Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

What Do You Know Melbourne, April 2014 – Wrap-up

There’s something about the Melbourne What Do You Know that “just works”. I think it’s maybe something about the venue, which has a slick AV setup, and is perfect for a reasonable sized crowd to be able to be there and see the presentations, while still feeling like a pub type atmosphere. This Wednesday was no exception, with everything running “smooth as”, and eleven great presentations shared with a rowdy but good natured crowd.

We also had some great music in the breaks, if I do say so myself!

WDYK April 2014 by Maxinesherrin on Mixcloud

We kicked off the evening with longtime Web Directions mate Matt Allen (@mattallen), who has recently moved to Melbourne to open the local office Lookahead, the good guys in the recruitment biz. Matt taught us something we can all learn from: that awkward job interview.

Next we had Tammy Butow (@tammybutow), organiser of the recent SheHacks Melbourne and absolute champion for getting more women involved in tech events. Tammy asked what’s your favourite thing online?

Peter Wilson (@pwcc) talked about “Deciding to be wrong”. He’s written a great blog post about it: to avoid stagnation, you need to reconsider your standard practices and the code they produce.

Next up in true What Do You Know style we took a sharp turn with Beth Skurrie (@bethesque), teaching us how to use Pacts and throw away our integration tests.

And then Mario Visic (@mariovisic) showed us the why and how of building a faster web.

Taking us into the break was Shane Weddell (@shaneweddell), who told us the SilverStripe story, also known as “how to build a successful business by doing the opposite of what everyone tells you to do”. Which was convenient enough, because next up we had a quick break for refreshments with drinks and food courtesy of SilverStripe.

Straight up after the break we had @basarat who gave us 5 reasons to start using TypeScript. You might also want to check out Playground (the tool he used to do the demo), the TypeScript source, and if you really want to get into it, here’s the language specification. Get going!

Bikeshedding and the Vicious Feedback Cycle was the intriguing title of Drew Schrauf’s (@drewschrauf) presentation. He had some great thoughts on better managing relations with your clients.

Alex Mackey (@alexjmackey) was on next, here’s the code and slides from his presentation, Just Add WebGL.

Design by Community – it’s not design by committee! Damir Kotoric (@damirkotoric) did a great job of telling us what it really is, all in just 5 minutes.

Then we closed out the night with Lars Klint (@larsklint), a true passionate user, telling us 5 things we didn’t know Windows Phone could do. Well done Lars, you get a lot of real iPhone fans at any Web Directions event, I thought it was pretty brave of you to get up there and share your passion!

And that wrapped it up for another awesome Melbourne What Do You Know. Thanks for coming along if you were there on the night, and hope you can make it next time if you weren’t!

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Three days of talks, two of them in the engineering room. Web Directions you have broken my brain.

Cheryl Gledhill Product Manager, BlueChilli

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