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.
It's the remix stir, server-side rendering occurs,
In this framework blur, the future it ensures
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.
Web animations level up, React makes them disrupt,
In this digital habitat, their benefits never corrupt
AI's the light, media creation takes flight,
Web constructs in sight, future's bright, hold tight
Keep database queries close, on the edge we propose,
Or let Vercel impose, with its tech composure it shows
Technical PMs, guiding engineers like hymns,
In the tech domain, they're the transformative stems
Minimize features early, the path can be swirly,
Talk to customers, grow and learn, the journey's worthy
Keep components in sync, visual code's the selector,
In this digital architecture, be the trendsetter
Many struggle with vision, it's our mission,
To design with precision, inclusive decision's the ambition
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.
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! 🤪
Copilot on deck, elevating code's quality,
Comments more in check, it's the new tech modality
So much to ship, with PostCSS in your grip,
New CSS trends flip, on this coding trip
Find your CSS groove, make your coding move,
Choose your approach, watch your skills improve
Stream to intercept, long data requests we respect,
In this tech concept, delays we'll eject
Learn from others' grind, build tools of a new kind,
For everyone we find, tech progression intertwined
With TensorFlow, create, AI apps that captivate,
Innovate, don't hesitate, it's the future we activate
Angular's on the climb, learning from others in time,
With each framework's rhyme, it perfects the code line
Grasp the AI's mechanics, don't be the one who panics,
Stay ahead in this game, ignite the tech dynamics
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....
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.
Shout out to Justin and the entire @RenderATL crew. You did an AMAZING job of curating a safe space where *everyone* can be comfortable and Black voices can be heard and celebrated.— Angie Jones @ #RenderATL23 (@techgirl1908) June 3, 2023
My heart is full and my soul is fed. See yall next year, June 12-14 ❤️🙌🏾🎉#RenderATL23 https://t.co/vKO9MAKnxy
This conference, @RenderATL, is really something special.— Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo) June 3, 2023
Aside from amazing events and speakers, @ThugDebugger did an incredible job making an event where *community* was center stage.
(Also check out this game room! 🤩)
Thank you for all you do! pic.twitter.com/dSeDODP76i
I hope to see you at Render ATL 2024 and maybe some other events between now and then!