FullStack 2017 Recap

By on August 7, 2017 12:28 pm

FullStack is JavaScript conference in London hosted at the Skills Matter CodeNode. This year the conference provided a wide variety of interesting talks and topics related to JavaScript, exposing the audience to a wide range of information. Kitson Kelly, SitePen’s CTO and myself enjoyed attending, speaking and meeting a number of people.

Lots of great stuff – Day 1!

The first day of HalfStack began with Douglas Crockford’s opening keynote on the History of Numbers. Like many good keynotes, the talk started with a very unassuming look back thousands of years at numbers, and eventually ended up with a proposal for what may be a better number system for JavaScript and other programming languages, DEC64

After the first round of keynotes, I attended a session by Ada Rose Edwards where she gave a fun and inspired overview of the state of WebVR. Ada pointed out the beauty of A-FRAME, which we are fans of at SitePen, in simplifying much of the complexity of 3D and VR through markup and web components.

Prior to lunch, there were two sessions I wanted to attend, so I split time between them. The always entertaining Ben Foxall spoke about JavaScript Browser Bits and some of the fun, unintended consequences of JavaScript, continuing the trend started by Douglas Crockford in looking at the limitations of numbers in JavaScript. Matt Zeunert explained in detail some of the inner workings of the V8 JavaScript engine.

After lunch, the next keynote was delivered by Amie Dansby on the IoT maker revolution. Amie fully embraces technology, with an embedded chip that she uses to quickly share contact details with other Android users. After her talk she spent significant time in the hallway track showing off some of the devices she creates and uses.

The final talk I attended was by Mark Wubben, where he gave an introduction to the AVA test framework, and explained in detail how their open source community works. His talk provided valuable insight into how to encourage the community to contribute to your open source project.

The day was rounded out by Dylan Beattie and Mark Rendle hosted Have I got Nodes for you, a tech trivia and game show. I ended up on a team and fortunately, our team was saved by the very knowledgeable Chris Heilmann! My favorite category was “Emoji or valid JavaScript syntax?”.

I talked a lot on Day 2

On Day 2, I gave a keynote on the State of JavaScript and covered topics including fatigue, standardization, frameworks, and reactivity.

I enjoyed Phil Nash’s introductory talk about IndexedDB and other local data stores. Phil and I are more the exception than the rule for people that enjoy the IndexedDB API!

My second talk was an Introduction to Dojo 2, with an overview of our current progress.

During some of the breaks, I didn’t pass up the chance to introduce Milestone Mayhem Milestone Mayhem to some of the conference attendees!

Node.js, Electron, MIDI, mini-computers, PWAs and more!

Myles Borins kicked off the final day of FullStack with an in-depth explanation of the Node.js release process. This talk provided much insight into how the Node team thinks about releases and their stability. For example, a new major release is not really expected to be ready for true production usage for about 6 months, after the community has had time to find and report issues to be fixed by the team.

Kit gave an impressive overview and demonstration on using Electron, creating a powerful editor for Dojo 2 as the example. This talk featured some of the best live coding at any conference talk.

George Mandis delivered a fun talk about JavaScript, MIDI, and mini-computers. The usage of JavaScript to make music is really inspiring to me, perhaps because of my severe lack of music creation skills!

Chris gave a nice talk about Progressive Web Apps, and showed the work that had been done by Bing to make it easy to discover PWAs without needing an app store.


FullStack gets better every year. They have plans to make for an even bigger and better FullStack 2018 event, with Brendan Eich scheduled to give the opening keynote. Skills Matter has done an outstanding job putting on this event for the JavaScript community in London.