Jamstack Conf 2020

Today saw the Jamstack Conf 2020, scheduled to be hosted in London, successfully pivot to an exclusively livestream delivery.

Like All Day Hey!, this event was hosted by Phil Hawksworth of Netlify, who continued to compère with aplomb, despite the constricted setting and digital audience.

Jamstack Conf 2020

While a digital-only setting can’t possibly replace the atmosphere and engagement of a hosted event, I do hope the success of such events convinces hosts and sponsors to consider more dual-delivery events in the future. Living kinda outta-the-way of major cities, I would totally pay for more online-only access to major conferences. It’s empowering to be learning from the frontline of industry discussion while hanging out with tech peers and leaders, even if it’s just in a digital capacity for now.

The Jamstack Conf Virtrual Keynote speech was delivered by Matt Biilmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Netlify. He summarised the opportunity for modern JAMstack platforms and tooling to unburden developers from intricate infrastructures and multi-discipline demands. Instead he offered how abstracted, opinionated and optimised hosting and deployment platforms can promote “best practices becoming common practices”. The introduction to Build Plugins look to extend this paradigm further still.

Laurie Voss, a Data Analyst at Netlify, followed with State of the Jamstack Survey Results, presenting summaries gathered following an industry survey of 3,000 developers. The slidedeck is available online, capturing the latest opinions and trends on development and delivery within the JavaScript ecosystem.

I was also interested to hear Renaud Bressand from Prismic announce Slice Machine functionality to introduce an open-sourced library to easier design bespoke components and associated functionality. With CLI tooling to bootstrap component development, it is available for Vue / Nuxt today, and work continues on the upcoming React implementation.

As a footnote, the Hopin platform was the best I’ve seen yet for online conferencing and networking.

Blog Post

Blog (Re)Init

I have always harvested the ambition to build and maintain a blog but found the task forever tumbling down the perpetual ToDo list.

I could rarely justify taking the time to author my own content for publication, as ever-urgent, competing priorities jostle for time and attention. There were always too many other things to do.

The change of pace enforced by the COVID-19 lockdown has afforded me some welcomed additional headroom. It is without doubt a privileged position given the wider challenges and outlook. While I wish circumstances were different, I am thankful to embrace the opportunity to slow down and reflect with greater intent.

Contrasted against my typical frenzy of doing too much just-in-time, the result is I feel a greater sense of control and inner calm that is warmly welcomed and enjoyed with enthusiasm. While obvious trade-offs and new frustrations must be navigated, it’s been a healthy exercise to contemplate my modus operandi.

One leading, recurring reflection that has arose is my desire to write and publish more.

I must credit Tim Casasola for his article Why does writing matter in remote work? for sparking my action. His post neatly reflects on both the functional requirement of writing to fulfil remote obligations. But his contemplation of writing well as an advantage is what really provoked me. Considered writing has the ability to encourage more effective work execution, empower engagements, and open new opportunities.


With this newfound intent to start a blog, I’ve been tracking more conversations, rebuttals, and technologies related to the topic. A fatigue for the distraction and distrust of the dominant social platforms seems to be contributing to a resurgence of new-old technologies in the tech community, such as simplified development stacks, minimal CSS frameworks and calls for the return of Really Simple Syndication.

An ambition to extend my understanding and application of the JAMstack gave me reason to build and manage a personal website for my professional development.

From a personal development perspective, I am already writing frequently. Not only in my day-to-day work, but also in recording my personal thoughts and feelings in a (mostly) daily private blog. Only recently have I considered the additional value in publishing instead of simply recording.

Publishing to a public forum forces a new perspective. The mental exercise of threading interesting narratives, theming experiences and identifying key learnings is not only personally empowering, but may also produce value for others.

Considered reflection promotes forward momentum.


All Day Hey! 2020

One of the unexpected-but-welcomed benefits of living in a locked-down world is having the majority of tech conferences move to a digital-only distribution.

Today I attended the All Day Hey! 2020 conference, currated by Josh Nesbitt and Harry Roberts, that is traditionally hosted in Leeds each year.

All Day Hey! 2020

Hosted by Netlify’s Phil Hawksworth, the event featured a wide scope of design and technical talent, kicking off with Vitaly Friedman of Smashing Magazine presenting on Smart Interface Design Patterns. I really loved this UI/UX focussed look at modern best practices and exceptional creativity in responsive design, and some really unique design concepts. Some highlights included:

The extremely creative technologist Charlotte Dann followed by presenting the story and tech behind her custom jewellery production startup Hexatope.

Microsoft Cloud Developer Advocate Asim Hussain closed the show with his presentation Principles of Green Application Architecture Design. He discussed the responsibilities the tech sector shares in contributing to a sustainable environment. Writing efficient code to run on optimised infrastructure is one of the leading ambitions of his initiative Princples.Green that is helping define Sustainable Software Engineering, and is something I will continue to track.