AngularCamp has been held for the second time in Barcelona. It was a little more then a month ago and in the last days the videos were published. We thought, this is a good time to recap what AngularCamp was about with an easy-to-read summary, as I did with ng-Conf 2016.
What is the AngularCamp?
AngularCamp is a community event, organized by two great folks, David Pich and Johannes Weber, who got rid of the usual scheme of a conference and created one where every attendee has a chance to be a speaker on a topic they are good at. This approach is simply super cool, and works well, as I heard one of the most interesting talks on Saturday from an attendee, Martin Hochel during the Camp.
I also had the honor to hold a presentation about our in-house tool Angular Slice. If you want to improve your bootstrapping processeven further, this tool is for you. We’ve developed this tool, to generate our projects’ codebase right from the graphical inputs. We define components based on the visuals and generate them right there. You can find my slides here.
With ngslice.io our time spent on bootstrapping decreased on average by 70%! We make the alpha available to you very soon. However in this early stage of development we only have seats for the first 500 users!
You can subscribe to book your seat here.
Day 1 — The Conference
AngularCamp had two parts: the first was the conference on the first day when invited speakers discussed various topics.
The first presentation was held by Todd Motto about the evolution of Angular 1.x, including how we organized our code before .component() showed up and how we can use it to make the switch to Angular 2 more easily.
Maxim Salnikov held the second presentation about building easy-to-use and beautiful UIs with Angular Material 2. He had a live coding session about building a sightseeing mobile app for Barcelona. He demoed one of the coolest features of Angular Material 2, which is how it utilizes the ARIA principles to make Angular applications accessible to people with disabilities.
Server-side rendering is something Angular was not that good at, because it was tightly coupled to the DOM. Angular 2 broke these chains by abstracting away the access to the DOM. Wassim Chegham explained how Angular Universal (the server-side rendering) works under the hood and how it can be used to achieve faster page loads, better SEO and smoother user experience.
In my opinion, NativeScript is one of the best things that happened recently to the hybrid mobile app development. The new competitor for Ionic 2 will help both parties to get better. Sadly, I couldn’t find the time to play with NativeScript before AngularCamp so I was excited about this presentation. And I wasn’t disappointed! Sebastian Witalec’s presentation about the techniques of sharing code between the web and the NativeScript version of an Angular app was mindblowing. It made me try out NativeScript and, I have to tell you, I liked it a lot, so if you are a fellow Ionic dev give it a chance as well.
Some say Redux is the true saviour of complex SPAs — some say it isn’t. What we have to admit is that handling the state in one place, having unidirectional data flow and using pure functions to manipulate the state could make our apps easier to understand for other developers. Evan Schultz gave his talk about how we can use the power of the Redux-style architecture with the ng2-redux library to power our Angular 2 apps.
Uri Goldshtein’s talk was my personal favourite from Day 1. He demoed for us how to move into the future one tiny step at a time. GraphQL is a transformation layer above your REST API or your other data source, which allows you to query your data with the format of the expected data structure (example). What’s more, they have built Apollo for us, to make it easy to implement GraphQL everywhere.
Uri Shaked demoed how to build a real-life Simon game with Angular 2. He started from a web-based interface, and transformed it into a real-life interface with the help of a Raspberry Pi and a few leds and buttons. This presentation was a great example of how we can use Angular in other places beside the browser.
Manfred Steyer’s presentation was about Progressive Web Apps. Progressive web apps are the future of web applications. For the first time in the history of the web, with the help of these techniques we are able to close the web app gap — which means we can write web applications that feel and behave like native applications.
The web is the next universal platform for app development and, for a while now, we developers were able to conquer the world of desktop applications with frameworks like Electron or NW.js. Thorsten Hans showed us the benefits of using Electron to build cross-platform desktop experiences and demoed how to pack an Angular 2 application for distribution.
The last talk was about debugging Angular 2 applications. We all know it can be hard, but luckily, we have Augury, a Chrome extension which makes debugging easier. Vanessa Yuen explained how Augury can help developers with debugging.
Day 2 & 3 — The Camp
The Camp part was held at the University of Barcelona. The morning of the second day, the contributors had to pitch their topic, and the other attendees had to vote on the ideas.
Most of the contributors held workshops. Sadly, I couldn’t make it to most of the them as I chose to network and get to know the attendees of the Camp. However, on Saturday, I saw the presentation of Martin Hochel about the ngMetadata, whose goal is to backport all the ng2 APIs to Angular 1. (Impressive!) I really like and admire their effort in making the transition from Angular 1 to Angular 2 way easier, and allowing teams with large existing Angular 1 codebases to experience Angular 2 in little steps. Their products are also used by their company. If you have a large ng1 codebase, and you had lost hope about migrating, then this tool is for you.
To Sum Up
AngularCamp was a great opportunity to hear about new things and get to know new people. I had a great time and I would like to say thank you to all the organizers and attendees who made AngularCamp what it was! Kudos and hope to see you next year guys!