Highlights and Takeaways from Europe's Largest Angular Conference
Just a week after Angular Version 5 was released, I had the pleasure to attend AngularConnect 2017. AngularConnect is Europe's largest Angular conference. It is a multi-track conference so I could not attend all the sessions, but the talks I saw were amazing and offered great content.
AngularConnect 2017 allowed me to connect with some of the world’s leading Angular experts and learn best practices from them. During the diversity lunch on day one and the community lunch on day two, I also had the opportunity to take part in discussions about diversity and inclusion, and community building. There was also great opportunity to network with other engineers and exchange ideas in between talks in the conference common areas. It was great to find out that many of the attendees know and shop at Zalando!
Performance Performance was one of the biggest topics at the conference. Performance is a topic I am particularly interested in as performance optimization increases consumer engagement. During the Day One Keynote, Igor Minar presented lots of interesting insights on how Angular’s performance was improved. In addition, Minko Gechev offered lots of tips on improving the performance of Angular applications in his talk “ Purely Fast”. If you only watch one talk from the conference, this is it. Head over to his blog to read an in-depth explanation of the content he presented at AngularConnect.
Upgrade Upgrading legacy AngularJS applications is still an important topic as over 100,000 websites still use AngularJS according to builtwith.com. This is a topic I was particularly interested in as we still have some legacy AngularJS applications. I attended the panel on Migration (ngUpgrade, etc). One point that business often misses when considering whether to upgrade from AngularJS to Angular is how difficult it is to attract talent. The main takeaway was that if businesses want to be competitive and be seen as attractive employers they need to invest in modernizing their legacy applications.
Asim Hussain’s talk “ From Donkey to Unicorn: a New Approach to AngularJS Migration” is a must-see for everyone looking to migrate their applications from AngularJS to Angular. He explains how if you already have good architecture the ngUpgrade approach should work smoothly. He also presented an iframe approach with which you don’t have to worry at all about your technical debt. The exciting thing about the iframe approach is that you could use it to migrate to/from other frameworks as well.
Accessibility “ Accessibility Through the Eyes of a Deaf Professional” by Svetlana Kouznetsova reminded us of the importance of accessibility and taking into account the needs of people with disabilities. As she said: “Diversity and inclusion means nothing without accessibility”. The takeaway is to remember to make our applications accessible. It is a small effort for the developer but has a big impact on people with disabilities.
Testing Jan Molak shared his knowledge on “ Testing Angular Apps at Scale”. He presented an overview of what Serenity/JS is and how it helps make the design of end-to-end tests scalable. It helps you to write your tests in a declarative way. In my opinion, this is the future of end-to-end tests design and I look forward to seeing this approach in other testing frameworks.
Progressive Web Apps “ Automatic Progressive Web Apps Using Angular Service Worker” by Maxim Salnikov demonstrated how easy it is to build Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) with the Angular Service Worker. Angular CLI 1.6, which was released at the beginning of December 2017 together with Angular 5.1, supports Angular Service Worker. An interesting point that was brought up during the conference was about customer conversion rates and whether PWAs affected the native apps users. The takeaway is that PWAs radically improve customer engagement and do not negatively affect the use of native apps.
See also: Zalando at RecSys 2017.