Front End Conference in Portland

When The Front-End Design Conference in Portland came up, I had no doubt in my my mind that I had to go and feed my geek/designer soul. I had visions of surrounding myself with like-minded geeky peeps while feeling nostalgic roaming my old stomping grounds in the Pearl District. Walking in to the Amory, I was not let down – not even a little bit. The venue was top notch and the group was the sexiest gaggle of geeks you’ll ever meet; trim, fashionable and smart. Of course I fit in – Ha!

The crew of speakers were surprisingly entertaining. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they didn’t wax on poetically about how they do what they do. But they did give some real-world relevance to what we as designers and developers do. They inspired and made us laugh, telling stories about how difficult it is to make a simple mobile app to donate to the presidential campaign, or how magical SVG is for responsive designs, or when it comes to animations why we shouldn’t do things just because we can.

Listening to the speakers, who are leaders in the world of Front-End Design, I felt validated in so many ways, which is very important for the aging Web Developer’s ego. Our environments are always changing and if we sit to long, we’re quickly outdated and left behind. I also struggle with feeling so distant from the actual client and the actual impact that I make on the world as a “Web Maker”. But this conference really put it in to perspective how many people in the world rely on the Internet and we help by giving them tools to make their lives more simple, fulfilled and enriched.

I am committed to taking what I was inspired by and doing two very specific things for myself in the coming months:

  1. Learn more about and start implementing SVG as part of my responsive design and development
  2. Ask and listen to my clients to learn how their website has influenced their lives and their client’s lives. p.s. If you’re a client of mine, please contact me and tell me your story. I’ll publish your story and link back to your site.

Oh, and if you’ve actually read through this whole post and made it to this line … I’m pleased to announce that I’m updating my own site to display current works (I’m about 2 years out-of-date) and to be responsive (gotta practice what I preach). I’m very excited. Now let’s see how well I can stretch these short hours so I have time to work on my own website.