Angular Connect 2016

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A couple of weeks ago I attended Angular Connect at the Excel arena in London. This was my first time at Angular Connect (or any AngularJS conference for that matter), and having watched the 2015 sessions on YouTube I was extremely excited to attend. As it turns out, this was pretty much the perfect time to attend an Angular conference, with 2.0 final being released just days beforehand.

Personally I haven’t yet used 2.x in anger as the last couple of projects I’ve worked on have required more stability than the beta period offered. During the weeks leading up to the conference I played catch-up and spent some time learning the 2.x ropes through various online tutorials. The jump from Angular 1.x to 2.x is huge - which is great as many changes were needed to bring it up to date, but also somewhat intimidating. I’m glad I spent the time to do this as otherwise the more technical talks may have been overwhelming. I plan to write a separate post on my forming thoughts on Angular 2 as a newcomer.

The conference offered 2 standard “speaker” tracks, as well as a mini-workshop track, an office-hours track and a panel Q&A track. I mostly focussed on the main speaker tracks as I find I get the most out of these, and wanted to cover as much ground as possible as I’m still getting up to speed.

The schedule was really well assembled, and across the two days there were very few slots that I wasn’t excited for. Far more common was a tricky decision about which track to attend. There were talks covering the entire gamut of front end development from UI design and animations, to the CLI and performance optimisations. Generally, each talk covered how to use the feature(s) and what was new/coming soon in the given area (some of which is really exciting). It was particularly good to see more specialist areas such as application security also getting coverage.

I also sat in on some non-technical talks, including a very funny one by Shai Reznik on the strength of the Angular community - which felt somewhat comforting given the negativity which seems to surround AngularJS at times. If Connect was anything to go by then I’d have to agree that the community is awesome and the framework is pretty great too.

Without exception each talk I attended was compelling and well delivered. The majority of the speakers were either core-team developers or prominent community members, which ensured the content was accurate and insightful. If you didn’t attend, I’d encourage you to take a look at the YouTube channel - tracks one and two were both recorded and I believe that all sessions have now been uploaded - well worth a watch.

Overall I thought this was a brilliant conference, the best I’ve been to by some way. The speakers were great, the event ran to schedule, and the food was awesome – it even had its own beer. Without a doubt I’d highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in the Angular framework, there’s something for everyone in there across the various tracks. Hopefully see you there next year!

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