The event ran last Friday and (thankfully) as usual, going by all the people I spoke to, it was a huge success.

In previous years I've been asked "what's the theme this year", and as far as I can remember, I've never had a theme. Though this year (as I've seen in others) a theme did emerge by itself: the theme of connecting people.

The talks

The talks spanned across AI, imposter syndrome, accessibility, karaoke, live streaming silliness, neurodiversity and much more.

With each of the talks, I found myself thinking how they all related to connecting us as humans to one another - which is really what (I believe) the web is for. At the heart of the web, at the heart of tech and at the heart of ffconf, is people and how we interconnect.

I know it could be a bit of a cop-out to say "it's all about people" - most things could be bent into that statement, but it's a message that's important to me and it's one that ffconf stands for.

Amy Hupe did a fantastic job of writing up each of the talks (and publishing that same day 🤯), so if you want a quick summary, I'd recommend reading her post.

Trys Mudford captured the day through his excellent photography too.

We'll also be uploading the videos to YouTube in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the ffconf YouTube playlist or subscribe to the newsletter.

A personal event

One of the things that makes ffconf so special to many people is how personal the whole event is. Julie and I care very much about how everyone is treated, how we support and use local businesses (how amazing our venue is) and how the event, speakers and the many friend's we've made over the many years have become part of a special family to us.

It's also an honour to share our own family growing in front of you all. Here is the end of 2015 and 2023 side by side:

Some things you said

Beyond the many people I spoke to at the post-social, telling me how much they enjoyed the day or when a specific talk was an extra special highlight for them, I also received a few quotes from attendees:

I don't often recommend conferences, and I'm not one for networking, but I get so much out of ffconf that I tell every engineer I meet "if you go to one conference this year, go to ffconf". I tell every junior engineer at work to go along, and everyone one of them comments on how much they loved it. Thank you!

Really great conference - I love how there is a mix of different types of talks. From Imposter Syndrome and Neurodiversity - to web standards and generative AI. However, the best thing of all is just seeing fellow front end folks in general and feeling that collective positive buzz. Thank you so much to everyone that arranged it.

The first talk about imposter syndrome was very fitting as I am soon to graduate and so I have just started applying for jobs and it is taking a toll on my mental health, so putting that first really did help boost me up.

I liked it, the talks are a bit more out there than usual, and hence a bit more unique. I'm planning to come again. There is very little I will do differently having seen the talks, but it is definitely food for thought.

Every time I've been to ffconf I've left with my faith fully restored in humanity and the web development community, and itching to try out new things. It's always an inspiring event in my calendar!

Handcrafted, intimate, and full of thoughtful people.

The next

As much as I'm trying to resist, I'm already thinking of 2024 and have started a new list of talk ideas that I'd like to hear - though I really do need to take a break from the conference for a few months (at least until January!).

If you attended and have your own blog post, I'd love if you shared it with me too - we collect all the posts on the ffconf archive website.

Perhaps maybe we'll see you again at 2024's ffconf?