I think Benjamin Hollway slightly scared everyone over 30 in the audience by being so precocious. He gave a good talk about younger devs and what we can do to help them along. My constructive criticism would be to talk more about himself - the story of coding from age 8 is way more extraordinary than it probably feels to him - I think lots of people would love to hear more about that specifically.
A really practical talk from Andy with plenty of stuff to go away and do (or ask someone else to do), with really good reasons why you should.
Seb Lee Delisle was a very entertaining and relaxed speaker who likes lasers. He also showcased some fantastic art experiments that were impressive on their own, but made more so by the knowledge of the technical skills and ideas that were involved in their creation.
Phil Hawksworth did a lovely job with a timely reminder of the power of the humble URL. It was good to be reminded that such a simple principle as the hyperlink has been so essential to the medium that we all rely on.
Nathan Ford did a nice job of reminding us that everything changes - which can be very stressful in an industry that depends so much on keeping up with a fast changing landscape - but also gave some pointers on how we might manage to keep on top of things.
Kier Whitaker set the context for the second half of his talk by doing a lightening quick round of up of his personal history on the web, which had more than a few members of the audience reminiscing about how far we’ve come, and maybe gone backwards in some areas.
Emma Mulqueeny was a new name to me, and one of the good things about thi event for me was hearing from new people. Hers was a talk outlining the characteristics of people born after 1997 - (the 97ers of the title) and how the things they’ve grown up with online will shape their and our futures.
Chris Murphy’s talk was a great way to start the conference, with some heartening stories of teaching the next generation. I particularly liked the reference to Industrical versus Agricultural models of education by Sir Ken Robinson, though when searching that, I also found an interesting rebuttal to some of his ideas.
I was looking forward to seeing Anna speak having enjoyed her Pocket Guide on Style guides,as well her 24ways article on Jekyll. - I wasn’t disappointed - It was an intriguing journey through the weird and wonderful world of console capabilities and controllers. I found it a good wake up call to be better informed about the ways that people consume the things that we build.
Something different for Andy Clarke’s session where he recorded an edition of his podcast Unfinished Business talking about Mental Health and Wellbeing in our industry to coincide with Geek Mental Help Week