What I learned from the 2016 Fluent Conference

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If you are a developer in the web development world, you know that we are in a fast evolving industry. There are tons of new things happening every day. In order to be productive and build great web applications, we need to learn everyday. Attending conferences is one of many great ways to learn. In the conference, I can observe what the current trends are, how people solve problems, and how to make our development lives easier with new tools.


Luckily, my company, SolarCity, supports me to attend conferences. Our team went to the 2016 Fluent Conference in San Francisco last week. It was my first time attending a large-scale programming conference, and I really had a great time learning from all sorts of topics there.


Below is my learning summary:

The web development world is really energetic. Lots of companies provide frameworks, tools, testing, deployment solutions, trainings, etc. The barrier to start building a web app is becoming lower and lower everyday. 

How I feel about developers:

I met people coming locally, from other states, and from other countries. Most of them are Fluent Conf. veterans. It seems like everyone adapts to new technologies quickly. People love to try and accept failures fast. Keep trying and keep learning are the way we move forward. Sharing knowledge in the open source world, and contributing to make it more prosperous are deeply rooted in everyone’s mind.



npm techniques from npm’s CTO- Laurie Voss. There are lots of techniques I didn’t know before. I believe some of them are really useful for my projects later. 



Offline install after 1st
npm install —cache-min 999999


Locks down the versions of a package’s dependencies for deployment

npm shrinkwrap  


List the dependencies need update

npm outdate


Update dependencies and save them in package.json

npm update --save



ES6 showed up in more than half of the talks’  demo code . It seems like more people and companies are moving toward ES6. With ES7 approaching, it’s probably time for Javascript developers to start using ES6 now. 



React seems to be getting more attention and love from the community. I say love because when people talked about React, they said it’s fast, it “just works,” it’s great, it’s wonderful…From my understanding, lots of my friends’ companies are migrating from Backbone or Angular to React (but I haven’t heard instances of the other way around…). The environment is becoming more robust with Redux, Relay, and other libraries’ support. 


Angular 2:

The Angular 2 team from Google showed the potentials of Angular’s future. Angular 2 claims to be on average 5X faster than Angular 1 and also faster than other front end technologies in large scale. We use Angular 1 in our work project, and I would like to test Angular 2 to see the differences.  


Server side rendering:

Angular 2 and React all seem to be heading in this direction: provide more server side rendering support and features for the initial page load. Airbnb, Walmart, and Twitter (and other companies) are all doing server side rendering for first load.


Some good articles I found about server side rendering:

Isomorphic JavaScript: The Future of Web Apps- by Airbnb



You’re Missing the Point of Server-Side Rendered JavaScript Apps




Bebel got mentioned so many times in React and Angular talks. If you want to use ES6 today, then choosing Bebel to compile your ES6 code seems to be most people’s first choice. I just helped my team set up Bebel and start writing ES6. 🙂


Offline web:

There were several performance related talks. Currently, we get high speed internet almost everywhere. However, to avoid offline situations and improve user experience is also a big issue. To make the app readable but not fully functional when offline seems like a good solution. 


Move fast but don’t break things:

From Uber’s talk, I know that 100% coverage doesn’t mean anything, but if you are able to achieve 100% code coverage, the possibilities are limitless. To achieve higher code coverage is also our team’s recent goal. I feel like our team at SolarCity is doing the same things as Uber to grow. 🙂

Focus on the important stuff

Focus on the important stuff in your development cycle- from Tom Hughes-Croucher: Move fast and (don’t) break things: How we avoid screwing up the most expensive JavaScript project in the world


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