Overall this video collection of Fluent Conference is a great value with a few useless presentations sprinkled in. The good thing is that you can skip the videos that seem to be useless and this mainly applies to the sessions. If you were to be at the conference, then you would have lost time attending them. Before I mention ones that you should avoid, I will mention the noteworthy presentations. This is mostly the tutorials. It took me a few weeks, but I ended watching all the videos.
Here’s my breakdown by sections:
Not really a step-by-step tutorial but it is a very technical presentation describing a variety of aspects such as how code affects battery life, gesture commands, pixel ratios and feature detection on Android and iPhone.
Building Faster Websites – Ilya Grigorik
This is my favorite tutorial since I’m all about web performance. It is very detailed and presents the many layers involved in front-end performance. Just watching it you’ll become very familiar with the Chrome Dev Tools. You will learn how to measure and determine bottlenecks easily.
Advanced jQuery Techniques – Elijah Manor
I love jQuery and use it frequently so even though this tutorial is good it has its drawbacks. Elijah presents at a slow pace and doesn’t explain the advanced concepts very well. His code looks good but it’s the presentation that can be hard to understand.
Introduction to Twitter Bootstrap – Jen Kramer
The Boostrap framework is not very complex so it’s an easy learn if you are familiar with HTML/CSS. The presentation is nothing extraordinary, it’s succinct and to the point.
The Real-time Web with Node.js – Carlos Souza & Jacob Swanner
Less of a tutorial and more of a overview of Node.js code and its functionality. This presentation has great visuals and describes the basics of server communication with Node.js. (Note: the audio of this video is low.)
Developing Mobile Applications with PhoneGap – Raymond Camden
Building a Webapp Step-by-Step – Ohad Kravchick
Windows 8 App Building Boot Camp – Kraig Brockschmidt
All about building a mobile app in three different ways/environments. Enough said. I am mostly familiar with using PhoneGap so I enjoyed that tutorial.
About Key Notes
The keynote presentations have good technical highlights and demos but some are simply mundane opinions of trends. The technical noteworthy ones to mention are Brendand Eich, Paul Irish, and Lea Lerou if you’re into web standards. For inspiration watch “Thank You” by Nicholas Zakas. You’ll save time by skipping the remaining videos.
There’s a big variety of content in the “Session” presentations similar to the Keynotes, they are highlights of new and emerging front-end language frameworks. You’re not going to get familiar with any specific framework here, but rather get an idea for its usage and application.