A Meeting of the Minds

Accurate description of our Offline First panel at SXSW: 🎉💥🎇🔥🍾

SXSW 2017 was an amazing experience, and even if you attended, you might be one of the people who stood in line for one of our panel discussions, “From Mobile First to Offline First,” and still didn’t make it in. If that’s you, I’d like to tell you a little about our experience, and if you make it to the end of this piece, I’ve got a special surprise for you.

I loved getting to work on developing this discussion with Gregor Martynus, developer and ambassador for Hoodie and co-organizer of Offline Camp; Dan Zajdband, most recently a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellow with the Coral Project, who now works on a secret project in his home of Buenos Aries in the fintech industry; and Nolan Lawson, program manager on the Microsoft Edge team and maintainer of PouchDB. You can learn more about me and my fellow panelists here.

Leading up to the event we had a great time collaborating on our plans to present at SXSW for the first time. Gregor, Dan, Nolan and I were doing some final preparations the day before our panel when we got the email stating that SXSW had received so many RSVPs for the panel discussion that they wanted to add a second session. Of course, we had to capture the moment!

Alex Russell, a Software Engineer on the Chrome team at Google, also gave a talk on Offline First. His session, titled Building Offline-First Progressive Web Apps, happened to be right before our panel in the exact same room and also drew a “sold out” crowd. As with our talk at SXSW, Alex’s was not recorded, but you can catch the gist of his talk by watching his opening keynote at Chrome Dev Summit this past year.

Alex graciously stayed for our panel and snapped a few photos.

Standing room only at both “From Mobile First to Offline First” panel discussions at SXSW 2017

After waiting in line for over an hour, many people still didn’t get in to the second session. Obviously we learned from this experience that interest in Offline First is growing and people from all stops of the software development life cycle are interested in learning more about how to take their web apps offline, from developers to decision makers. In both panels we received questions about where to learn more and how to convince dev teams to try Offline First. The answer to that second question varies depending on your team, where your app is in its life cycle, and the existing architecture of your app. If you’re interested in talking about this, you should really join the discussion in the Offline First Slack organization, to chat with other people in the industry who can share battle stories.

Stay tuned…there is so much more happening in the world of Offline First. Soon there will be a book by Neighbourhood.ie! And keep an eye on the New Builders podcast, as very soon we’ll be getting the SXSW Offline First gang back together for a third encore of our panel discussion, and this time Alex Russell will be joining us!

In the meantime, since I know you are very thirsty for information, here are the resources you can find on the final slide of our deck from SXSW:

The home of the Offline First community:

Further learning:

Developer tools: