KLM is not a sponsor of this blog post…🙄

I’ve been to my first conference!

On this (very) early Wednesday morning, I grabbed my beloved Peak Design Everyday Backpack (no ad, just love) and took the bus across Sweden to Arlanda Airport. From there, I flew to Amsterdam for a two day developer conference called Performance.now().

Besides minor local meetups and such, this was my first real conference. Since performance is my biggest interest and the lineup of speakers was nothing less than amazing, it was a no brainer to buy an early bird ticket.

I mean, everybody knows who Paul Irish is, right? And I’ve been a fan of the work of Filament Group (Scott Jehl+Zach Letherman) since they launched the new, responsive Boston Globe site a few years ago.

Besides of being a fanboy and learn new things, I figured it would be an good experience and adventure to travel and go to a conference all by myself. Especially as the introvert I consider myself to be!

Thanks to the power of the internet and Twitter, I was able to meetup with a few of my upcoming conference colleagues already at the night before!

What a kickstart to the whole conference experience to meet these nice people and drink nice beer at a nice place!

On both days, the doors opened up an hour before the first talk and breakfast was served. Lunch and snacks during the coffee breaks was also served, so we were really taken good care of. Not to mention the free beer on the nights after the last talks…😅

What about the talks then? Well, as I said, the lineup was very strong so the quality of the talks was very good. As expected, I very much enjoyed the talks of Zach Leatherman, Scott Jehl and Paul Irish.
But the ones I found “surprisingly” interesting was the talk about third party providers by Harry Roberts.
I also liked the talk by Katie Sylor-Miller which felt very honest and down to earth. Her talk was more or less a real world case study about optimizations that sometimes didn’t made any real difference.

At a conference about best practices, it was nice to hear about a few failures to!

To summarize: I found that going to a conference like this isn’t only about learning new things. It’s the experience as a whole! You’re getting inspired. You’re getting overwhelmed. You’re getting exposed to new situations. You’re getting forced to speak english for days! And you’re making new friends and contact with people that has the same interest as you, even though I didn’t meet a single one who works with exactly the same thing as me!

It’s fascinating that this little performance world in the small world of web development can be such an huge world!

I was glad to hear that Performance.now() will return for a second edition next year! I’m also curios about which other conferences I might go to…

Stefan Ledin

Written by

Web developer who makes fast WordPress sites with clean code and awesome backends. Also, JavaScript is nice!

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade