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An Evening of Front Endgineers Talks

Tomorrow we’re delighted to be hosting our latest evening of Front End talks. In case you’ve missed the build up to this so far, we’re going to be joined by web developer Shane Hudson (@shanehudson); freelance full-stack designer, developer, and educator Alex Dytrych (@SomeHats) and Director of Developer Relations at Snyk, Simon Maple (@sjmaple)

We’ll kick off the evening with Shane’s talk, ‘Common Sense of Web Performance’. Using his varied experience from a wide range of projects, Shane takes a look at the cornerstones of web performance (and indeed the web itself); considering the fundamentals that underpin everything we do. This session will give everyone a solid foundation of knowledge to think about, no matter their experience.

Second is Alex’s session, ‘Intro to GraphQL’. GraphQL is quite a buzzword right now – but what actually is this new API technology from Facebook? In this talk, we’ll take a look at GraphQL and understand what it is, why you might use it, and how it fits in with the existing API landscape. We’ll have a go at writing some simple GraphQL queries together, and hopefully you’ll go away excited about using this awesome tech in your own work & projects.

Last, but by no means least, Simon will take us through ‘Common Vulnerabilities you wish your app didn’t have!’. This session takes some of the most common vulnerabilities found in the npm eco-system, breaks them down and shows how simple code can exploit them. We’ll look at examples in the wild that have been exposed, some more famously than others, before showing you how to guard against these important security issues.

Ahead of the session we managed to catch up with Alex and Shane about their talks and also asked for their advice for new developers who might be reading this.


1) Who do you think should come along tomorrow?

Anyone who is (or wants to be) a front-end dev! For my talk, I think anyone who’s maybe heard of GraphQL but hasn’t had a chance to properly look at it or play with it would benefit the most. I’m really excited for the other talks, too!

2) What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

This one is hard! I guess going by the talks:

– How do I make sure my web app avoids performance problems

– What is GraphQL and how do I use it?

– How do I keep my app secure?

3) Why do you think this presentation is important to people

In the last couple of years, GraphQL has really taken off. Understanding what it is and when to use it seems vital for staying relevant as more and more projects switch to it.

4) Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

You have so much to offer – right now! Regardless of how new you are to tech, you’ve got experience and perspective that no one else has – don’t be afraid to share it. Teaching others, speaking at events, etc – none of these require you to wait until you have more experience. In fact, having less experience often makes you better at teaching as you can remember what’s not obvious.

5) Is there anything we should all know now about GraphQL?

– GraphQL usage has more than tripled in the last year (according to npm download stats)

– It’s used by cos like Facebook, GitHub, Shopify, Paypal, Twitter, etc.


1. Who do you think should come along?

My talk is about understanding how every member of the team affects the performance of a website. So while it is kind of targeted at front end developers, it will be a good talk for anyone that has any input into websites at all. So that’s all types of people: delivery managers, content designers, UX designers, user researchers etc.

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

For my talk in particular I think:

– No one else on my team cares about performance, what can I do?

– Why does performance matter?

– Whose responsibility is it?

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

It is so easy to think that performance is either down to someone else, or just not a big enough problem. In this talk I explain why it is down to everyone and that it can be a massive issue.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Learn little and often, don’t expect to understand everything in a day (or even a decade!). Your best bet is to accept that you will make mistakes, that the simplest of bugs can often defeat us all and that you don’t need to prove yourself above anyone else. Start by working on projects, whether a simple website for someone in your family or a basic app for yourself.

If you’re not already registered to come along tomorrow and this has tempted you, all the details and the registration form are here.