My top 5 talks at #ConcatenateConf 2018

The experience at ConcatenateConf 🇳🇬 was SURREAL! WOW!!! By far the best tech conf I’ve attended yet!🔥🔥🔥

23(+1) rock stars🚀 from all over the world 🌍 spoke on different topics ranging from APIs to design to performance to accessibility and everything in between. I must say that ALL the talks were AWESOME! However, a couple really stood out for me. Here are my top 5… *drum roll*

#5 Data Visualization for Web Developers

Shirley’s works are UNREAL!!! She’s literally the Leonardo da Vinci of data viz. The amount of thought and research she’s put into her projects is inspiring.

Her talk on data viz for web devs was mind blowing ❤💥 to say the least! She answered the question How can I get started with
data visualisation (for the web)?
with 5 insightful lessons:

  • Find a topic you’re curious about. Then go out and collect the data for it.
  • Make sure to explore your data before you get started designing.
  • Design with a question in mind. If the question leads nowhere, try a different question.
  • Learn to love SVG paths, math, and trigonometry.
  • React (and Vue) and D3 go really well together.

Afterwards, she used wizardry and code to do some live demos. Chills! 😰

You can follow Shirley on Twitter (at)sxywu.

#4 VS Code Can Do That?!?

Burke Holland’s sense of humor 😆 is something else. I rewatched his talk just for laughs. Seriously! I learnt some cool things about VS Code I didn’t know before. I gave my editor a facelift and tried out new shortcuts during the talk. Now I feel 2X more productive 💪. Here are some highlights:

  • You can quickly generate HTML & CSS code with Emmet. See cheat sheet.
  • You can format your code with Prettier.
  • You can type check JavaScript code with the TypeScript compiler.
  • You can debug your front-end code inside of VS Code instead of the browser.
  • You can automagically generate Docker config files as well as manage images and containers with the Docker extension for VS Code. You can also debug applications inside of Docker easily with VS Code.
  • You can query MongoDB inside of VS Code 😲. I lie NOT.

You can follow Burke on Twitter (at)burkeholland.

#3 Understanding webpack under the hood!!

A few months ago, after struggling unsuccessfully to setup Webpack, I became frustrated and decided it wasn’t for me — front-end dev I mean. I made up my mind to stick with backend development which I know better. Yes, it was that deep. 😩

When Sean seized the stage to talk about Webpack, I was like “Okay. No thanks, I’ll pass”. But when he started explaining what it does, how it works and how everything fits together, it got me so excited that I’ve decided to revisit Webpack again. I’m going to learn how Webpack works, how to use it, and hopefully someday, I’ll contribute to it. Halleluyah!!! 🙏

You can follow Sean Larkin on Twitter (at)TheLarkInn.

#2 How Things Work

I thought long and hard before putting this talk at #2. It deserves #1 TBH, but there can only be one winner in this showdown. Some of the thoughts that stuck with me from Jem Young’s excellent presentation include:

  • Engineering is about the people. PEOPLE > IDEAS.
  • The more Senior you get, the less code you write.
  • Ideally, you look for ways to avoid writing code entirely because that’s where bugs come from.
  • Simplify, then add lightness.
  • It’s the code we don’t write.


You can follow Jem on Twitter (at)JemYoung.

#1 Finding Unavailable Data

This wonderful talk by Omayeli Arenyeka came at the right time when I was thinking about how to get local data for a couple data science projects I plan on doing. She took us through her process of gathering data to build a tool for finding the equivalent of a gendered word (e.g actor→ actress). The problem was interesting and her process was 💯. I learnt:

  • How and where to get data (APIs, Static Data, Web Scraping).
  • How to find patterns in the data you don’t want.

You can follow Yeli on Twitter (at)YellzHeard.

I want to use this opportunity to thank the organizers of Concatenate and all those who contributed in one way or the other to make it happen. I’ve been inspired, motivated, impacted and CHANGED. It’s going to take at least a few weeks to digest all this awesomeness. Pheeeww!!!

I can’t wait for CONCATENATE 2019!!!!! 💃 🔥 🚀🔋