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An evening out with Points Brighton

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development Freelancing

I’ve been to a few web conferences over the last 3-4 years and they’re great. You get to see some famous web folks and hear their presentations in large venues and meet with other designers and developers. At the same time, with conferences averaging 500 or more attendees, it’s sometimes easy to feel a little ‘lost’ at such events. For that reason, I also like to attend some informal, more grassroots-style, local events as well. Last Thursday evening, I went to the first Points Brighton event and here’s my short review of the meeting.

Points

Firstly, what is Points Brighton?

The evening (on Lanyrd) was organised by Mike Street who decided to set-up his own event after attending Insites in summer 2011. All credit to him for making it happen!

Points is an informal evening of digital discussions open to all. Taking place in the heart of Brighton, the events take in topics from web-development and SEO to social media and photography with ‘speakers’ including experts, beginners and everything else in between – because at Points, everyone takes part.

The evening was based around four presentations by Paul Adam Davis, Alex Sexton, Kris Noble and Anthony Killeen with intervals between each speaker where you could ask questions, grab a beer (thanks sponsors!) and talk with other attendees. I didn’t add up the numbers but I think about 25 – 30 people were there.

Presentations

All the speakers did a great job considering that for some it was their first speaking/presenting event and that two of them filled in for another speaker at 24 hours notice.

Paul Adam Davis started with a presentation called Professional WordPress Hacking and it also included a short section about Less. Some useful code snippets were shown for getting the most out of WordPress and the use of plug-ins was actively discouraged in favour of writing your own code!

Next, Alex Sexton talked about the Golden Ratio (Wikipedia), how it is defined through geometric shapes, its relationship to the Fibonacci Sequence, and its usage in design with examples including the Twitter website and the Apple logo.

See also: New Twitter design based on the Golden Ratio

Kris Noble gave an introduction to the use of frameworks and their advantages and disadvantages. I particularly liked one of the “What is a framework” introductory points: “Stuff you use a lot wrapped up in a convenient package”. Yes, that’s it!

Anthony Killeen finished the presentations by talking about the importance of local meet-ups and described why he started Croydon Creatives, which is a monthly meet-up for web folk from in and around Croydon.

Overall

I enjoyed the evening and it was good to talk to some familiar faces and meet with people I had only previously met on Twitter; it’s always fun playing the ‘spot the avatar’ game! This type of meet-up is great for meeting local web designers/developers and it’s also a great opportunity for anyone to give presentations in an informal atmosphere, perhaps before presenting at a conference or larger event.

More: Anthony Killeen’s photos of the event on Facebook and Simon Cox’s photos on Flickr.

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© 2016 Clive Walker