Don't Let Your Tools Define You as a Developer

One of the changes I’ve been able to witness over the course of my career involves the way web developers refer to themselves. In the early days, when nothing web was considered real development, you were a “webmaster”. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a webmaster is like a beastmaster with more clothes but fewer beasts. …

Getting Started with Offline Data in Web Apps Pt. 3

In part 1 of this series, we looked at APIs to determine the online/offline and connection status of the user. In part 2, we looked at storing small amounts of data offline using LocalStorage. In this part, we’re going to begin to look at how you can store large amounts of complex data offline using IndexedDB. …

So You Want to Run a Developer Conference

You love the developer conferences you’ve been to. You learn a lot, meet great people and come back feeling energized to try out new ideas. You think to yourself, we should have a developer conference in my town! That was me circa 2007 when I ran my first conference in Boston. Thankfully it was a success and I’ve run a lot of developer conferences since then in Boston, Miami, New York City and even Sofia, Bulgaria. Recently, a friend reached out thinking of planning his own developer conference and this post is based upon the advice I gave him about...…

Knowing the Web's History is Critical to Its Present and Future

I’ve always believed in the importance of understanding history. In college, I was not a Computer Science major, but a history major. History is about much more than understanding the past, it explains where we are today, without which we cannot know where we are going. Imagine you suddenly wake up with no memory of anything prior. You are told that the only safe path is to continue forward, but what is forward if you don’t know where you’ve been? …

How to Write a Great Conference Talk Proposal from Conference Organizers

Writing your a CFP proposal to speak at a tech conference can be intimidating. I want everyone who wants to speak at a conference to have that opportunity. Sometimes, though, a little help and advice can help open the door. I already offer free CFP advice via Twitter dm as well as by participating in Help Me Abstract. In this post, however, I reached out to some conference organizers and asked them for advice or resources that they’d offer to potential speakers when creating a talk proposal. Keep in mind that what each specific conference is looking for is subjective,...…

Technical Debt is Not Just Technical

I’m going to admit something kind of embarrassing here. Looking back on my career, I believe that there were times relatively early in my career when I was probably difficult to work with. I believe I’ve learned from those mistakes. Let me explain. Technical Debt Developers often refer to the concept of technical debt. Essentially technical debt is the “cruft” that gets leftover in an application due to some poor initial decisions about how it was built. These choices are sometimes made deliberately and sometimes unintentional. The thing about technical debt is that it often builds upon itself - poor...…