Esri Developer Summit 2015: Day 3

Esri Developer Summit 2015: Day 3

Rene Rubalcava | March 12, 2015

For those of us that braved the pre-noon hours, there were some good sessions this morning that I was able to attend.


I sat in on Dojo - The Good Parts, which was an updated talk that was done last year. This was a good session for users just getting started with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. Dojo has lots of great parts I've talked about before and for those rockin' the jQuery boat, Dojo also has you covered if that was a concern.

Web App Builder

I've done some Web App Builder hacking when it was in beta. I have some plans for Web App Builder content I'll talk about at a later point in time, but it was great to see it presented for users who are looking to get work with the development version and build their own components. There was some great talk about using Yeoman for custom widgets. I see some good benefits for Web App Builder here for lots of developers.

Optimizing Your Code

I got to see a good talk that provided some great tips on optimizing your JavaScript code, down to working with FeatureLayers and requests to the Esri JS Optimizer. One thing that came up that I thought was really cool is that you can send the optimizer a list of Esri/Dojo modules, create a custom build of the ArcGIS API and let Esri host it and you can replace that as the CDN source for the ArcGIS API for JS in your own applications to get better performance. I thought that was pretty neat.

Write Better Code

There was no code Write Better Code session, but that was ok. This was a pleasantly surprising breakout session by Daniel A. Lewis of Esri. We got a great humorous history of the presenters background as a developer, successes and pitfalls in all. He provided some great advice on how developers could improve, not just themselves, but also as teams. I got hints of John Sonmez in this presentation which stressed that you can't be a perfect developer, but you could get better and that is something that rings true for all of us.


Alex Bostic gave an interesting talk on using KnockoutJS and durandal to build very customized and interactive InfoWindows for Esri JS apps. I know Knockout, but wasn't very familiar with Durandal. He had some great hacks about getting everything to work with the Esri API and Dojo loader.

Favorite Things

Steve and Scott gave a great presentation on the tools they use to write, build and stay in the zen of their development workflow. They put a summary up for your pleasure. The AGRC guys do some great work and they've one some great hacking of Dojo and the Esri JS API to help other developers do their builds for a long time. This was definitely a highly recommended presentation to see.

The Future of JavaScript

Patrick Arlt showed us all the future of JavaScript. This was great stuff, Patrick showed some nice ES6 features, but I think the highlight of interest from the audience was Web Components. He showed the benefits, some drawbacks and more importantly what you could accomplish today. Another highlight talk this year.

Killer Apps

If you have never seen a Killer Apps presentation, you are really missing out. It borders on performance art. Sajit, Mansour and Pascual provide some great inspiration to think outside the box an push your development chops. There were drones, there was big data, there was love and there were robots. Nothing makes for a better laugh than three guys with heavy accents using voice recognition software.

Party and Dodgeball

The party was a lot of fun this year. I did miss the ice cream bar, but there was a dessert bar and some good food. Dodgeball was great as usual, moreso after a few drinks. My three year old daughter was fascinated by dodgeball this year for whatever reason. She was cheering, yelling and chugging soda like a true sports fan. It was also great to meet tons of new people and see some familiar faces. I didn't get a chance to see the dunk tank, but I imagine it was wet.