Track: Applied JavaScript - Atomic Applications and APIs


Day of week:

Sitting at the top of Stack Overflow's "Most Popular Technology" chart for the third year in a row, JavaScript has driven the explosion of Single Page Apps, component based UIs and loosely coupled micro-services. Additionally, serverless technology, the Internet of Things, rapid development of the node.js runtime and increasing numbers of compile-to-JS programming languages are all changing the way companies and individuals plan and build their software. While companies like Netflix, Amazon and Uber trumpet the benefits of micro-services there is a community of engineers digging into the detail of converting their monolith into composable parts. This includes their client-side applications. This track asks questions of the engineers replacing their stack (either client or server) with smaller, loosely coupled and highly targeted applications. These are teams who are working to replace HTML & jQuery with React components, JavaScript with more functional languages like PureScript or Elm and traditional MVC monoliths with JavaScript powered micro-services.

Track Host:
Ian Thomas
Principal Engineer @ Sky Betting & Gaming
Ian leads a team of engineers developing the next generation of user interface for The team is tasked with building API driven, component based applications which, when combined, form a cohesive, resilient and performant customer experience which copes with both the scale of the customer base and engineering team. Prior to working at Sky Betting & Gaming, Ian was Head of Digital for Finn Communications, a PR Agency, and was responsible for delivering digital products for FMCG clients including GHD, Taylor's of Harrogate, Nestlé and Morphy Richards. As a father of two boys under five, Ian's time away from work is spent with his family, playing Peppa Pig, trains and pretending to be a horse, often before 7am! Ian is also a keen hockey player, cyclist and musician.

Trackhost Interview

Who is your target persona?

This is a track for operational full stack engineers. People who are flexible and understand how to get it running and are dedicated to make things happen. They can have a specialism like javascript but in the end they look for ways to put things together and make it work.

What are you goals for the track?

I like to advocate the move towards functional programming styles in the frontend. There’s a stigma around javascript but now it has become mature and supported with the right tooling and environment. You can now build scalable safe apps which are performing and will last. This track shows how people are doing it and why it’s the right way to go.

What do you want someone to leave from your track with?

I want them to be aware of what’s available if they want to break up monoliths into small composable parts. Get knowledge of technologies that are available and see how they can be used. Learn ways to replace bits and integrate new pieces in systems. Get ideas on how to approach all of this and sell it to management and stakeholders.

What technologies will be present in the track?

Some of the technologies are Elm, server-less technology, immutable JS, compiling javascript, and managing the pipeline from dev to live.

10:35am - 11:25am

by Cem Staveley
Software Engineer @BBC iPlayer

The BBC iPlayer API used to be a monolithic Java application. Two years ago we switched to Node.js microservices and we have been iterating on it ever since. We have learnt many things along the way including how to keep distributed systems decoupled, how to monitor the health of our services in real-time and how to move faster as a team. We'll share our journey without sugar-coating the mistakes we've made along the way.

11:50am - 12:40pm

by Steve Faulkner
Director of Engineering @Bustle

Tools like AWS’s Lambda, Google's Cloud Functions, and many others are allowing us to create “serverless” applications. At Bustle (a top 30 website in the US) we are taking full advantage of this new infrastructure. APIs, databases, searching, indexing, server side rendered javascript, are all being handled without deploying any of our own servers. And the best part? It costs orders of magnitude less than our old VM based deployments. I’ll walk attendees through...

1:40pm - 2:30pm

by James Hall
Founder/Director @Parallax

From installations to promote superstar DJs on trains speeding across Europe to sitting in Motorway LED billboards debugging wi-fi cards when the temperature drops below zero, our experience building for the IoT has highlighted just how unpredictable failure can be. This talk is a warts and all look into our work with some of the world's best known brands using JavaScript to power remote installations and interactive applications.

2:55pm - 3:45pm

by Richard Feldman
Elm Pioneer & Software Engineer @noredink

Elm is a functional programming language that compiles to performant JavaScript. At NoRedInk we have over 80,000 lines of production Elm code. It's the primary technology we use to build our Web application's user interface, which students around the world use to answer millions of questions per day. Since we began using Elm in 2015, our production Elm code has yet to cause a single runtime exception. Our error logs show plenty of crashes from our legacy...

4:10pm - 5:00pm

Open Space
5:25pm - 6:15pm

by Ian Thomas
Principal Engineer @ Sky Betting & Gaming

Working with JavaScript is exciting. There's constant change - in the language, the runtimes and the community. The last 24 months have seen the rise and fall of frameworks, libraries, platforms and best practises. All this change is great if you have the option to build smaller products, either starting from scratch or being given a green light to completely re-write an application in one go. But what if you can't do that? What if you have a valuable, scaled, complex product? How do you get...