This past week the church put on a technical conference (no not THAT conference) called SORT (no it doesn’t stand for anything). It was a two day conference held at the institute building at the University of Utah. There were over 850 attendees, 200+ classes and 6 keynotes. Yes, this was a serious conference.
Aside from the keynotes, all of the classes were given by people from inside the churches organizations. Employees from the ICS (IT) department, Family History, BYU and more. The conference ran smoother then most other conferences I have been to. They provided breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day. Class content ranged from beginner to advanced, from back end to front end, security to performance, and many many more topics. All in all, one of the best conferences I have attended.
I decided to punish myself (and others) by presenting at the conference. I gave 3 presentations: Intermediate jQuery, Advanced jQuery and Designing Faster Websites. The Faster Websites had so many people sign up for it that they gave it a second time slot as well so more people could see it. It’s awesome that so many people were interested in this subject to need that.
Several other NorthTemple-ites also presented.
- Nic Johnson presented an HTML5 and CSS3 class (also called upon for a repeat performance the second day… without his knowledge… when he forgot his laptop at home).
- Ted Boren on Conducting Customer Interviews.
- Emmy Southworth and Susan Jarvis presented a two part Basic Usability Skills class where they covered the basics of usability testing.
- Rob Thomas on Presentation Skills: How to Make Your Point.
Overall a great representation from our team to get these important topics in the minds of people from many disciplines.
Due to the church being understandably overly cautious about legal issues we will probably not be able to post our slides from our presentations. But I figured posting some links to stuff I mentioned would be beneficial to those who attended my presentations and others as well. This will not be the prettiest of lists, but some good information regardless.
Most of my presentation was a dive into the following pages. If I can get clearance to post the demos and my other optimization examples, I’ll post them.
- Visual Easing demo – Canvas images showing what the easing looks like
Designing Faster Websites
I was glad so many people were interested in this topic. There is a lot of activity in this space lately and our users will thank us for making the extra effort.
- Google and Yahoo research – Quotes from the beginning of the presentation
- CSS Shorthand – Save some file size
- Steve Souders – The foremost expert in Designing Faster Websites. In fact he wrote the book on it (twice).
- 14 Performance Rules
- Presentation by Nicole Sullivan from Yahoo (yes I blatantly stole her opening graphic)
- Aaron Barker’s performance links on delicious
- Sprites explained
- Sprite Generators: Spritegen, Sprite me By Steve Souders. Can’t do local files, only sprites what is on the current page (not all the image files for the site).
- Sprite Examples
- Compressor Rater – Site for seeing the size of your minified files (minified = YUI Compressor)
- Firefox Throttle – Firefox plugin to test at other speeds (256k, 56k, etc. Windows only)
- YSlow – Firefox plugin for Firebug to see performance information.
- CSS Compressors (I haven’t used these, but here for completeness) – http://www.cssdrive.com/index.php/main/csscompressor/ http://www.csscompressor.com/ http://www.cssoptimiser.com/