Plan Your Professional Development for 2017

Those of us who work in Web and the digital arena don’t have to be reminded that our fields are constantly updating. Whether it’s underlying technologies, or broad strategic practices, what was cutting edge last year is often common practice this year, and out of date the next.

Both in terms of our own professional development and the impact our work has on our company, organisation or clients, we all strive to keep up to date. But it’s no shortcoming to say that’s a lot of work.

For many years, our primary focus at Web Directions has been to help our audience of professional practitioners in the Web and digital fields keep up to date. We spend our lives keeping track of the technologies, practices, and ideas that are shaping our fields, and we bring them to you via articles, newsletters, podcasts, and of course our conferences and workshops. All with the aim of helping you do your job as best as you can.

But with the expansion of our conferences over the last couple of years, it’s not as easy as simply coming to our big end of year conference anymore. By breaking out that one, multi-track behemoth into a number of more focused events, our aim is to deliver the best possible event for various groups of professionals within the industry. Here’s a breakdown of each event, who it’s for, and how you and your team will benefit from attending.

Respond: for the front end design team

Increasingly great customer experiences are delivered by multi-disciplinary teams. Respond is designed to reflect that reality, with in-depth content for Interaction Designers, UX and CX professionals, UI Engineers – along with high-level, strategic thinking relevant to the whole front end design team.

Where else can you see people of the calibre of Mina Markham, the lead of the front end design efforts at the Hillary for America Campaign, world leader in web animation Rachel Nabors, or Elizabeth Allen, working at the forefront of conversation interfaces wth Shopify?

All curated by John Allsopp, cited by Ethan Marcotte, inventor of Responsive Web Design, as a key inspiration for the ideas that became RWD.

Our promise

Respond delivers actionable insights on current best practice in front end design in the broadest sense, in two super condensed days, in three cities. Cut down on travel time and expense, and invest a small fraction of your working year getting out in front of current trends.

Code: the JavaScript and front end engineering conference

Progressive Web Apps were first publicly talked about by their inventor Alex Russell at Code. Object Oriented CSS (OOCSS) was launched on the world at another of our events. We’ve been tracking trends in the technologies of the Web since the early 1990s, and then bringing these ideas to our community at events and elsewhere since the early days of the Web.

Code focuses on the fundamental building blocks of great Web experiences: JavaScript, CSS, Browser APIs – alongside best practices in performance, security, and software engineering for the Web. We believe it’s a unique event, not just within Australia, but globally. And like Respond, Code is visiting Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this year, in late July and early August.

Our promise

Code helps front end engineers deliver faster, more secure, more maintainable code that taps into the latest capabilities of the Web platform, which all adds up to the best possible customer experience. Cut down on travel time and expense, and invest a small fraction of your working year getting out in front of current trends.

Direction: the intersection of design, technology and big picture thinking

Last year we re-launched our Web Directions conference as Direction, to reflect the changes in our overall approach to delivering the best possible events to help you develop professionally. But, if Respond focuses on front end design, and Code on front end engineering, what does Direction focus on?

Direction is about the bigger picture (just as it always was as Web Directions). Two days of keynote-style presentations that help you chart a way forward, think about medium term trends in technology, in user experience, in interaction design. Direction helps you think about where your the work you do, and your career will go over the next few years.

The Web will always be at the heart of our events – including Direction – since the Web, we believe, will continue to be the medium for delivering the best possible user experiences in the great majority of cases.

But as machine learning, AI and conversational interfaces impact on the sorts of experiences we deliver to our users, as computing power disseminates into almost every object, and as these and other developments affect business and society profoundly, we believe it’s important to give deep consideration to these challenges and opportunities, not with breathless hype, but as we’ve always done, through the insights of people who spend their lives thinking about these things.

Our promise

We’ll separate the hype of emerging trends in technology, design, and strategic thinking from actionable reality. We’ll bring you deep thinkers who are working with these ideas and technologies, not simply taking about them.

And we’ll help you make the right decisions in harnessing the opportunities of a world that seems to be in a constant state of flux.

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