Maximiliano (AKA Max). He’s been developing for and writing about the mobile web well before the iPhone pushed it to critical mass so he knows his stuff. Plus, Max curates the excellent mobile web reference,…should be a good session.

As for the Node course, I also mentioned in my last post that Node is starting to creep into the day job. I’m taking this session to better prepare myself in case I’m asked to support it.

Free Sessions & Keynotes

Keynotes are short and will be coming from some of the big names in web development: Brendan Eich, Lea Verou, Paul Irish, Steve Souders and many others.

Here are the sessions I’m plan on attend, all of which are subject to change:

Wednesday Sessions

Q&A with Brendan Eich » He invented JavaScript which created an environment inside which all web developers can prosper and has earned respect as an elder in the developer community. I’m not thrilled about a specific political contribution that Eich made a few years back, but I have the chance to hear JavaScript’s inventor actually talk about JavaScript…OK?!?!

High Performance Snippets with Steve Souders » Souders is an expert in the field of creating efficient, high-performance code. HTML5 Boilerplate, its build script, YSlow and PageSpeed were created using many of the techniques he writes about on his blog and in his books.

Jasmine: An Introduction with Davis W. Frank » As implied earlier, I know how to write JavaScript, I just have to embed the best practices in my brain. Reviewing Jasmine, a behavior-driven development (BDD) framework for JavaScript testing is a good start.

There’s a SLIGHT chance that I’ll pass on this session and go to the Bootstrap one…will probably be a last minute decision.

These next two sessions are also happening at the same time, meaning I’ll have to make a choice…

Choice 1: What Modernizr Teaches Us About Design & Development with Faruk Ateş » Modernizr is a kick-ass feature detection library that appears in practically every web dev stack nowadays. The guy that created it talks about it.

Choice 2: /Reg(exp){2}lained/: Demystifying Regular Expressions with Lea Verou » It’s an opportunity to hear a well-known, well-respected web developer talk about something that many web developers ignore.

No idea what to do here…

Maintainable JavaScript with Nicholas Zakas » I want to write JavaScript at work, knowing I can document it well enough so that others can fix it while off on vacation and drunk on a beach. Factor in that I’m a Zakas fan and I’m definitely going to this session.

Thursday Sessions

Here’s another case of two great sessions happening at the same time…

Choice 1: SpineJS – Moving State to the Client with Alex MacCaw » I’ve peeked at JavaScript MVC frameworks like Spine and Backbone for a while but haven’t really used them. I may check this session out.

Choice 2: Sharing Code Between Client and Server with Node.js with Chris Powers » Again, I have the Node bug so this may be the session for me.

Since I’m already doing the Node premium session and I’ll be attending a Node session after this one, I’m leaning towards the Spine session here…not sure yet.

How to Deploy a Node.js App to Production (And Not Get Fired) with Sean Hess » All the Node I’ve done up to this point has been on my laptop running off of localhost, not a production site. Hoping to get a better understanding of production-based Node with this session.

Hybrid Web-Mobile Applications with PhoneGap and jQuery Mobile with Ryan Stewart » I don’t see myself using PhoneGap to create native mobile apps…not that I dislike PhoneGap, I’m just not a native app guy. But I am curious about how it works with jQuery Mobile. I think this session will be a “cool kids” one, which is absolutely fine with me.

JS HTML5 Video Canvas = WOAH! with Wes Bos » I was really pumped about HTML5 Video at one point, but severely lost interested in it. I have seen some cool demos on how it works with Canvas so I’ll check it out.

Ember.js: An MVC framework for ambitious web applications with Bruce Williams » I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ember so I’ll be at this one.

Follow Me While I’m There!!!

As I did with MIX11, I probably won’t live blog during Fluent but will be tweeting it against the #FluentConf hash-tag. Follow me there and let me know if you’re going!

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