Web Directions Code 2020 Australia's Professional JavaScript Development & Front End Engineering Conference

Exclusively OnlineSeptember 2020

A global, remote-only conference for JavaScript Developers and Front End Engineers.

Code 2020 is over

A resounding success, Code, our first online conference is over. But you can still keep up to date with the lastest in JavaScript, and other key front end technologies.

Web Directions Conffab

Over 560 presentations from 437 world leading experts at 32 conferences…and counting

Plus hundreds of eBooks and online courses from Wiley, Packt, SitePoint, A Book Apart and other leading publishers.

And, get get access to all our events throughout the year as part of a Conffab Premium membership, for just $39.95 per month.

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Re-imagined as remote-only

In response to the unique challenges of COVID-19 Web Directions Code will now take place remote only. But expect much more than just Zoom based presentations and Slack channels.

Building on the extensive work we've done with our conference presentation platform Conffab, Code aims to re-imagine from the ground up the conference experience, not just port the traditional conference to the Web.

With a focus on highly engaging, expertly filmed and edited, screen-oriented presentations, alongside spaces to connect, communicate and keep in touch with everything around the conference, you'll be immersed as if you were there–maybe even more so.

How will Code be held?

Most online conferences run just like in-person conferences–one or two jam-packed days. But with so many folks working remotely, and spending so much of their day in front of a screen we felt there was the opportunity to rethink this, and do something differently.

So Code will take place over 4 consecutive Fridays in September (or Thursday for those on the other side of the date line). It will run for 3 and a half hours each session (with a bit of downtime built-in), which also means folks can attend anywhere from the West Coast of the US and Canada, right across to Hong Kong and Singapore either during their workday, or not too much outside it.

This means you'll be attending with folks from across the world, from the comfort of your own home (or maybe office), which we find incredibly exciting.

Code will take place on Thursday September 3, 10, 17, 24 4pm–7:30pm Pacific Time, and on Friday September 4, 11, 18, 25 in New Zealand from 1pm–4:30pm, on Australia's East Coast from 11am–2:30pm, in Japan and Korea from 10am–1:30pm, and in Perth and South East Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines) from 9am–12:30pm

Our Expert Advisors

We've assembled a team of expert advisors to help ensure we deliver the best possible remote-first experience.

Matheus Siqueira
Matheus brings his years of film making expertise to create compelling remote-first presentations.

Matheus Siqueira,
Filmaker and Editor

Manisha Amin
Manisha Amin and the Centre for Inclusive Design will help ensure the most inclusive event possible.

Manisha Amin,
Centre for Inclusive Design

Tarek Said and Sarah Ewen
Our presentation gurus, Tarek Said and Sarah Ewen will work with speakers to deliver highly engaging presentations.

Public Speaking for Life

About Code

The Front End technology stack constantly changes, along with best practice in performance, security, workflow and more. Keeping up with these developments can feel like a full time job.

At Web Directions, we've lived and breathed the web for more than 20 years, and use this unique perspective, deep knowledge and unparalleled global network to curate two days of in-depth, invaluable presentations from local and world leading experts to help you and your team stay ahead.

Who's it for?

Whether you call yourself a coder, a programmer a developer or engineer, if your job is to build and deliver robust, fast, secure, engaging web experiences, Code is for you.

Code is for front end engineers: JavaScript, Fullstack and Web developers, engineering leads, engineering managers, devops experts, CTOs.

Real World Knowledge

Now in its ninth year, Code is carefully curated by John Allsopp, whose deep knowledge of the Web over two decades as a developer, author and speaker ensures a program of genuine relevance and value.

Our program routinely features members of the W3C's Technical Architecture Group, ECMA TC39 (the JavaScript standards committee) and others shaping the foundations of the Web. Past speakers have included Alex Russell (inventor of Progressive Web Apps), Nicole Sullivan (OOCSS), Rachel Nabors, Barbara Bermes, Domenic Denicola and many more).

speakers and audience
  • 20+ Transformational speakers
  • 12+ Hours of content
  • 4 Deep sessions
  • 1 Extraordinary Month

Extraordinary speakers

As always we've assembled a world–class lineup of front end developer experts for four focussed sessions across the Fridays in September.

Session 1: The Web Platform

Friday September 4th

Code opens with a session focussed on the Web platform, and the capabilities of the browser to help create rich complex experiences.

Kenneth Rohde Christiansen Sr. Web Platform Architect at Intel and a member of the W3C's Technical Architecture Group will look at where the direction the web platform is headed and Project Fugu, an effort to close gaps in web's capabilities vs. native platforms.

Mozilla's Marcos Canceres, who's also chair of the W3C's Web Applications Working Group will consider The Web in the age of Surveillance Capitalism.

We'll also be covering the state of authentication and payments on the Web, take a look at where Web Components are in 2020, and how origin trials help you experiment wth emerging web features without breaking the web.

Kenneth Rohde Christiansen

Kenneth Rohde Christiansen Sr. Web Platform Architect Intel Corporation

Fugu and the Future of the Web Platform

Progressive Web Apps–Web sites that can progressively turn into app like experiences and be installed on your devices–were introduced to the world at this very conference in 2015, by Alex Russell.

PWAs now also work on desktop systems, but usually desktop applications have different requirements as they are usually used for creating, in contract to consumption on mobile. As a user you want to be able to access your files, copy paste without issues, not having the screen turn off while giving a presentation, you want access to printers and other devices, access to local fonts. The list goes on! Currently most of those things are only available to native apps and are not things you want your random web sites to have access to. Project Fugu is the project to extend the web with more native like capabilities in a way that is safe and understood by the users. Join this talk to learn more about the exciting things we are working on as part of Project Fugu.

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Marcos Caceres

Marcos Caceres Standards Engineer Mozilla

The Web in the age of Surveillance Capitalism

Although early web standards forewarned of the privacy risk of technologies like cookies, they never envisioned that the Web Platform would be coopted for global-scale mass surveillance. In response, browser vendors have been working together to clamp down on the most egregious privacy abuses.

In this talk, Marcos will discuss breaking changes and new APIs that will help make the web platform more private and secure, and what these changes will mean for you as a developer and user going forward.

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Phil Nash

Phil Nash Developer Evangelist Twilio

The Origin Trials

Young adult, dystopian thriller or the future of the web? Origin trials are one of the methods that browsers experiment with new web technologies and you should know about them. Being aware of the experiments and taking part in the ones important to you gives you a voice in the future of the web platform.

In this talk we'll explore what an origin trial is, how you can take part, and what is currently being experimented with on the web. Vigilance is key to protect the web from a potential future dystopia.

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Ana Cidre

Ana Cidre Developer Advocate Auth0

The State of Web Components

A decade in the making, Web Components, a standardized set of technologies allowing us to allowing to create reusable custom elements are now widely supported in modern browsers.

In this presentation Ana Cidre will take a look at the overall architecture and some common use cases and patterns to get you started now Web Components are a viable option.

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Eiji Kitamura

Eiji Kitamura Developer Advocate Google

Better Payments for the Web with the Payments API

In recent years the Web Platform has gained many of the capabilities that had been exclusively the preserve of native applications. But one area in which the Web has continued to lag is in the area of payments.

Enter the Payment Request API a way for browsers to manage the user's experience of paying for things on the Web, and making this faster and more consistent for users and merchants alike.

In this session, Eiji Kitamura from Google Web Developer Relations team shows us what the payments API is for and how to use it to make the experience of paying for things on the Web much more pleasant.

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Ben Dechrai

Ben Dechrai Developer Advocate Auth0

Say goodbye to passwords and hello to WebAuthn

Identifying ourself to access social media, banking details, and every aspect of our online life is something we do potentially dozens of times a day.

But as the nearly ten billion leaked account details documented by "';--have i been pwned?" attest, this process has a fatal weakness–passwords.

The Web Authentication API (or WebAuthn) is a standard from the W3C and FIDO tjat "allows servers to register and authenticate users using public key cryptography instead of a password". WebAuthn is part of a set of standards that enable passwordless authentication between servers, browsers, and authenticators. It's supported in all modern browsers.

In this presentation Ben Dechrai will outline how the technologies work, and how you can take advantage of them today to create a far more secure experience for your users.

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Session 2: JavaScript

Friday September 11

Week two of Code features JavaScript. Google's Houssein Djirdeh will take an in-depth look at how we use JavaScript today, based on his work for the 2019 Web Almanac.

Tomomi Imura, will demonstrate the new features of JavaScript in 2020, with a little whimsy, as we could all do with some of that right now.

We'll also take a deep dive into asynchronous JavaScript, JavaScript debugging, the new native approach to JavaScript modules and more.

Houssein Djirdeh

Houssein Djirdeh Developer Advocate Google

The State of JavaScript, 2020

How are we actually using JavaScript today? Which features are widely adopted, and which less so? What performance impacts is JavaScript really having on page load times?

In this presentation Houssein Djirdeh details how we're really using JavaScript today.

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Tomomi Imura

Tomomi Imura Software Engineer

ECMeowScript–what's new in JavaScript explained by cats

While not quite the bumper update of 2015, the most recent iteration of JavaScript, ES2020 features a number of new language features, small and large. From the ability to handle very large integers, to additions to asynchronous JavaScript, to a myriad of cleanups and refinements of the language.

In this presentation, Open Web advocate and front-end engineer Tomomi Imura gets us up to speed with the latest iteration of JavaScript, with a little whimsy, because we could all use a bit of that right now.

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Maciej Treder

Maciej Treder Senior Software Development Engineer Akamai Technologies

Asynchronous and Synchronous JavaScript. There and back again.

Callbacks… Callbacks everywhere… Callback inside the callback, and one more inside! Asynchronous JavaScript code is a pain. Event loop is a JavaScript “bigfoot” - everyone heard about it, almost nobody knows how it works… There is multiple ways you can deal with the asynchronous action: callbacks, Promises, Observables, async-await; but which one is best? Which one should you choose for the particular scenarios?

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Marcin Szczepanski

Marcin Szczepanski Principal Developer Atlassian

JavaScript debugging the hard way

Error on line 1, column 6532112 of bundle.js? Out of memory error trying to load a CPU profile into the Chrome debugger? Two minutes to see wait and see if a change you made fixed a bug?

While upgrading our complex web application from Webpack 3 to Webpack 4, we ran into these of challenges and more, that required adapting my use of debugging tools and techniques to deal with the scale of the problem.

As your codebase grows the debugging techniques you apply need to adapt - things you take for granted like setting a quick breakpoint, reproducing a bug in seconds, or loading a CPU profile into the Chrome Dev Tools start to break down.

This talk dives into the different issues we encountered, and how we debugged and fixed them - providing practical examples, and tips, for debugging JavaScript in the Browser and Node as your codebase grows, that provide a valuable addition to any developer's toolbox.

Read More…

Mejin Leechor

Mejin Leechor Software Engineer VMWare

Native JavaScript Modules

A decade (or more) in the making, JavaScript modules are now supported in all major browsers and in Node.js. So now theres a widely supported, standardized way of modularizing your JavaScrpt.

In this presentation Mejin Leechor wil show us how they work, and why you should be using them.

Read More

Yulia Startsev

Yulia Startsev Developer Mozilla

Specifying JavaScript

A language like JavaScript, with a large diverse user space, is half designed, and half reverse engineered. Like all web standards, JavaScript is developed in conjunction with the realities of the web and user decisions in how the language is used and formed.

This results in unique backwards compatibility issues such as the recent smooshGate discussion. These cannot be ignored in the standardization process, even when better alternatives exist. This talk will discuss constraints, mediation strategies and issues that have arisen from the proposal process introduced by the TC39, and the unique challenge of introducing formalist methods to a language that has been developed in such a manner.

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Session 3: HTML, CSS and more

Friday September 18

Week 3 of Code focusses on the often under appreciated technologies of Web development–HTML and CSS. Erin Zimmer will bring us up to speed with the latest in CSS Layouts, while Chris Lienert will show us that HTML didn't stop at version 5 and that it continues to evolve, reviewing number of HTML elements and attributes that are new and (somewhat!) ready to be used.

We'll also take a look at the latest in animation for the Web, how Houdini allows us to escape the confines of CSS for styling, and the latest in CSS techniques and debugging.

Erin Zimmer

Erin Zimmer Senior developer Cogent

Welcome to the Layouts of the Future!

Historically, layout on the web has been quite difficult. Developers have relied on third-party tools, like Bootstrap, and media queries based on "average" device sizes. Today, however, the web is available on an increasingly large range of devices - everything from your watch to your fridge! We are reaching the limits of what these tools can handle.

The good news is that CSS has you covered now! Modern CSS contains a number of properties that support responsive designs natively. We're going to have a look at CSS columns, flexbox and grid. We'll take a quick look into how each works individually. And then we'll learn how we can combine them to create truly flexible layouts, that work across a huge range of devices, without relying on device-based breakpoints.

Read More

Chris Lienert

Chris Lienert Front End Technical Lead Iress

Know Your HTML

HTML didn't stop at version 5 and it continues to evolve. Chris Lienert will review a number of HTML elements and attributes that are new and (somewhat!) ready to be used.

Read More

Ruth John

Ruth John Creative Developer

Escape the box with Houdini

CSS is a powerful technology for styling web content, with on significant drawback (no not specificity). We're restricted to the styling primitives built into the language (and browser), which relies on others to specify and implement them, and can take years.

Well, until now. Enter Houdini.

Houdini is a set of lower level APIs that allow us to essentially create our own visual style, layout, and animation properties for CSS. Sounds like magic? That's why it's called Houdini.

In this presentation creative developer Ruth John will show us how the illusion is created.

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val head

Val Head Senior Design Advocate Adobe

Prefers Reduced Motion: Designing Safer Animation for Motion Sensitivities

It's a common misconception that things like inclusive design and accessibility only come at the cost of design details like motion, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In this session we’ll take a closer look at the prefers-reduced-motion query and how we can use it to make sure even our most creative web animation work can be viewed safely by those with motion sensitivities.

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Ahmad Shadeed

Ahmad Shadeed UX Designer • Front End Developer

Debugging CSS

Practices and techniques for debugging traditional programming languages, like C or JavaScript, have developed and matured over the last half century or more.

But CSS, as any developer who's even moderately familiar with the language will know, is very different from such languages.

Even spotting, let alone tracking down the cause of incorrectly styled content can be maddening. And managing the interaction of potentially numerous rules spread throughout a style sheet, or across multiple style sheets, or the cascade and inheritance of a property and its impact on an element's style causes frustration even for very experienced CSS developers.

In this presentation designer and developer Ahmad Shadeed asks why hasn't a systematic body of debugging practice emerged for CSS? And what might that look like?

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Voon Siong Wong

Voon Siong Wong Technical Lead DiUS

The Art of CSS

CSS syntax, like the box-model, flex, and grid is relatively easy to learn, or at least lookup. But CSS semantics, like when to apply the cascade, inheritance, or custom properties is an art form. And to master this art form, we first need to understand them.

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Session 4: Performance and Security

Friday September 25

The final week of Code moves from technologies to practice, focussing on performance, and security.

Emily Nakashima considers observability for user happiness, and how the web performance community have been thinking about the best ways to measure that happiness for years. Yaser Adel Mehraban will show how we can tune web performance with just browser APIs. Yoav Weiss will consider the delicate tradeoffs between user security and performance, and how to strike the balance right.

And we'll look at Web Assembly, and pre-fetching resources the right way for all round performance.

Emily Nakashima

Emily Nakashima Director, Engineering Honeycomb.io

Observability is for User Happiness

Within the observability community, there’s a saying, “nines don’t matter if users aren’t happy,” meaning that 99.999% server uptime is a pointless goal if our customers aren’t having a fast, smooth, productive experience. But how do we know if users are happy? As members of the web performance community, we’ve been thinking about the best ways to answer that question for years.

Now the observability community is asking the same questions, but coming at them from the opposite side of the stack. What can we learn from each other? Emily will talk about how approaching web performance through the lens of observability has changed the way her team thinks about performance instrumentation and optimization. She’ll cover the nuts & bolts of how Honeycomb instrumented its customer-facing web app, and she’ll show how the Honeycomb team is using this data to find and fix some of its trickiest performance issues, optimize customer productivity, and drive the design of new features.

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Aaron Turner

Aaron Turner Software Engineer Fastly

Web Assembly at the Edge

Full session details coming soon

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Yaser Adel Mehraban

Yaser Adel Mehraban Lead Consultant TelstraPurple

Tuning web performance with just browser APIs

As web applications become more complex, with a corresponding increase in required bandwidth and bundle sizes, to meet users' expectations the need to consider web performance has never been more important.

Yes, there are third-party tools that can help with performance but what about what is available "out-of-the-box"? In this talk we will look at some of the browser APIs which can greatly assist in implementing techniques to improve web performance.

From Network Information API, to Device Memory and Performance APIs, these are all right there in the browser and a great set of tools with which to design our apps from the ground up with performance in mind and the means to identify where we can focus to help our users.

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Andi Tjong

Andi Tjong Developer Atlassian

Understanding image compression

There are so many ways you can compress an image before serving it on the web, and there are a lot of tools that can help you with that. However, how does image compression actually works? and why there are many types of image compression?

In this talk, Andi will explain how different image compression algorithms work, and in which cases they will be best used for, also the reason why we need all of them instead of just using a single compression algorithm.

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Divya Sasidharan

Divya Sasidharan Developer Experience Engineer Netlify

Predictive Pre-fetch

Browser hints like prefetch enable you to get critical resources in advance and save valuable (next) render time. These speculative optimizations integrate the developers assumptions about the users route. Speculative pre-fetching can be wasteful due to incidences of fetching resources that will never be used.

Leaning on advances in machine learning and analytics data allows us to significantly increase the efficacy of our fetches. Let’s explore techniques that move predictive prefetching from idea to reality.

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Yoav Weiss

Yoav Weiss Co-chair W3C Web Performance Working Group

Performance versus security, or Why we can’t have nice things

Performant web sites are critical for your user’s experience. No doubt about that. But keeping our users’ information private and secure is similarly critical to maintain their trust in the web platform and keep them around. Those two requirements are somewhat at odds.

There are many cases where performance optimizations ended up creating security or privacy holes. There are also many cases where privacy and security restrictions introduce significant performance overhead, or prevent us from getting access to performance-critical information in the wild.

In this talk, we’ll discuss different examples outlining this tension, dig deeper into them, understand the underlying principles behind the web’s security model, and hopefully agree that we need both a performant and safe web to keep our users happy.

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Diversity Scholarships

We have diversity scholarships available for all our events. These provide full attendance just like any other attendee. We don't draw attention to those who have received a scholarship, but do look to make connections between them, and with our diversity sponsors, to help ensure the most valuable possible experience.

Our Scholarships focus on people who are unemployed, under-employed, self employed or in the early stages (up to 3 years) of their careers who identify as belonging to a group or groups under-represented at events like ours, and who might otherwise find it difficult to afford to attend.

Read more and apply at our diversity page.


We work closely with our partners and their technologies to deliver world leading online conferences.

Contact us for more on how we work can work with you to help you be even more awesome.

Key Technology Partners

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Media Partners

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Diversity Supporters

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Community Partners

Our venue

Code 2020 will now take place wherever it's most convenient for you.

Taking place across 4 Fridays in September (or Thursdays for those east of the date line) at a time convenient from the US Pacific Coast to Hong Kong and Singapore, we're bringing world leading experts and ideas to you.

Code will take place on Thursday September 3, 10, 17, 24 4pm–7:30pm Pacific Time, and on Friday September 4, 11, 18, 25 in New Zealand from 1pm–4:30pm, on Australia's East Coast from 11am–2:30pm, in Japan and Korea from 10am–1:30pm, and in Perth and South East Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines) from 9am–12:30pm

Getting there:

Get out of bed, make a coffee, wander to your desk, and start right in. Or just watch from the comfort of your bed. If conditions allow watch in your office, or grab a team pass and watch together as a team.

No expensive flights, or long commutes, be part of it wherever you feel like.


No need for hotel rooms or airbnbs!

Praise for past Web Directions events

Phil Whitehouse
Web Directions is the must-attend event of the year for anyone serious about web development.

Phil Whitehouse,
Innovation Lead DigitasLBi

Ethan Marcotte
I’ve been admiring the Web Directions events for years, and was honored to be part… What a fantastic event!

Ethan Marcotte,
inventor "responsive Web design"

Dave Greiner
Out of any conference, Web Directions is far and away our favourite

Dave Greiner,
founder Campaign Monitor

About Us

Co-founded and now run by John Allsopp, Web Directions has for over 15 years brought together leading developers, engineers, visual, IxD, UX and product designers, Art and Creative Directors, product managers indeed everyone involved in producing web and digital products to learn from one another, and the World's leading experts across this vast field.

We spend our lives thinking about what comes next, keeping up with trends in technology, practices and processes, and filtering the hype, to make sure you don't miss trends that matter, and don't waste time on hype that doesn't.

We promise attending one of our events will leave you significantly better versed in the challenges you face day to day, and in solutions for addressing them.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're switching things up a bit for 2020 and beyond. We'll be organising a growing family of focussed online conferences, and our annual extravaganza, Web Directions Summit will take place in Sydney as soon as it is practicable in 2021 (all going well).

vignettes from our events, social, speakers and more. Includes Hannah Donovan skylarking.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp has been working on the Web for nearly 30 years. He's been responsible for innovative developer tools such as Style Master, X-Ray and many more. He's spoken at numerous conferences around the World and delivered dozens of workshops in that time as well.

His writing includes two books, including Developing With Web Standards and countless articles and tutorials in print and online publications.

His "A Dao of Web Design" published in 2000 is cited by Ethan Marcotte as a key influence in the development of Responsive Web Design, who's acclaimed article in 2010 begins by quoting John in detail, and by Jeremy Keith as "a manifesto for anyone working on the Web".

Code of Conduct

For over a decade, we've worked hard to create inclusive, fun, inspring and safe events for the Web Industry.

As part of our commitment to these values, we've adopted a code of conduct for all involved: ourselves, our speakers, our partners and our audience.

If you have any concern or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.