Render ATL 2023

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I’m at the Atlanta airport, replaying the last few days of Render ATL in my head. They say it’s “a tech conference where talent feels welcomed.” If I had to describe it, I’d say, ”it’s a vivrant thing.” I have been to a lot of conferences, but I have never experienced the energy that the people at Render brought. I’m ready to buy my ticket for next year, and I highly recommend you do, too.

Where Tech Meets Culture

I’m not sure if that’s an official slogan, but one of the emcees said it, and I think it perfectly describes what sets Render apart from other web conferences I’ve been to. Most emcees were not tech workers, and they all had dynamic personalities, which raised the energy for each presentation. In hindsight, I should have asked, but I imagine it helped the speakers as well.

The event was part of Tech Week in Atlanta, so there were some evening events that were mixed with people who were and weren’t attending the conference. I forgot to RSVP to Tuesday night’s event, and it sold out, so I made sure to grab a spot for The BLK Out ATL on Wednesday night. It was touted as a couple of hours of networking, followed by an R&B session. Uh, yes, please. I’m pretty shy, and I didn’t know anyone at the event, but a handful of people went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The DJ was hilarious and really got the place going once the networking time was over. It turned into a packed club filled with fantastic music, which was a fabulous preview for the next few days.

Wednesday was also workshop day and I got a great intro to Remix from @chancethedev. I’ve been pretty curious about Remix, and this was a great way to get it explained by someone who helped build it.

Remix Fundamentals

Chance Strickland, Senior Software Engineer @ Replo

My Takeaway

It's the remix stir, server-side rendering occurs,
In this framework blur, the future it ensures

Day One

Render is a multi-track event with tracks for leadership and entrepreneurship, networking, product and project management, and web and mobile engineering. They also had a huge sponsor area and some specific chats and events around them as well. I mostly stuck to the presentations, and here’s what I saw on Thursday, with a fun little takeaway for each with the help of ChatGPT.

Building Whimsical Interactions With React

Josh Comeau, Founder @ Josh W. Comeau Courses

My Takeaway

Web animations level up, React makes them disrupt,
In this digital habitat, their benefits never corrupt

Creating a Whole New World With Generative Ai

Colby Fayock, Director of Devx Engineering @ Cloudinary

My Takeaway

AI's the light, media creation takes flight,
Web constructs in sight, future's bright, hold tight

The Bleeding "Edge" of Web Development

Adam Rackis, Senior Software Engineer @ Spotify

My Takeaway

Keep database queries close, on the edge we propose,
Or let Vercel impose, with its tech composure it shows

Building Together: Technical Product Management in Your Engineering Organization

Margarita Caraballo, Senior Technical Product Manager @ Mailchimp

My Takeaway

Technical PMs, guiding engineers like hymns,
In the tech domain, they're the transformative stems

Product Viability to Product Scalability

Ayo K. Duyile, Senior Technical PM, Software Engineering @ Google

My Takeaway

Minimize features early, the path can be swirly,
Talk to customers, grow and learn, the journey's worthy

Codux Demo

Tom Raviv, DevRel @ CoduxIDE

My Takeaway

Keep components in sync, visual code's the selector,
In this digital architecture, be the trendsetter

Seeing Eye to Eye

Homer Gaines, Staff UI Engineer @ Self

My Takeaway

Many struggle with vision, it's our mission,
To design with precision, inclusive decision's the ambition

Modern CSS in Real Life

Chris Coyier, Co-founder @ Codepen

My Takeaway

CSS on the rise, it's a skill to prize,
Forever in use, in the coder's eyes

The Rooftop Party

I’ve been to some amazing conference parties, but this was on another level. Thousands of us took over the rooftop of Ponce City Market, with carnival games, mini golf, multiple DJs, and amazing views. This pic captures maybe one third of the space and crowd.

Screenshot of the Vercel UI

Day Two

In a surprising twist, I made it out of the party early enough to get some sleep and not be hung over for the morning talks. This was a new experiment and I may try it again! 🤪

Level Up With Copilot

Rizel Scarlet, Developer Advocate @ Github

My Takeaway

Copilot on deck, elevating code's quality,
Comments more in check, it's the new tech modality

Fresh Style: the Next Generation of CSS

Scott Toliniski, Founder @ Level Up Tutorials

My Takeaway

So much to ship, with PostCSS in your grip,
New CSS trends flip, on this coding trip

Styling a React App: Let Me Count the Ways

Leesa Ward, Front-end Developer @ Various

My Takeaway

Find your CSS groove, make your coding move,
Choose your approach, watch your skills improve

Streaming Server Rendering With Suspense

Shaundai Pearson, Senior Software Engineer, Productivity UI @ Netflix

My Takeaway

Stream to intercept, long data requests we respect,
In this tech concept, delays we'll eject

Thinking Across the Framework Barrier

Evan You, Author, Vue & Vite @ Vue.js / Vite

My Takeaway

Learn from others' grind, build tools of a new kind,
For everyone we find, tech progression intertwined

AI in React

Gant Laborde, CIO @ Infinite Red

My Takeaway

With TensorFlow, create, AI apps that captivate,
Innovate, don't hesitate, it's the future we activate

The Wind and the Waves: the Formation of Framework Waves From the Epicenter

Sarah Drasner, Director of Engineer, Web, at Google @ Google

My Takeaway

Angular's on the climb, learning from others in time,
With each framework's rhyme, it perfects the code line

Rise of the Robots - How to Thrive in the World of AI

Mark Techson, Sr. Developer Relations Engineer @ Google

My Takeaway

Grasp the AI's mechanics, don't be the one who panics,
Stay ahead in this game, ignite the tech dynamics

How Content Creation Took My Career to the Next Level

James Q Quick, Content Creator @ Learn Build Teach LLC

My Takeaway

Be authentic, drop knowledge worldwide, never frantic,
While the paper stacks, it's more than semantic

Ending With a Concert

The “after party” was a full Kaytranada concert in the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark. This was also part of tech week and open to the public, which made for a huge celebration. Check this out…

The People

I didn’t get to meet him, but I couldn’t agree more with Tejas in this tweet that “the people are truly my favorite part of any conference!!” There was so much joy and energy in the crowd, it was almost intoxicating.

I was very much looking forward to seeing people like Chris, Homer, Jina, and Sarah who I hadn’t for a few years. My last conference was in October of 2019, which feels like forever ago. There were some surprises as well, like running into Keith from the #frontendconf days and randomly seeing Jared at a brewery unrelated to the conf.

I met a bunch of new folks that I’ll be looking forward to seeing at future events as well. There’s too many to list out, but I wanted to give an extra thanks to Domitrius for being so welcoming and to Keegan for an awesome chat and sharing a Bluesky invite.

I’ll wrap this up with some tweets from other folks sharing how wonderful this event was.

I hope to see you at Render ATL 2024 and maybe some other events between now and then!

Check out
Front-end conf
we're bringing the conf back in April 2024!
10 speakers across two days, with plenty
of time for conversations