2016 Esri DevSummit Recap

By on March 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Esri Dev Summit
Esri, the creators of great mapping technology, hosts their DevSummit every March in Palm Springs, CA. Esri creates their popular ArcGIS for JavaScript API by leveraging the Dojo Toolkit.

Esri trends

esrilogoEach year Esri announces a number of new features and technologies at the DevSummit, and this year was no exception. They have really improved the visualizations and effects possible with their JavaScript API recently, delivering very impressive 3-D maps leveraging WebGL, as well as now supporting vector-based tiles for mapping data, and a strong emphasis on user interface components for adding analytics on top of Esri-based mapping applications.

SitePen at DevSummit

This year, I was invited to give a number of talks at DevSummit. With nearly 3000 developers at the multi-track event, each talk was filled with an informed and engaged audience that asked many excellent questions after each talk. I spoke on the following topics:

  • Choosing a solid JavaScript application architecture.
    This was an updated talk about the things to consider when choosing how to best architect an application.
  • Introduction to Dojo 2.
    This provided a quick overview of the key packages in Dojo 2 and their current status, with a quick overview of dojo/compose and our work in progress plans for Dojo 2 widgets!
  • Using modern ES6 and TypeScript features on top of Dojo 1.x.
    We recently created a series of TypeScript typings for Dojo 1.x. This talk provided an overview on how to use these typings to leverage ES6 and TypeScript today, even with Dojo 1.x.
  • Full stack end to end JavaScript testing with Intern.
    A quick overview of the current capabilities of Intern and testing best practices.
  • Defend against the caveman coder.
    A fun talk about how to avoid the perils of you or your team coding live cavemen.

Dylan Speaking at DevSummit

I was also invited to speak at the CMV meetup, where I gave a more in-depth talk about dojo/compose.

Other talks at DevSummit

With so many talks to be delivered, I did not get to hear as many speakers as I have in years past. I really enjoyed the following sessions:

  • Choosing a JavaScript Framework, by Dave Bouwman.
    Dave did a solid job of explaining the current state of JavaScript frameworks and architecture.
  • Using TypeScript with ArcGIS JS API Development, by Rene Rubalcava and Dasa Paddock.
    Rene and Dasa gave a solid overview of how to use TypeScript, and then showed how to use it efficiently with the Esri JavaScript APIs.
  • Custom Elements: An End to the Framework Wars, by Patrick Arlt.
    Patrick gave an excellent overview of the recent changes to the Shadow DOM and Custom Elements specifications, and showed how to wrap Esri’s Dojo-based mapping components inside of web components, and then use them with a variety of JavaScript frameworks (Angular 2, Ember, Backbone, React, etc.).

ESRI Dev Summit

Conference party

The DevSummit has a conference party on Thursday night that is very focused on things of interest to developers, as well as an annual tradition: The Esri DevSummit Dodgeball team.

This year’s party had a carnival theme, with a few carnival rides and carnival themed food. But they also take their Dodgeball very seriously. This year, I was invited to join a team, “Unhitched”. We expected to lose immediately, but somehow we made it to the final eight before losing to the more experienced team from Utah-AGRC, an avid team of Esri JS and Dojo users!

Dodge ball bracket

Learning more

For Esri users looking to learn more, we believe it’s more important than ever to learn the fundamentals of ES6 and TypeScript. With the first substantial changes to the language in nearly 20 years, now is the time to learn how to efficiently leverage these changes to our primary language for creating web applications.

SitePen is here to help with our ES6 & TypeScript for the Enterprise Developer workshop. We also provide help when learning ES6 and TypeScript through any of our JavaScript support plans. And with the many changes to the language, there are many ways to improve the approach to the architecture of your application. Contact us to discuss your application architecture, and to learn more about how we can help!


  • Sathya

    the blog is very nice and interesting. thank you for sharing the blog with us. keep on updating.