As we are reaching the end of the University’s financial year, I thought this would be a good time to look back on the first year of the Front-End Development Community. The community began in the fall of 2016, when I was awarded a bit of money for this idea from the Innovation Fund. My idea was to create a community where people interested in front-end development could come together from across the University, to discuss ideas and share best practice.
A few months were spent on the initial brainstorming and organisation, so the community didn’t really get started until February 2017. Over the course of 6 months, we have put on 7 highly successful events:
- 2 industry talks (from Harry Roberts and Chad Gowler)
- 3 community lightning talk sessions
- 2 talks on Designing for IT Accessibility (from Viki Galt)
I’ve been greatly helped by the hard work and dedication of my colleagues, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this.
Overall, we have had an impressive total of 280 registrations for events, with 188 different attendees. This shows that we have a dedicated core group who are actively engaged in participating in the community. Continue reading “6 months of Front-End Development Community”
The University’s Front-End Development Community and Playfair Steps recently hosted Chad Gowler (http://www.kitation.co.uk/) to give a talk on “Asking About Gender”. This thought-provoking talk promotes awareness of some of the challenges faced by non-binary and gender-variant users, and discusses how we can support their needs in web development.
Slides and an alternate recording can be found here (note that this recording is for an older version and doesn’t cover all of the material in the slides):
This is the second time that I have been fortunate enough to see Chad give this talk. One of the things I really enjoy is that it demonstrates how we need to continually ask ourselves why we are asking these types of questions in the first place. This gets straight to the heart of user-centred design.
For our last talk from Harry Roberts, I wrote up some information about who was in the audience, so I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison. Again, the numbers are taken from our Event Booking system, so only shows who signed up for the event. This won’t be exact, as some people may have booked but not attended (or the other way around). Continue reading “Chad Gowler: Asking About Gender”
Four delegates from Information Services attended the annual Design It Build It conference, an “an international conference for those shaping the future of the web”, held in Edinburgh again this year. The two-day conference at the EICC featured a wide range of speakers from start-ups to tech giants covering an overarching theme of “risk”.
So, what did we all take home from it?
Continue reading “DiBi 2017 Reflections”
Last Thursday the Front-End Development Community hosted our first Lightning Talks event. Eight speakers had five minutes each to introduce us to who they are, the work they do and the tools they work with.
It was great to hear from so many different voices, and to start piecing together some of the common themes that run through the University. We hope to be able to follow this up with talks diving into a bit more detail, and workshops to see how we’re putting some of our common tools into use.
Continue reading “Front-End Development Community Lightning Talks”
Last Thursday we were lucky enough to be able to welcome Harry Roberts from CSS Wizardry (https://csswizardry.com/) to give a talk on “Refactoring CSS Without Losing Your Mind”. Many thanks to Harry for taking the time out to speak to us on this subject. The talk was organised and funded by the University’s Front-End Development Community, a new subset of the Software Development Community. If you aren’t part of the community yet, check out our community channel on Slack.
Slides and a video of the talk (for those that missed it), can be found here:
Overall the event was a huge success, with almost 100 people attending! Since this is one of our first community events, I thought people might be interested to learn a little bit more about who attended. The numbers come from the Events Booking application so won’t be exact – some people may have attended without booking, and others may have booked but not attended.
Continue reading “Harry Roberts: Refactoring CSS Without Losing Your Mind”