Thoughts after infoshare

Hello there, fellow reader.

Recently I don’t write a lot, I know. Don’t look at me with this judgemental look. Enough of self-judgement, let’s go to the merits, the InfoShare 2017 conference.


It was the great event that took place at AMBEREXPO Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Gdańsk on 17th, 18th and 19th of May. With over 65 sponsors that had some sort of booths with cool gadgets and over 15 hours of talks, I could not be bored.

Sadly I couldn’t get to before and closing party since I spent Thursday and Friday evening (that’s the time I write this article) on the travel. I had a lot of fun, learned a lot of new things, was inspired to try few new ideas and meet some great people.

Traditionally I’ll talk about presentations that were the most interesting to me. I’ve spent the first day almost exclusively on the tech stage talks starting with…

Why fast matters - Harry Roberts

Harry is the creator of and a person who professionally takes care of optimizing websites. His site - while not being the simplest - focuses on speed. It brings new clients, since people are less likely to get bored and exit your site. After an introduction covering data from big sites like Netflix, he explained how a slow site can make lives around the globe harder. A slow site is bad not only for rural areas or mobile users who are in low availability localization. It’s also bad for most of the people living in developing world, where broadband is not a common thing.

Most valuable thing from this presentation is danger of adding overhead with ad scripts and recommendation of SpeedCurve tool that I have yet to test. SpeedCurve is a tool that helps you get data about your site speed - it allows to measure and save timings from all around the world.

Writing this on the train, when I wanted to go back to slides or read Harry’s twitter I start to focus on performance more.

Link to the slides from presentation

Dirty Little Tricks From The Dark Corners of Front-End - Vitaly Friedman

The second talk I attended to was about using weird CSS wizardry to apply the logic of how the layout is built and how to implement a better responsive design. While I don’t find useful using CSS hacks that are hard to read and low performant on the whole site I really like how Vitaly uses CSS to create better responsive layouts. I’ll experiment with this and write something more alongside with some jsfiddle snapshots so stay tuned.

The Art of Debugging - Remy Sharp

The art of debugging potentially enhanced way I work with Chrome dev tools. Remy’s talk included some cool live examples where he was debugging some React application. He was using some of not widely known devtools functionality like $_ or copy() which… copies whatever you give to it as text data. It automatically parses objects into nicely formatted JSON. It’s neat.

Sadly Remy didn’t provide slides from his presentation so I can’t show it to you right now.

Evaluating frameworks - Tim Kadlec

Security is really important. And sometimes even the best, most secure code can be full of vulnerabilities. Tim described how OWASP ranks sources of possible hacks or data thefts and how their rank is flawed since most of the exploited vulnerabilities are inside outdated or abandoned dependencies. He professionally works on the product that fights with this - it scans dependencies and finds those that contain known security holes. I find this concept and current implementation very useful, dependencies in any project are hard to keep an eye on.

Desktop Apps with JavaScript - Felix Rieseberg

This talk got me inspired to try some new things out! Felix live coded very simple text editor that used the base of Visual Studio Code - Monaco text editor. It took him something like 15 minutes to code a text editor that interacted with an operating system and allowed him to drag and drop files into his program to fill it with those files content.

HTTP2 saving performance - Piotr Stapp

Originally “HTTP2 na ratunek wydajności” was the first talk in Polish I attended to. Piotr talked about the most common things that make the web slow and why HTTP1/1.1 is getting slower and slower as we build web apps bigger, responsible for doing more things. From 14 rules for faster-loading web sites he’s been covering almost all the points to show how simple it is to make connection and data transfer a little faster by, for example, making sure to set expires header. The fewer resources are downloaded the better times will be.

Context All The Things - Stephen Rivas Jr

Building bigger React application can get really annoying if you don’t use any state manager and all your components along tree path get props they don’t use and just pass down. Stephen’s talk was cool and showed this problem as it grows alongside application as well as the solution for this - context. After 15 minutes of promising use for context, he comes to the conclusion from his experiences.

You don’t context all the things. It doesn’t work that well without any layer of abstraction because context API is not 100% stable, some React update could potentially give you a lot of work with fixing old API uses. Also, context API should not be used to pass down non-pure functions.

The talk was overall very fun and well made. Stephen gave me some useful information about their experiences with contexts and passing data down in Netflix. It will be useful for almost all things I develop.

Distributed systems, beauty, and beast - Michał Łukaszewski

In original “Systemy rozproszone, piękna i bestia” was a beautiful story about broken hearts and architecture problems. Michał described how problematic and/or expensive can be designing good architecture for any solution with one point of breaking. In the case of big distributed application, it’s communication system between services.

The talk was pretty humorous and very critical of both monolithic and microservice architecture.