Feedback from the Full Stack Fest 2016

Fullstack fest
Montpellier Saint-Roch train station. The loudspeaker makes an announcement in Spanish.

“El AVE con destino a — Barcelona Sants — efectuará su salida — via D”

(The AVE train heading to Barcelona Sants is leaving from track D)

I lean my head out of the doors of the train despite the announcement that the train is leaving. I’m on my own. Anthony is late. He sent me an SMS “Heading to the station, be there soon”.

But no, he’s not here yet…

Suddenly the doors close, the train starts moving forward. I take one step back and look towards my seat, thinking: “it’s gonna be a solo conference”, when I catch sight at the opposite side of the wagon of Anthony showing his ticket to the inspector.
He is sweating and trying to recover his breath.

Full Stack Fest : It's not just the talks, it's the people

The (condensed delegation of the) Kuzzle Team is heading to Barcelona to attend (and talk during) the Full Stack Fest 2016!

The Full Stack Fest is an incredibly amazing conference about web development “all-the-things” composed of two “sides”: the Back End and the Front End, just like the web architecture itself.

The (sleepless) minds behind this event are the guys from a small web agency called Codegram, composed of only 8 (eight!) people working full-time on web development and another full-time on the organization of astounding events.

people

The profusion of hyperbolic adjectives may seem exaggerated, but it’s not. The Full Stack Fest is not just a conference. It’s a show. And it’s curated deep to the smallest details.

This year’s theme was the lo-fi hardware and the late ‘80s hacker’s stereotype. Most of its aesthetics was inspired by Kung Fury (which has itself many many references) as was the sound environment of this incredible event.
The attendee badge was an old skool 1.44Mb floppy disk (which echoed the end of the teaser video) and the free lunch and drink tokens were actually… arcade videogame tokens! Each and every one of these details touched the audience in some way to create a fully immersive and hype experience

fullstack-1

Anthony and I had a great time watching the talks both on the Back End and on the Front End although the latter seemed more “spectacular” to us.

 

Lucas&Anthony

The Back End side of the conference put a clear emphasis on functional programming languages like Erlang, Haskell and Lisp, in conjunction with the growing interest for parallel computation. Both aspects were heavily highlighted in the presentation of Unison, a new programming language crafted by Paul Chiusano, sending to the world the promise of doing concurrent programming with a declarative syntax.
The State of Serverless” by Austen Collins also impressed us a lot. We were really curious about Amazon Lambdas and really wanted to dig into the Serverless framework. The very same night after the talks, Anthony gave it a try and quite liked it!

And finally, I really enjoyed the presentation of IPFS by Juan Benet even if it left me with the frustration of not diving into the technical details. IPFS is a distributed file-system that leverages blockchain technologies to achieve performance and ease of use. Its aim is to enable humanity to build a fully distributed web, biasing its development towards decentralization (the opposite direction the web is currently evolving in). Juan’s talk was brilliant. It was heavily focused on the responsibilities that we -as developers-must take nowadays. It was really inspiring and meaningful. Have a look at it.

beachparty

At the end of day 2, Codegram organized a nice party on the beach where we took the time to chat with our mate Mathieu Leplatre. He is
working at Mozilla on Kinto, an open-source, on-premise backend that shares many points in common with Kuzzle.io :) We really had a nice time!

The Front-end side opened loud. Very loud. The first day, they unchained Lee Byron talking about Immutability and GraphQL, Jafar Husain talking about the future of ES6 and Jack Franklyn talking about ELM. At 11AM our minds were already blown away.

In the afternoon, the supreme Jen Kramer made us laugh and learn CSS4, then it was my turn to speak about the evolution of the web!

lucas

I was so nervous! But as far as I can tell I did a nice job :) I talked about "The Frontend is a Fullstack", you can watch my talk here. My talk is about taking a step back and look at how the front-end development evolved in the last 20 years. The point is to realize that, nowadays, the web front-end offers the same technical features as native platforms, with the ability to run universal applications just by typing a URL in the location bar.

The sec day opened with an epic talk on reactivity and CycleJS by André Staltz. This is the first talk I have ever seen featuring time-travel special effects, techno music, smoke machines and strobo lights. Oh! by the way, the coding session with distortion effects on the terminal and sunglasses is entirely live (he told me he had to rehearse many many times to achieve it). Staltz is amazing at explaining complex concepts to the mass. He made a metaphor of Rx.Observables using Lego. Awesome.

And everything was good till the end.

conf3

Scott Jenson closed the event with an amazing talk on the Physical Web live demoing the link sharing with a beacon he made using his phone and stressing the point that the project is not a Google project but rather a personal/community one.

And all this, ladies and gentlemen, happened in the amazing setting of Barcelona, offering awesome food and beach locations, lots of stuff to see and people to meet.

I really believe the Full Stack Fest is going to grow bigger and bigger, because it’s an outstanding event in a wonderful city. Keep an eye on it and… Be there for 2017’s edition!

We’ll try to be on time to take the train next year  ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Luca Marchesini
09.22.2016