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Peers Conference 2015 schedule

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Thursday 30th April 2015

  • WORKSHOP – Best Practices for Hosting and Optimization

    Have you ever wanted to have more control over your clients’ hosting environment? Ever thought about bundling hosting with your current service offering? Or offering a turnkey solution?

    In this workshop, we will review best practices to start, manage, and optimize a reseller hosting environment. Even if you are not interested in becoming a reseller, this workshop will give you the basics on how to set up CMS, blog or forum application on a new hosting plan from scratch. While we will be using the Nexcess hosting environment and the InterWorx control panel, the topics and methodologies are host agnostic - everything you will learn is applicable (to a certain degree) on any hosting provider or control panel.

    At 9:30am to 12:30pm, Thursday 30th April

  • WORKSHOP – The Future Of Craft Plugin Development

    by Brandon Kelly

    Craft is undergoing some major under-the-hood changes for 3.0. Be the first to know what has changed, why it’s changed, and what it all means for plugins in this three-hour workshop led by Brandon Kelly of Pixel & Tonic.

    At 9:30am to 12:30pm, Thursday 30th April

  • WORKSHOP - Introduction To Content Strategy And Building Websites With Craft CMS

    by Ben Parizek

    Craft CMS gives you an exceptional amount of control to balance design freedom, a flexible content architecture, and powerful management features for content strategists. In this workshop we will explore Craft's wide range of tools to help manage your content strategy.

    We'll discuss Craft Element Types from Entries, Assets, and Users to Categories, Globals, and Matrix Blocks; explore content architecture choices for repeat and one-off content, hierarchical content, and content with advanced layouts; and see how these decisions affect your publish workflows and connect to your Twig templates.

    Whether you're a designer, developer, or content strategist, Craft CMS makes it easy to impress and is a pleasure to work with as you build beautiful, content-rich websites.

    At 9:30am to 12:30pm, Thursday 30th April

  • WORKSHOP – Beyond Blogging With Statamic

    by Jack McDade

    Journey from simple to robust with the gentlemen of Statamic as they demonstrate the foundations to building almost anything with a flat file CMS. We will combine native features and tools with add-ons and best practices, to make something truly wild.

    You will learn:

    How to leverage user-submitted content and data.
    How to build simple add-ons.
    How to implement advanced routing.
    You will receive:

    A copy of slides used.
    Access to the site and add-ons we build.
    Something secret we’ll figure out later.

    At 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Thursday 30th April

  • WORKSHOP – Customizing Your Stylesheets: An Advanced Sass

    by Una Kravets

    So you’ve heard of Sass. In fact, you’re pretty good at using it. You write variables and use mixins like a pro. But are you using Sass to its full potential?

    This workshop will explore advanced Sass functionality. We’ll talk about the fundamental differences in lists, maps, extends, and mixins, and will dive deep into writing custom mixins. We’ll discuss partials and how to further DRY out our Sass by leveraging available functions, then writing our own custom functions while documenting the process and architecting a fluid system.

    At 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Thursday 30th April

  • WORKSHOP - Git: Under The Hood

    by Ryan Irelan

    This 3-hour workshop led by Ryan Irelan will start with a simple question: How many of you have used Git for your web projects?

    And you will all raise your hands.

    In "Git: Under the Hood" you will learn some intermediate to advanced Git skills.

    We'll start off learning:

    how Git stores data (the "plumbing and porcelain"),
    why commit objects matter and how they're used for nearly everything in Git,
    and the secret of git-stash.

    After learning some Git internals we will then move into practical examples and tools you can use immediately. You will learn:

    intermediate to advanced usage of important workflow tools and commands (the Git verbs),
    how to find whatever you want about the history of a repository,
    and, the commands and information you need to get out of a jam and solve your Git problems.

    The workshop will end with a group-led Q&A session so we can share information and experience with each other.

    The course will include:

    A copy of the slides used in the course (PDF)
    Access to any demonstrated Git repositories (Github)
    Written examples and explantations (PDF/HTML)

    At 1:30pm to 4:30pm, Thursday 30th April

Friday 1st May 2015

  • Everything I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Rabbinical School

    by coderabbi™

    You've been coding for a while now. You're beginning to feel that you've got
    a handle on things, but at the same time can't escape the feeling that
    you've somehow plateaued in your growth. In this talk Yitzchok, a rabbinic
    scholar and software developer, shares the wisdom of the sages as practical,
    actionable advice strategies and tactics that you can use to reinvigorate
    your growth as a developer, as well as your business.

    At 10:00am to 11:00am, Friday 1st May

  • Have Your Cake And Eat it Too: A Primer on Performance

    by Una Kravets

    What do speedy websites and cake have in common? Everybody loves them! Why is this relevant? Because building a performant website is like delivering a wedding cake: it’s a team effort, and each member of the team needs to understand the impact they have on the entire experience. As builders of the web, performance is our most important job, dictating a users happiness and willingness to use a product.

    This talk outlines how performance is everybody's job: from content strategy to design decisions to front end architecture, and will discuss how to optimize performance in each step of the process. The audience will understand the neuroscience behind page speed and will leave this talk with several tools, recommendations, and techniques to build performant websites and make the internet a better place.

    At 10:00am to 11:00am, Friday 1st May

  • Freelancer +1: How my first employee changed things forever

    by Patrick Pohler

    Hiring employee #1 is a milestone for any business, like most milestones it can be a terrifying and exhilarating leap of faith. In this personal talk Patrick Pohler of Anecka will discuss how hiring an employee changed his web agency and how he ran the business permanently. Attendees will get practical advice on how to onboard and train a new employee as well as hear first hand how having an employee forces you into a new mindset about your own roles and responsibilities.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Friday 1st May

  • Content Modeling: Where Strategy, Design, and Tech Converge

    by Seth Giammanco

    A content model defines the structure of your web content. It details the types of content you have, the copy and assets that comprise them, and the relationships between them. It is the wizard behind the curtain that impacts your website’s ease of use, content’s ability to stay on brand, to tell a story, to integrate or power outside services, and to be responsive. This session explores the concept of content modeling, shares examples, discusses implications, and showcases latest trends that offer notable impact on how you can craft your content and deliver your stories through the web.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Friday 1st May

  • When It All Goes Wrong

    by Chad Crowell

    We've come to expect a slowdown at our design agency in the early weeks of each year. 2014 was no different. Except that it was. Early weeks turned into early months, and by March, Clearfire was teetering on the brink due to financial issues. How could we be working so hard, yet making no money? Learn how it happened, how we survived, and how we hope to prevent it from happening again.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Friday 1st May

  • Well, that didn’t work.

    by Jason Siffring

    In the last eight years I’ve gone from freelancing from coffee shops to running a distributed team of nine people. Needless to say, I’ve learned a few things along the way. I’m constantly experimenting with and adjusting how we operate. Sometimes I crash and burn in a spectacular fireball. Occasionally, a new idea works right away. Mostly though, I’m tweaking and adjusting. I’d like to share some of the lessons I learned the hard way and discuss how you can build experimentation and logical risk taking into your business.

    At 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Friday 1st May

  • Mobile app development options for web developers.

    by Andrey Butov

    As a mobile developer, I often work with web-dev shops whose clients are looking for mobile apps to complement their new web apps. This talk outlines the options that freelance web developers, and web-dev consultancies have when it comes to developing a mobile app for their clients. We'll cover current technical offerings, and compare the pros and cons of going native vs. mobile web app vs. hybrid solutions. Then we'll look at the effect each option has both in the short and long term on both the web developer and on their client.

    At 2:30pm to 3:30pm, Friday 1st May

  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Support

    by Brad Bell

    Left unchecked, supporting the software and services you’ve created and sell can crush your soul, destroy your business, bring about financial ruin and leave you an empty shell of a human being, no matter if you’re a developer, a designer or a business owner. We’ll take a look at strategies for how you can prevent this from happening: * Labeling your customers by their neediness * Engineering your way out of support * Training your customers how to help you help them * Triage: Weeding out the lies in support requests * How not to be taken advantage of in support Lest you think that support is all horrible, we’ll turn the other cheek and examine how to balance support with running a business, methods of monetizing support and discuss how exceptional support works as a long-term marketing investment.

    At 4:00pm to 5:00pm, Friday 1st May

  • Writing modern JavaScript today

    by Jerel Unruh

    Programmer happiness and design patterns are very important but often they appear to be a low priority when writing code for the browser. "jQuery spaghetti" is a term you may have heard to describe poorly organized front-end codebases. Usual features like modules, classes, and default parameters seem to be missing. And due to the glacial pace of browser vendors we are stuck with the current state of things... or are we? Learn a little about the process behind the next version of JavaScript, ES6, and how to use almost all of its features in your applications today while still supporting older browsers.

    At 4:00pm to 5:00pm, Friday 1st May

Saturday 2nd May 2015

  • Developers and Communication

    by Sam Hernandez

    We developers are a different breed. Stereotypes aside, personality test data shows that many developers do experience life differently than most others. The same could be said for many other creatives. It’s no surprise, then, that communication difficulties are common in our field. After a candid peer review highlighted my own poor communication skills, I reached out to project managers, designers, clients, and other developers for insight and advice. These insights not only helped me improve, they revealed some surprisingly common frustrations with developers in general. I hope to share what I’ve learned to spread peace and harmony to developers and non-developers alike in the workplace. While this talk centers on developer communication dynamics, the subject matter is relevant to anyone; developers, non-developers, agency workers, and freelancers alike.

    At 10:15am to 11:00am, Saturday 2nd May

  • Be Your Own Angel (Investor)

    by Amy Hoy

    A frank talk about bootstrapping, products, and money: how to start small and grow big, on the side, without breaking your bank or your will to live.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Saturday 2nd May

  • The Importance of Side Projects

    by Mubashar Iqbal

    What is a "Side Project”? Mubashar Iqbal has been doing side projects since 2001. He shares his thoughts on why you should do side projects, what makes a good side project and how you can fit doing a side project into your already busy schedule. Best of all he will inspire you with some examples of successful side projects.

    At 1:30pm to 2:15pm, Saturday 2nd May

  • PANEL – ‘Shark Tank’ Show & Tell – Make Your Pitch

    by Amy Hoy, Andrey Butov, Ian Landsman and Rachel Andrew

    Working on a new project? Building a killer app? Pitch it to our "Sharks": Amy Hoy of 30x500, Andrey Butov of Antair, Ian Landsman of UserScape, and Rachel Andrew of Edge of my Seat, in front of our whole audience. Get real world feedback from the product developers and business owners who'll weigh in (with love and humor) on whether your idea will sink or swim.

    At 2:15pm to 3:30pm, Saturday 2nd May

  • How Customers Hold the Secret to Your Success

    by Rachel Andrew

    When I look back at six years of developing Perch CMS the successes and failures along the way can seem almost random. However there is one common thread to the things that have worked - in terms of the product, our marketing, and supporting materials. Things go well when we *really* listen to our customers. Listening means sometimes hearing things that are hard to accept. It means not writing off every incredibly specific feature request at first hearing. It means learning to ask the right questions to uncover the real use cases when our gut reaction is to dismiss something as negativity. However once you learn to really listen, surprising things can happen.

    At 4:00pm to 5:00pm, Saturday 2nd May

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