Yesterday I attended the first European jQuery conference, which was hosted here in Oxford at the Saïd Business School. This was the first big conference I've been to (though I've attended a couple of local 'Geek nights' and 'design jams').

Upon arriving and collecting my pass, I received a goodie bag, which included:

  • 1 White October Coffeescript mug (more on this later)
  • Various information leaflets
  • A scratch card (for a promotion White October were running)
  • A fortune cookie (more on this later)

There were various stalls around, from such vendors as the Blackberry, Kendo UI, Tquila, Twilio, and White October. From the stalls I managed to nab some goodies such as:

  • 2 event t-shirts (featuring awesome 'Radiohead' artwork (Like this!))
  • 1 Kendo UI t-shirt
  • a whole load of stickers (for Soundcloud, Kendo UI, Mozilla, Firefox, O'Reilly)
  • a second Coffeescript mug

Inside the fortune cookie in my goodie bag was a ticket to get a free Blackberry Playbook, so I headed over to the Blackberry stall and got it -- of the 300 attendees, only 100 of us got these! So, I started the day well.

Blackberry Playbook

The Coffeescript mugs are really nicely done. Featuring working coffeescript code that according to John Wards (@whiteoctober) took a whole day to write/validate before the mugs could be made. You can see a picture of the mug here:

Blackberry Playbook

And you can view the working code online at http://www.whiteoctober.co.uk/mug/.

The talks covered topics from the state of the jQuery project and using jQuery mobile, through to some technical topics such as building large-scale applications with jQuery and a nice talk about app development stacks.

The talks are listed below:

  • "The state of the jQuery project" - Ralph Whitbeck (@RedWolves)
  • "jQuery mobile keynote" - Todd Parker (@toddmparker)
  • "Web vs apps" - Dion Almaer (@dalmaer) and Ben Galbraith (@bgalbs)
  • "Pitfalls and opportunities of single-page applications" - Jörn Zaefferer (@bassistance)
  • "Develop like a BOSS with these 10 jQuery tips" - Wes Nolte (@wesnolte)
  • "Effective jQuery testing with QUnit" - Laurent Delcambre
  • "Embracing and celebrating redundancy" - Christian Heilmann (@codepo8)
  • "Aloha Editor: jQuery based contentEditable" - Haymo Meran (@draftkraft)
  • "App development stack JS for developers" - Paul Irish (@paul_irish)
  • "Building large-scale applications with jQuery" - Addy Osmani (@addyosmani)
  • "Contextual jQuery" - Doug Neiner (@dougneiner)

Over-all I really enjoyed the jQuery conference. It was interesting to hear talks from people whom I've only previously heard of through Twitter or ycombinator. Take Jörn Zaefferer for example, I've used his jQuery validation plugin as far back as 2008, and now to have seen him speak at a conference is just mind-blowing.

Paul Irish, u so silly.

Paul Irish has a really awesome energetic presentation style. He's really confident about what he's talking about, and it's clear that he's enthusiastic about jQuery and using/pushing new web technologies. Christian Heilmann had a really thought-out talk about redudancy, and his slides were interesting/entertaining, along with how well he presented.

Other than the rubbish Wi-fi, the whole conference was really good. White October did a great job organising the whole thing, and they picked a really good venue. I'm glad I attended the first European jQuery conference. I'm a little sad that it's over, or that there wasn't a second day of talks. I'm glad that I got a Blackberry Playbook (I'll probably bost about rooting/hacking this later on).