It’s time for the great gathering of Midwest programming minds known as the Kansas City Developer Conference! I’m excited to attend KCDC 2016 again (and, of course, eat more great Kansas City barbecue).

With the official release only days away, .NET Core looks ready to break into the mainstream this year in a big way. A number of other technologies are heating up, too: ES6, TypeScript, Angular 2, and microservices architectures to name a few. I’ll highlight the most exciting talks happening over the next two days!

The KCDC 2016 Keynote

Jonathan Mills kicked us off with a great opening keynote that emphasized the changing nature of developer jobs (C is now more in demand than Java, due to the rise of embedded devices and the IoT), and how conferences are a great way to expand your knowledge into new areas. He encouraged everyone to get out of their shells and chat with their fellow attendees (they don’t bite!).

JavaScript and ES6

Behind .NET technologies, it seems like JavaScript is the second most popular topic this year at KCDC. Jeff Strauss gave a great overview of the new features of ES6 and how it can improve your JavaScript code in a few big ways. Even though browser support for ES6 is still spotty, tools like Babel can give you the best of both worlds today by transpiling ES6 down to “vanilla” JavaScript that any browser can run.

I try to never miss Cory House’s sessions, and he packed the house today (out the door, literally) with his talk about the keys to professional JavaScript. He emphasized things like:

  • JavaScript should be in a .JS file (not embedded somewhere else!)
  • JavaScript should always be linted and minified in production
  • Don’t write “plain” ES5, write ES6 and use a transpiler (it’ll write better ES5 than you can, anyway!)

I have to admit, I only follow a few of these practices myself. His talk definitely inspired me to write cleaner JavaScript.

ASP.NET Core

There were a number of good talks about ASP.NET Core today. Jay Harris presented an overview of how .NET Core “reboots” the ASP.NET franchise and positions it as a modern, cross-platform web framework. Robert Boedigheimer followed up with a hands-on talk about building a modern, responsive website using ASP.NET Core and Bootstrap.

Wrapping Up

The first day of KCDC 2016 was exciting and info-packed. The only downside of a thirteen-track conference is the sheer number of talks you have to decide against when picking just one each hour! Tomorrow morning, I’ll be giving a talk of my own on Token Authentication in ASP.NET Core. I’ll post the slides as well a wrap-up of the Friday sessions in tomorrow’s highlights post.

And hey, if you’re at KCDC too, hit me up on Twitter so we can connect!