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Web Directions Code 2019

I’ve been going to Web Directions events in Sydney for many years now, but hadn’t experienced any of their Melbourne events before. So when the opportunity to head down for Web Directions Code came along, I didn’t hesitate in putting my hand up.

Now I won’t even attempt to cover all the talks in any level of detail (that’s what Ben Buchanan’s now legendary Big Stonking Post is for), but I thought I’d mention a few of my favourites.

In the land of the nerds, the speaker talking about comic books is king. It was unsurprising that Anton Ball’s talk on how to recreate the layouts of comic books using CSS was so well received; what was surprising was what can be achieved with some clever use of things like grid and clip-paths. You can take a look at Anton’s Super Hero Layouts on CodePen where he has recreated layouts from comics such as Action Comics, Watchmen and Saga.

If a talk about comic books wasn’t enough to excite me, Meggan Turner’s talk featuring a lot of Beyoncé related content certainly did the job. I also managed to learn a thing or two about how numbers works (or often enough, don’t work) in JavaScript. A video of Meggan presenting this same talk at JSConf.Asia is available if you’d like to experience it yourself.

Assim Hussain helped me get my head around how neural networks do their magic, but also showed the possibilities of what can be done using AI and JavaScript. The projects he spoke about can be seen on a site he curates at https://aijs.rocks/. I particularly recommend you check out the write up Assim has done on his own AI project The Mojifier; it’s a great guide to getting started using some of the AI APIs that are out there.

As with all Web Directions events, Code '19 featured a diverse line up of speakers, and talks that covered a wide range of topics yet also complemented and built on each other. The thought and care that goes into constructing the lineup for events like this definitely sets a standard that other conferences should look to follow. I’m already looking forward to heading to Web Directions Summit at the end of October!