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SkillsCast

Webmasters, Full Stack Developers, and Other Legendary Creatures

13th July 2016 in London at CodeNode

There are 85 other SkillsCasts available from FullStack 2016 - the conference on JavaScript, Node & Internet of Things

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Once upon a time, when the web was young, phones were dumb and people still thought progressive JPEGs were a pretty neat idea, there was a legendary race of beings known as... THE WEBMASTERS. They were brave, they were bold. Armed with a 56k modem and a stack of O'Reilly books, the webmasters were fearless in their ongoing quest, driven by one humble vision... to connect the entire world together. Using Netscape Navigator.

Of course, that was a long time ago, and nobody really believes the stories any more. Some say the webmasters are gone. Some say they never existed in the first place - it was just a bunch of marketing people with delusions of grandeur. But a few, a select few, believe they changed. They evolved. They learned new skills, they embraced new technology... and the Legend of the Full Stack Developer was born.

The history of software development is rich with tales of extraordinary individuals, whose knowledge of their own systems was absolutely unrivalled. But here in 2016, in a world where distributed systems, machine learning and autoscaling cloud systems are ubiquitous and the average web app uses three JavaScript frameworks, four server-side languages and six different kinds of caching technology, does it really make any sense to talk about full stack developers? Are we clinging to outdated paradigms, nostalgic for the simple days when one person really could know all the answers - or does overspecialisation represent a genuine threat to the established discipline of software development? And if it does - should we be resisting it, or embracing it as a change that's long overdue?

This August, it will be 25 years since Tim Berners-Lee created the first web page - and 24 years since Dylan created HIS first web page. In this talk, Dylan will reflect on the history of the World Wide Web, exploring what we've learned - and forgotten - along the way. He'll share lessons learned over a quarter century of building sites, writing code, designing systems, hiring developers, managing teams and delivering working software, and take a speculative look at the next 25 years of the web, and how it's going to keep on changing the world.

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Webmasters, Full Stack Developers, and Other Legendary Creatures

Dylan Beattie

Dylan Beattie is a systems architect and software developer, who has built everything from tiny standalone websites to large-scale distributed systems. By day, he’s the systems architect at Spotlight (www.spotlight.com), where he works on HTTP APIs, distributed systems, and the architectural challenges of delivering cutting-edge online services in a company with nearly ninety years of legacy. He’s been working with Spotlight since 2000, and his first-hand experience of watching an organisation - and their code - evolving over more than a decade has given him a unique insight into how API design, distributed systems, Conway's Law, working with legacy systems, and recruitment can all influence a company’s products and culture. Alongside his work at Spotlight, Dylan is actively involved in the software development community. He’s involved in running the FullStack and Progressive.NET conferences, and frequently speaks at conferences in the UK and around Europe about software architecture and development culture.

SkillsCast

Please log in to watch this conference skillscast.

582288625 640

Once upon a time, when the web was young, phones were dumb and people still thought progressive JPEGs were a pretty neat idea, there was a legendary race of beings known as... THE WEBMASTERS. They were brave, they were bold. Armed with a 56k modem and a stack of O'Reilly books, the webmasters were fearless in their ongoing quest, driven by one humble vision... to connect the entire world together. Using Netscape Navigator.

Of course, that was a long time ago, and nobody really believes the stories any more. Some say the webmasters are gone. Some say they never existed in the first place - it was just a bunch of marketing people with delusions of grandeur. But a few, a select few, believe they changed. They evolved. They learned new skills, they embraced new technology... and the Legend of the Full Stack Developer was born.

The history of software development is rich with tales of extraordinary individuals, whose knowledge of their own systems was absolutely unrivalled. But here in 2016, in a world where distributed systems, machine learning and autoscaling cloud systems are ubiquitous and the average web app uses three JavaScript frameworks, four server-side languages and six different kinds of caching technology, does it really make any sense to talk about full stack developers? Are we clinging to outdated paradigms, nostalgic for the simple days when one person really could know all the answers - or does overspecialisation represent a genuine threat to the established discipline of software development? And if it does - should we be resisting it, or embracing it as a change that's long overdue?

This August, it will be 25 years since Tim Berners-Lee created the first web page - and 24 years since Dylan created HIS first web page. In this talk, Dylan will reflect on the history of the World Wide Web, exploring what we've learned - and forgotten - along the way. He'll share lessons learned over a quarter century of building sites, writing code, designing systems, hiring developers, managing teams and delivering working software, and take a speculative look at the next 25 years of the web, and how it's going to keep on changing the world.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

About the Speaker

Webmasters, Full Stack Developers, and Other Legendary Creatures

Dylan Beattie

Dylan Beattie is a systems architect and software developer, who has built everything from tiny standalone websites to large-scale distributed systems. By day, he’s the systems architect at Spotlight (www.spotlight.com), where he works on HTTP APIs, distributed systems, and the architectural challenges of delivering cutting-edge online services in a company with nearly ninety years of legacy. He’s been working with Spotlight since 2000, and his first-hand experience of watching an organisation - and their code - evolving over more than a decade has given him a unique insight into how API design, distributed systems, Conway's Law, working with legacy systems, and recruitment can all influence a company’s products and culture. Alongside his work at Spotlight, Dylan is actively involved in the software development community. He’s involved in running the FullStack and Progressive.NET conferences, and frequently speaks at conferences in the UK and around Europe about software architecture and development culture.

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