Giving a talk at Agent Conf 2019

An article from the field of events
Kalle Ott
Kalle Ott

Agent Conf logo

At the end of february I visited the small town Dornbirn in Austria to attend the Agent Conf and even gave my first conference talk. The conference took place in the FH-Vorarlberg with about 180 participants interested in JavaScript and frontend development. Matching the history of the conference not all talks were technical, Dmitry Vinnik started the event with his talk about stress in a developers everyday life and what we can do to reduce it or better avoid it.


After a deep dive into the guts of V8 and some insights how Twitter is using GraphQL it was my turn to take the stage. My topic of choice was React.js with TypeScript and why it is a good idea to use it. Especially the JSX syntax enables TypeScript giving its user a lot of help, because it is just syntactic sugar on top of JavaScript which can be typed. Beside this a little abstract benefit of having a compiler analyzing your code, I focused on the nice gains in your daily programming life. Probably the best feature of TypeScript is the red marker on typos in your code. Right after the typo-highlighting comes 'intelliSense' delivering great auto-complete in your code files. Even though since last year, when create-react-app v2 got released with integrated TypeScript support and the buzz around TS got a lot louder (at least in my twitter bubble), TypeScript is still in a niche in the react world.

I really hope I was able to inspire some folks to try TypeScript in their code bases and I took away some fears and boarding hurdles coming from a type system trying to describe JavaScript.

After my talk I was able to enjoy the rest of the conference even more and listened to a wide range of topics from biohacking with wearables, technical SEO advices for web applications to better error handling with some advanced generic types. Like always whenever one of them is speaking, the talks of Sara Viera and Kitze were entertaining and motivating highlights. Both combined and boiled down to one sentence would be "build shit with react hooks".

build dumb shit

All in all I'm very happy to have attended the agent conf. Giving a talk meant a lot of excitement and work and there are things I would do differently next time, but I can recommend it. All talks got recorded and will be uploaded to YouTube, you should watch out for the video releases on the Agent Conf channel.

The second Agent Conf highlight started right after the conference ended. Most of the speakers and many of the attendees got on the bus to Lech for a weekend of skiing. Living together in the hostel and spending time on the slopes is one of the best networking experiences you can imagine and Lech is an amazing ski area.

skiing in lech

Kalle Ott
Kalle Ott
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