Hi, I'm Amy

I'm a Speaker

I am currently giving a variety of talks about the front end of the web, and mental health.

Want me to speak at your event? The talks I've given recently are below, and you can get in touch here.

Looking for something more in-depth? I also run various workshops on front end tech, both in person and online.

CSS Grid - What is this Magic?!

We've all heard a lot in the last year about a new advancement in the world of CSS, called CSS Grid. Starting at whispers, we're now starting to hear it as a deafening roar as more developers write about it, talk about it and start using it. In the world of front end, I see it everywhere I turn, but what does it mean for non front end developers and why should you care about it?

The reason CSS Grid is gaining so much attention is because it's a game changer for layouts. No longer do you have to fight for hours to align things properly on the page (eventually turning to Bootstrap), with a few simple lines of code we can now create dynamic and responsive layouts. While a lot of people are calling this the new "table layout", CSS Grid gives us so much more (and is easier to use).

While there is so much to worry about when developing an app, CSS Grid means that you can worry less about building the layout on the front end, and more about making sure the back end works well. Let me show you how the magic works.

Previous Presentations

How to Build a Quokka Bot

Quokkas are the happiest animal in Australia that surprisingly isn't trying to kill you. But can you really be sure that what you're looking at is a Quokka and not something more dangerous?

Let's look at how we can build a quokka identifying chatbot, combining Twilio's WhatsApp, MMS and SendGrid APIs with machine learning based image detection powered by Microsoft's Custom Vision API.

Join me as we learn how to train and then link up an ML model across multiple communication channels to create an engaging, accessible chatbot. And of course lots of photos of quokkas.

Previous Presentations

How to Build an Inaccessible App

Accessibility is a word often thrown around, but what does it actually mean? As framework starters (like Create React App) start including accessibility testing plugins in their out of the box tests and fill our consoles with warnings, we're starting to see more people include aria attributes, and make sure their images have alt tags, but is this really helping?

While it's tempting to do whatever it takes to stop the warnings, there are times when the recommendations aren't clear and lead you to including unneeded code or even making the application unusable!

Let me show you how to decipher these warnings, and how to make sure you're not actually making your app more complex and less accessible than it needs to be. Find out what tools you can use to include accessibility in your existing testing and what you really need to be doing with your code to make sure you're building a good experience for all users.

Previous Presentations

How to Manage Your Ducks: Being a More Sustainable You

Ever feel like everything's a struggle? Like you're constantly overwhelmed by life? While we can endure it and pull through, this is hardly sustainable. Sometimes, it's just too ducking hard.

We've all been there. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to not only reduce the stress factors, but sometimes eliminate them altogether.

Join me to learn about setting (and sticking) to your boundaries, identifying which worries help and which ones harm, and most importantly, how to manage your ducks. These are personally vetted, tried and tested steps for being a more sustainable you.

Previous Presentations

The Art of Failure

Failure has a lot of negative connotations and is something we actively try to avoid. But failure is an important part of life, we need to change our relationship with failure and embrace it, rather than avoid it.

We are faced with failure every day, it gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes, to reassess the situation and try again. Just as we claim ‘bugs’ are ‘undocumented features’, we can re-brand ‘failures’ as ‘learning opportunities’ and take the chance to make ourselves better.

In my life, I’ve had my fair share of failure. Some are just a slight blip, while others can be a little soul destroying. But the common factor from all these failures is that I’ve learnt from each and every one of them.

One of the reasons I’ve been able to bounce back from these failures is that I’m also prepared to fail. This doesn’t mean sitting around and expecting that you’re going to fail but being prepared is always a good step to take; having a ‘just in case’.

I’ve already learnt from my failures, now you can learn from them as well. Let’s stop being afraid of failure and learn to take a chance, give it a go so that you can learn something new. The only way you truly fail, is if you fail to try.

Previous Presentations

Wait, I have to test the front end too?

Testing is important right? Your project can't be run unless all your unit and integration tests are written (and pass), but are you also testing the front end?

There are so many different tests we need to be running on the front end - accessibility testing, performance testing, user testing, HTML validation, visual regression testing - it's hard to work out what you need to test for and how to set it up.

Join me to learn about the different types of front end tests and find out where you need to use them, while I show you how to set them up in a live example application.

Previous Presentations