The front-end development team here at e3 recently attended one of the largest front-end developer conferences - jQueryUK, in Oxford. Whilst there were lots of interesting presentations, here are our top picks from the event:

Dave Methvin's (JQuery Foundation) keynote talk
This covered some of the latest features in ECMAScript 6/2015 (also known as Javascript) and the use of polyfils to be able to support legacy browsers. We support the use of polyfils here at e3, as it lets us use the newest technology, but they should be used with care, as it can very quickly become outdated.

The Real World JQuery talk by Ben Foxall 
Ben's session explored the distinction between reality and what is the web. With a lot of interactive demos using our phones, we can access lots of information through browser APIs. jQuery allows us to get that little bit closer to thinking about the things that we create and how they change someone’s environment and how we all can become connected and part of something greater.

Mark Ottos' (github) talk on CSS 
We were presented with insights into the way that Mark builds sites with CSS. Somewhat surprisingly, he wanted to keep it simple. Mark incorporates the BEM process into his build structure. He also monitors CSS in his site using a tool such as parker (a stylesheet analysis tool). If there are any errors the build will fail. This keeps the code smaller, less bloated and reusable - something we are in the midst of doing here at e3.

Alice Bartlett from the Government Digital Service
As a developer for the Government Digital Service (GDS), Alice's role is to make sure that she can cater for as many users as possible. The visitors to the Gov.co.uk website are vast and more often than not, likely to be non-tech-savvy. These users are after information and not always because they want to, but because they have to.

Things we took away
The web needs to be both accessible and useable on an ever-increasing number of devices, screen sizes and connections by a wider range of people than ever before. From user research conducted by GDS, we discovered that people don’t use computers the way we expect them to, specifically when filling out forms and using dropdowns.  So we need to be building the web for everyone not just ourselves.

There was a strong emphasis on optimisation and process, and in order to improve the experience of the end users, we need to hone our own development processes too. By working smartly and incorporating automation where we can, it's possible to create fast, “jank-free” experiences for all devices.

Take a look at the videos of the event here.