WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2021

We are developer is the world's largest annual gathering of software developers, engineers, software architects and tech decision-makers. Normally hosted in a big venue. This year the WAD congress was a four-days online virtual event. What I like about this conference is that the talks have a wide range of topics which can give you a fresh perspective of what is happening in the online technology space. To give you an idea there were talks about Angular, React, Flutter mobile, Jamstack, architecture, game development, micro services, micro frontends, C++, Rust, GraphQL, FWA, ... Just too much!

Almost all 45 minute talks were of high quality and had great content. Looking back on the four days, I created a top 5 favorite and inspirational talks. So, here we go.

John Romero - A Lifetime in Games

John Romero is a legend when it comes to game development. He spend all his career/life in building games, mostly first person shooters.

For me it was also a trip down memory lane. Games like Pong, Commander Keen, Myst, Wolfenstein and Doom.

Game development in the past were just small teams of very creative and skilled developers that worked very hard for months and later for years to get things done.

Rapid GraphQL API Development with PostGraphile

Since I worked on a GraphQL project myself lately, I was interested in Ruwans' talk. He used PostGresql with PostGraphile to create a Database-as-a-service GraphQL endpoint (database-first-design).

Additionally he explained the common N+1 problem clearly and how to prevent that the amount of data has a direct relation with amount of queries.

Nice talk!


Elad Shechter - Playing Games with CSS

Elad Shechter showed an amazing project 'Coronavirus Invaders'. He developed a game without any Javascript. To avoid repetitive work he use PUG for generating HTML structures and SASS as the pre-processor for CSS. He demonstrated how he handled technical challenges around random animations, counters and score keeping with CSS. Really impressive work!!

PWA Fundamentals is websites with superpowers

Rowdy Rabouw talked about PWA: Progressive Web Apps. He showed the importance and benefits of turning your website or web app into a PWA and gave you practical information on how to do that. He shared best practices for Manifest Files, Service Workers, Cache API, Fetch API, IndexDB, Web Push Notifications or Background Sync API.

Lastly, he also pointed out that you can also have a look at the Workbox framework created by Google.

Talk and slidedeck was wellstructured and easy to follow. Rowdy's Github contains the demo project


Tamas Piros - Jamstack and Web Performance is a match made in heaven

Tamas Piros talk was about JAMstack (abbrevation = Javascript API Markup). He explained how websites became bigger in size overtime. Performance of sites is important for customers, website owners and also for SEO.

JAMstack can help bringing content closer to the user for better performance, since you then place content directly on the CDN edge server as static HTML content. Static Site generators to help you with that are in all kind of flavours: Gatsby/Next.JS using React, Nuxt.js/VuePress/Gridsome using Vue framework, Scully using Angular or just vanilla Javascript framework: 11ty.

Using CDN as your primary server also has additional benefits you get out of the box: Compression, Load balancing, HTTP2/3, Caching, Asset optimizations (resizing and fonts), Build optimizations (minifications and bundling) and Delivery optimizations (preloading and lazy loading)

These are just 5 sessions I wanted to highlight, but there were many more interesting talks. It was a great conference, well organized. I liked the accompanying app and the chats to make the most out of this remote online event. I can highly recommend it for next year!

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