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Open Source North

1. Node.js

With the increase popularity of JavaScript, Node.js is killing it. With 1 billion weekly NPM downloads, it clearly has grown to become an industry standard.

2. Flexbox

The future of CSS layouts is here with Flexbox! Forget floats, position absolute and adding JavaScript to supplement for calculating height or space between items. Flex these muscles and be confident you’ll be able to translate those outrageous mockups from your designers into code!

3. The New Mobile Web

Dan Callahan from Mozilla spoke on the gaps separating usability of applications and the mobile web, and how service workers, push notifications and app manifests will soon begin to fill them beginning this year. It was incredibly interesting to see ways in which simple updates can be made to make mobile-friendly websites as usable, if not more, than mobile applications.

Here’s a video of Dan’s presentation from PyCon earlier this year:

4. Slack Culture

This session focused on how remote teams can utilize Slack (and its infinite amount of integrations) to increase phatic communication. Whether it’s as simple as creating granular channels for team ideation sessions, or as complex as creating a custom chatbot to automate team tasks to stay organized, Slack is an amazing tool that all remote teams need to consider in today’s tech climate.

5. Open Source at Microsoft

Microsoft is joining the open source community, including opening up to other platforms like Mac and Linux. A few projects that were highlighted include the .Net Core, Visual Studio Code, Xamarin, and Azure. Microsoft is also focusing on bringing a human side to technology with the Cognitive Services project. Check out this video:

6. Death to Cookies, Long Live JSON Web Token

Kassandra Perch from Auth0 discussed the benefits of moving to token-based authentication vs. cookies. With nearly flawless live-coding, she walked us through the anatomy of a JSON Web Token (JWT) and how to quickly build one in Node. With the ever-growing landscape of the web, I think JWTs are here to stay. For more information on JWTs, here is a good starter article put out by Auth0: