The very first Webclerk’s community conference took place in November 25th in Vienna and we made sure Lingohub was there for the event.

For one day, 200 something developers and 9 speakers gathered in the gorgeous Urania Wien to talk about web, ethics, Black Mirror, and travel through time back to the 80s.

Webclerks have been organizing meetups since 2016 for the community of web developers and designers in Vienna.

Here at Lingohub, we share Webclerks philosophy and strongly believe in the unifying power of developers. That’s why we jumped to the opportunity to support this event and the initiative.

And here’s why we loved it.

Building the WEB, brick by brick

For the first talk, the brilliant Jeremy Keith, shared with us his opinions on the benefits of the long-term thinking and pace layers.

The end of his speech was inspirational as he subtly demonstrated how web developers are just like builders. We, the devs, make the web together - brick by brick.

Jeremy Keith, Building the Web Brick by Brick

Jedi of the web

In her presentation UX - being a light in a dark, Lisa Grindl, guided us through the processes of detecting dark UX patterns.

Those are, basically, patterns which trick users into doing things they don’t want, or shaming them so they subscribe to services they don’t really need. She shared how to categorize them and switch to a good pattern.

Interestingly, she let it be clear that working in a company that is using dark UX-patterns, doesn’t mean you are obliged to be part of it.

It possible to talk the company into leaving dark UX-patterns for more ethical ways. That, in the long run, is going to be more beneficial for the company as well.

Lisa Grindl - Jedi of the Web

Gain WEB independence

Data is now the most valuable resource in the world. That is why Max Böck showed us how to take back that power from the giants of the web. Surprisingly, it is totally doable. You only need approximately €15 per year (for the domain name) to gain your web citizenship independence.

This was a great initiation to indieweb, the concept behind it, its growing community and useful tools. Check out RSS, Micropub, and Webmentions.

Max Böck - Gain WEB Independence

Black & White is the new rainbow

In his hilarious talk, Haydon Pickering shared with us all the perks of exclusively working with black and white. Those two put together create the perfect contrast and dynamic. As Haydon believes -

“constraints promote creativity”

and we agreed on that, after seeing some of his remarkable work.

Haydon Pickering - Black & White is the New Rainbow

Building a platform for everybody

Adrian Bolonio showed us how accessibility (a11y) is not an option but a must have for websites. In addition, we learned how to detect accessibility (a11y) vulnerabilities if there are any.

To do so, he shared with us useful tools such as:

  • Lighthouse,
  • pa11y,
  • Axe-cli,
  • WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) and
  • NoCoffee - a Vision Simulator that helps check how your website appears to people with vision problems (myopia, color blindness, etc).

Gaining influence in your organization

In his stakeholder-centric design talk, Che Harvey explained how to gain influence in your company. Some useful tips he shared with us include:

  • adapting to your company’s culture. This includes thinking before you act, being patient, understanding and seeing how a decision can benefit the others.
  • bringing added value while respecting the company’s legacy 
  • and most importantly - empathize with people.

Going back in time

Rachel Owen in “The new CSS Layout”, Charlie Owen in “Just an old guard dev in a new guard world” and Remy Sharp in “Using a modern web to recreate 1980S horribly slow and loud loading screens” made us take a nice, weird, noisy and awesome jump in time to what the web was decades ago. 

While Rachel and Charlie eventually came back to 2019 with the web evolution, Remy did exactly what he said in the title of his presentation. He made us stay in the 80s to our greatest delight.

Charlie Owen - Just an old guard dev in a new guard world

Personality doesn't bite

For the last talk of the conference, the organizers had a treat for us: Vitaly Friedman. The award winning author delighted us with his presentation on the importance of bringing more personality to the web.

He showed us that being creative and original is what can make you stand out as a developer or as a business. Whether you choose to be provoking, create friction (make your users think) or if you just

Take the Boring and making it Interesting.

Following are very nice examples of websites that decided not to follow the rules and do things differently : 

The power of community

The conference was a cozy, inspiring place greatly thanks to amazing people.

They shared their experience, outlook on trends, learning tips and were more than willing to help your clumsy self to wipe spilled coffee off the floor. 

The sense of belonging to a community is a powerful thing and, in web development, where we never stop learning - this community might just be the most important resource we have.

This article was written by Aïssatou Aziz Fall

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