Blocklevel at VueConf 2017

For the past 5 years I’ve been working as a Front-end developer. I’ve experienced the transition from traditional PHP rendered websites to full-fledged Single Page Applications. From a front-end developer’s perspective, this meant that you had to take over a lot responsibilities from a back-end developer and learn a lot more about programming than just animating an image slider.

Vue is known as the Progressive JavaScript framework, it has all the features you would expect from a framework and provides the best developer experience by far. At Blocklevel, Vue is a great solution for animation and rendering performance. I work with Vue on a daily basis and I’ve used it for pretty much every project since last year. It’s very well integrated in the Webpack ecosystem which we also use in our development workflow. Compared to frameworks like Ember, Angular, Knockout, and ExtJS, developing with Vue really feels like coming home.

Me and Matteo Gabriele

At Blocklevel, we decided to attend the first official Vue conference in the world with a group of colleagues. The conference was well organised and really showcased the power of this open-source community around Vue, Webpack, and JavaScript in general. It’s inspiring to see all the hard work people from all around the world put in projects like Vue and Webpack. They both have had a huge impact in the way thousands of developers work on a daily basis.

The night before the conference we ran into Sarah Drasner

The night before the conference we’ve met a lot of those developers and had some conversations about what their experiences with Vue are, and what they build on a daily basis. We also met Sarah Drasner and Sean Larkin in person which we all know from twitter, they both had so much energy and things to share that we got really excited for the actual conference.

What we’ve learned

Personally I liked the two talks about GraphQL most, Eric Baer and Guillaume CHAU gave a brief overview of the evolution of API design and the reason why GraphQL is the successor of REST, then created a GraphQL API and implemented that with vue-apollo. Murphy’s law made sure that there were enough errors in this process but you could eventually see the power of this technology and what problems it solves. Not only does it solve implementation issues, like handling API design changes in your Front-end, but the user experience of your product becomes better and faster because it works more efficient than REST alone.

Blake Newman also had a great talk about making PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) realtime, where he showed how Service Workers and WebSockets can work together to improve the performance of your product on slow and fast connections. When you reduce load times of your app you also improve the user experience of your product, and that’s exactly what I want to achieve at Blocklevel. We’ve already shipped a set of universal apps and we will try to meet this PWA standard in the near future.

All the other talks about the framework’s ecosystem really showed why it’s called a progressive framework. You can extend the core behavior with plugins and use awesome technologies like Firebase, GraphQL and functionality like form validation, state management, analytics etc. with minimal configuration. That’s also one of the reasons why we use it at Blocklevel, we have a lot of different projects with their own ambitions and needs.

I really enjoyed myself at VueConf and I’ll definitely attend the next edition. In the meantime Blocklevel will continue to make projects awesome using Vue!

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