The official job title for Jeff Fox is AssociateDirector, UX Digital Experience Tech Lead at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. A more accurate description, Fox says, is Standards Evangelist and Keeper of Knowledge for Front End Web Technologies.
“We are always facing transitions in this business,” Fox says. “We’ll be talking about what is impacting developers’ day-to-day lives. Anyone can get into a rhythm with certain technologies and get stagnant. But change in inevitable, especially when someone moves on to the next opportunity, as often happens in our field.”
Both generalists and those who specialize, like Fox, will be served.
“I like to pick a couple core technologies and focus on those,” Fox says. “You can easily become overwhelmed with new information. Go to Github or any JS aggregator site like CDNJS and there is easily something like 10 new or updated libraries every week.”
“JS really is one of today’s leading technologies, which is surprising,” Fox says. “Twenty years ago a lot of us wouldn’t have thought it would have such a massive footprint. It is so accessible and powerful and it’s outlasted other platforms that everyone thought would be better suited to interactivity, like Flash. It’s put down roots and the conference will invest the time to help coders learn how to use it. This conference is a win-win because nothing is going to replace JS in the short-term.”
“We have a lot of talks that cover supporting technologies and wildcards for accessibility, web audio, programming Alexa with RESTful APIs, Node.js, async requests and responses on RxJS and even IoT (the Internet of Things). If people aren’t familiar with these it’s a great opportunity to break in and get some exposure.”
Networking made easy
Fox, one of the co-organizers of the conference, said some of the best opportunities will follow the official talks, especially for technologists based in Connecticut.
“There’s going to be a great opportunity to network and connect with other smart, talented people,” Fox says. “In Stamford and Fairfield County we have a lot of hidden technology companies. We’re not just the suburbs where the financial guys from the city live. It’s a great environment for technologists here. There’s a wealth of experience for people to gain and make some really meaningful connections with people doing the same types of thing you do.”