Best stuff from AngularConnect 2016

It’s hardly possible to summarize the conference in its entirety, but I will dare to do this in just 2 points:

  • Angular 2 was finally released, looks remarkably stable, mature and truly ready for use in both small and large enterprise apps.
  • Angular 2 and especially the Angular Community are definitely the ‘bee’s knees’! Angular 2 best practices

The event overview

AngularConnect was held in London for the second time . The conference brought together world’s leading Angular experts, Angular Core team members and other great people from the community for the 2 days, full of high quality educational and recreational content.

It for sure took the best from three previous ng-confs, AngularConnect2015 and was built on the top of them. Participants could see and clearly feel that magic atmosphere. The venue looked spacious and well-architected for the designated activities.
Angular 2 conference activities

The educational part consisted of:

  • 2 tracks with professional talks from Angular Core Team members and experts;
  • Questions&Answers sessions with experienced experts, ready to help with any issues - and every session was timed with subject;
  • Office Hours track, where the welcoming Angular Core team members and other speakers were open to any conversation;
  • and the Workshops track where one could find an opportunity to practice and follow along with instructor so as to level up the skills of a specific Angular topic. As for the recreational part of the conference - we had plenty of opportunities - to get lost in the games room with all kinds of retro activities, work out, ping-pong if you desire or have some peace-and-quiet time in the chillout room and during the mindfulness sessions.

But for me, the meat and potatoes of the conference were the spirit of welcomeness, respect and openness, created by the speakers as well as the participants. Organizers accomplished a really wonderful job in communicating the simple, yet vital Code of Conduct to people, who in turn haven’t neglected it. That is definitely something to borrow for any kind of events in the future.

Another thing worth mentioning is the tremendous
work which ‘flying fingers’ have carried out to make the talks more accessible both for people with special needs and attendees like me who have troubles understanding different accents.
Google angular team panel Angular 2 programmers

How did I get there

WhiteOctoberEvents, organizers of the conference, provided a number of scholarships for the event, and luckily I got one. The main thing to remember - it is well worth applying for such scholarships (and WhiteOctoberEvents http://www.whiteoctoberevents.co.uk/ offers them for different conferences) to get a chance to experience something inspiring, which not everyone can afford. But if you can, apply definitely - it is worth ten times the money it costs.

More to that, organizers have attached 1 mentor per 2 scholars to help us out during the conference. They were extremely friendly, we enjoyed their company throughout these days and those weren’t just ordinary people - mentors were active community members and well-known figures in the Angular world, such as Joe Eames, Aaron Frost, Sanders Elias and others.

So many thanks and great appreciation to all conference organizers, who made this possible - with such actions you do make a difference in the world.
organizers of the conference

Now about Angular 2 and the content of the conference.

After quite a long period of development and some understandable community frustration Angular 2 is finally released, stable and at the moment of writing it’s already 2.1.0. In other words, the first minor non-breaking updates have already been introduced to the framework.

All talks on both tracks have been uploaded to AngularConnect youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzrskTiT_ObAk3xBkVxMz5g - they deeply covered many aspects of the framework and I highly recommend checking them out - to my mind, at the moment these are actually the most reliable and up-to-date resources on Angular 2 released version.
Attendences on Angular Conference Angular professional speaker

To summarize what’ I’ve heard and learned:

  • There has been a huge community involvement https://octoverse.github.com/ within building the framework, and Core Team highly values and endorses it further.

  • Angular 2 has moved to semantic versioning http://angularjs.blogspot.com/2016/10/versioning-and-releasing-angular.html now with clearly timed release cycles. When you hear that there will be Angular 3 in less than 6 months, it sounds scary at first. However, the Team has a clear vision about the transition and is developing deprecation policy which will make the transition smooth, so it would feel more like transitioning from Angular 1.4 to 1.5.

  • The framework itself now consists of the core component, which is necessary to load. and other items and extensions like routing, animations, forms, i18n, material design and so on, which are of free use or can be substituted with something we see more fit. All of them have been thoroughly elaborated to give us powerful solutions for complex tasks.

  • The tooling advanced greatly with both the Core Team and active community members providing fine-grained instruments for workflow and patterns to solve complicated tasks. Some of these include:

    • Angular CLI for seamless starting, expanding and deploying our apps;
    • Protractor for testing;
    • Augury for really informative debugging;
    • TypeScript for extending javascript abilities and premium IDE experience;
    • RxJS and ngrx/store / ngRedux for powerful state management in our programs; * Apollo for GraphQL seamless backend communication;
    • ngUpgrade for step-by-step upgrading our apps from Angular 1 to Angular 2;
    • Expanding to native platforms with Ionic, OnsenUI, NativeScript and Electron;
    • Suitability with Progressive Web Apps and Web Workers.
  • The new Angular Compiler deserves particular attention. Obviously, Tobias Bosch did an awesome job in explaining it’s internals on the conference. Very powerful Ahead of Time (AoT) compilation greatly reduces the size of initial angular core package (and we don’t need to ship compiler to the browser anymore), enables enhanced code minification and using Angular 2 in backend. There are big plans for even further improvement. Having heard Tobias and seen his work, I don’t even doubt they will be reached.

So if you are starting a new project and still hesitating which framework to use - Angular 2 is much worth considering.

I also highly recommend watching the recorded talks from the conference on AngularConnect https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzrskTiT_ObAk3xBkVxMz5g.

So Keep calm and use Angular! :)

P.S. These are just some of my favorite talks from the conference:

  • Day 1 Keynote - Misko Hevery, Jules Kremer, Stephen Fluid & Uri Goldstein
  • Day 2 Keynote - Igor Minar and Rob Wormald
  • The Angular 2 Compiler - Tobias Bosch
  • Go beast mode with realtime reactive interfaces in Angular 2 & Firebase - Lukas Ruebbelke
  • Why I am betting my future on Angular 2 - Shai Reznik
  • From component to component - Todd Motto
  • RxJS 5 Thinking Reactively - Ben Lesh
  • Angular Community Up & Running - Shmuela Jacobs & Nir Kaufman
  • The Angular Router - Victor Savkin
Techmagic - Good&Co case study