FrontEnd Summit 2015 by Ed

I was lucky enough to win a ticket for FrontEnd Summit 2015. It is a one day, online conference discussing the industry, tools and how we can help each other.

Implementing Brand Patterns by Dave Olsen

Takeaway
Sass, Bourbon, Neat, Vagrant, thin documentation, avoid Toolkit confusion, use Patterns (Pattern Library, NOT Pattern Lab), use versioning for patterns, avoid duplicate markup, GatherContent, assets and links problematic
Slides
Implementing Brand Patterns
Links
Responsive Deliverables, GatherContent
Review
A good start to the day from Dave. He talked about issue, problems and solutions he and his team encountered at his University when trying to apply a consistent, brand, look & feel and experience to the large, multi–faceted college website. It seemed to go a little slow for me but there were some interesting nuggets. [6/10]

Visual Regression Testing by Kevin Lamping

Takeaway
Reasons you don’t test (Ignorance, Laziness, both), Tesing websites is NOT EASY, each website is a unique snowflake, BURN THE SNOWFLAKES, test components not pages, its difficult so keep it fun, team up to do this, baby steps
Slides
Visual Regression Testing
Links
WebdriverCSS, Hands–on Visual Regression Testing, Visual Regression Testing Resources
Review
I feel this started off really well and it seemed to promise something very interesting. The introduction and explanation was great but it seemed to lose my focus in the demo. Lots of moving parts were introduced and it jumped around. Quite difficult to follow but maybe will work better on a second viewing. [5/10]

Creating Workflows with Grunt by Micah Godbolt

My connection was down for this talk. Will watch as soon as videos available.

Takeaway
Slides
Links
Demo Code
Review
— [—/—]

Sketch Architecture by Clark Wimberly

Takeaway
Start small and build up, small choices to bigger pages, examine CSS attributes in Sketch, good export (including SVG), everything in one file, Git plugin for Sketch, pink folder = symbol, Sketch cheaper than Photoshop, good bridge between design and browser, can be quicker to view whole idea in Sketch than browser, organises style tiles and kits, allows Engineers to get started quicker
Slides
Links
Atomic Web Design, BassCSS
Review
Clark is a bright guy and this was a great little insight into how you can use Sketch to your advantage. Whether a designer or Engineer, he was able to give some tips, tricks and strategies on how it can improve the workflow and your process. [7/10]

Writing Tests for Sass by Dale Sande

Takeaway
Combine CSS3 and Sass, function-exists is good wrapper to check for mixins/functions, custom warnings, beware of silent failures, large teams can easilly break large Sass builds, watch out for including just for the sake of it, catch misspelled colours, @alert and @warn useful Sass directives, short Sass comments, relevant, to the point
Slides
How to build smarter Sass
Links
Sass in the Real World: book 1 of 4
Review
Dale gave us some good ideas on how to take better care of your Sass but it seemed to take a while to get to the good information. I definitely think he is a better presenter in the flesh. It felt like it could have been half the time investment for the same value. [6/10]

Guerrilla Design Tactics by Samantha Warren

Takeaway
Take action to make change, don’t wait for Bureaucracy, go guerrilla, be fast, Banksy, Invader, never give up, just do it, don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for an invitation to do the work you want, PLAN->TACTICS->TOOLS, break down problem into smaller more managable pieces, map your framework (discover, analyze, execute, measure, iterate), the best tools are those you know well and can access quickly, build a robust toolbox, a Designer is someone who pays attention to the world, share! Channel you ineer Guerrilla. Be experimental, try new tools.
Slides
Guerrilla Design Tactics
Links
Style Tiles
Review
Samantha is a great storyteller. She started off with a awesome story to set the scene and then moved into her own experience, what worked for her and what didn't. She wasn't afraid to tell us about times that she failed but she backed it up with what she did to fix it. A lot of really great nuggets of wisdom and definitely the best talk of the day. [9/10]

Frontend Round Table Q&A

Review
A 4–way discussion between some of the guys at Sparkbox (Sponsors). It was great to hear their insight, and how they do things. No major takeaways but a nice wrap up none the less. [6/10]