Third Mind | Chicago Web Conference 2015
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Chicago Web Conference 2015

chiwebconf2015

I had the opportunity to attend the Chicago Web Conference over the weekend.
Here are some of the highlights from the sessions that I attended.

Let’s Use SVG!
Quinton Jason of @XdesignInc shared his insights on using the SVG format in place of jpg, gif and png when possible. He outlined the advantages:
• Resolution Indepence
• Small File Size
• Accessibility
• Interactivity
• Filters and Blend Modes

One of the highlights for me was his example of using an SVG logo and then targeting elements within the logo with media queries and CSS for responsive to adapt the logo for mobile without switching to another image! He also shared his tricks for dealing with pesky Internet Explorer.

The Word Press JSON REST API
Presenter was Rachel Baker from 10up. She shared how the API was conceived and the process of it’s development. It’s currently in the form of a plugin but they are working to include it in a future Word Press release as part of the core. http://wp-api.org/ The API can be used for things like displaying and managing content in a mobile app, integrating content with other applications and/or managing content on a separate Word Press site or another site within a multisite network. Many possibilities here.

Quick Prototyping with Foundation
Presenter was Vizente Freeman of Leo8eleven
ZURB Foundation is a mobile-first responsive front-end development framework similar to Twitter Bootstrap. He showed some examples and how it works together with Bower and Grunt which are tools that can be installed with the command line that help manage and run tasks locally.

Beyond the Web with HTML5/CSS3/JS and NodeWebkit
Presenter was Michael Lancaster of Orbitz Worldwide
Creating Desktop applications with HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript only! He shared his open source example https://github.com/Soundnode. Here he’s pulling content from Soundcloud into a desktop application he created. He did this using NodeWebkit which is now called NWJS.

Keynote: What Are You Built For?
Presentation by Jim Jacoby founder of American Design Mastercraft Initiative ADMCI
The foundation is helping businesses to communicate more affectively across groups, transform culture, build new skills, and strengthening customer focus. To quote from their website “The ADMCi Foundation is reinvigorating master-craftsmanship as an engine for sustained and uniquely valuable growth. They are a mission-driven organization established to identify, curate, promote, and responsibly build value.”

He shared his personal testimony of how a meeting with motorcycle designer JT Nesbitt changed his life. Nesbitt’s business had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina but Jacoby saw something in Nesbitt that deeply inspired him. Jacoby quite his job running a successful media company and backed Nesbitt to build his dream motorcycle, the Bienville Legacy. Jacoby said “If your job is only to make money, you make nothing.”

Overall the conference was good! One of the main sponsors was 37signals. They are the creators of Basecamp. We received 2 free books that were written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson founders of 37signals. REWORK which is a contemporary look at running a business and REMOTE:Office Not Required which looks at the advantages and challenges of working remotely and how this is possible with the advances of modern technology. Both books offer insights and tips on being more effective, productive and happy in your work.