Cup with beautiful 10th aniversary Logo drawn by Vic Lee

The 10th iteration of my favorite (web|design|development|biggerpicture) conference is about to open doors in a few minutes.

This year this is an extraordinary event - due to the Covid-19 situation last year it was cancelled, and with the current surge of the "fourth wave" with never-before seen high amount of new infections currently in Germany, it sure is not your ordinary easy-going in-person event.

And here we are. In September, with only two month notice, I got the OK to run beyond tellerrand in November 2021 again. And I couldn’t be more happy. Even though I know that nailing speakers down to come, the financial situation and also the still not really safe situation concerning Covid cause beyond tellerrand to be far away from “normal”. This won’t be a beyond tellerrand, where “we just do another one, after a break of two years” and which follows the usual event cycle. No. This – for me at least – is a new beginning. From zero. A start from scratch under special circumstances. But I am happy if you join me on this new journey and am looking forward to meet you in Düsseldorf.

Although already having had a ticket for the conference, I decided against participating in person, because I didn't feel comfortable with travelling through the country and staying in a hotel, and lastly had doubts if I would enjoy the prospect of beeing indoors with several hundered people from all over Europe. And to be honest, going out for a drink or two, sitting in a bar or hotel lobby - all the things that "make" that conference feeling around the conference - all of this feels not right, for me anyways, so it was with a very sad heart that a few months ago I returned my ticket to the organzier to maybe give it to somebody else who would enjoy those two days more than I would be capable of.

But, since the conference will be live streamed in a "thats a first" for Beyond Tellerrand, and me having several friends attending in person, and being connected via twitter, chat and DMs, maybe a little bit of "that" conference feeling will be transported into my (home) office, where I set aside time and space for the talks today and tomorrow.

And 1000 thanks to Marc, not only for taking this enormous effort to once again organizing the event, which, see above, this time is anything but a small feat. But also thank you for this token into the "conf ritual" (see picture) <3

Greetings to everyone at the Capitol, stay safe and have a mighty good conference!

Following are updates along with the progress of the event:

"I haven't even done anything yet" (Marcs first response to the welcoming applause) must be the understatement of the year, already. What an effort getting this thing running must have been.

(Update after the first talk:)
The stream's audio and video is excellent, well done.
Harry Roberts' talk about the impact the right (or wrong) order of elements in the <head> section of your web page has on real and percieved performance was a great start. Already some real world take aways for my work, plus the invaluable advice "Don't tell clients what you've done; tell them about the outcome" (in the context of how moving one line of code around made a clients side several seconds faster to load, which led to an 8 million bucks increase in earnings for the client). :-)

(Update after day one, the morning of day two:)
Even from remote, I got 'that' Btconf Feeling back. All the talks had something in them that tickled my curiousity (need to play around with variable Webfonts), provoked to rethink my use of socialmedia, again, were simply entertaining in their own right (I could watch Eva Lotta sketching all day)…

The talk that resonated with me the most was the free wheeling (haha) Titus Dittmann. I won't go into it here why exactly some of his points hit home (no, it is not only the story of how I lost my front tooth to skateboarding), but seeing him at … 72 years and with all this energy and stories and some of the insights he shared, it was very inspiring. Maybe because the talk was held for the most part in German, and maybe no matter how 'good' I think I understand English, maybe not having to constantly translate in the head added to it, but yeah, wow, what a ride that was.

I'm stoked for day two, and just cancelled an appointment to make sure not to miss the first talk today.

Ha! I'm present in Düsseldorf, Centerstage! :-))

tom onscreen in the capitol
Photo: Sigismund Freudenthal @sigismund

Hidde de Vries' talk about HTML/Semantics is very good. Very concise, and with some surprising gotchas, for example that css text-transform:uppercase may affect some Assistive Technologies to treat the text as abbriviations, reading out letter-by-letter. Here are his links.

Aaron Parecki is now up, talking about OAuth:

Even if you've never heard about OAuth, you've certainly used it in your daily life already. But what purpose does OAuth actually solve? In this session, you'll learn about the original problems OAuth set out to solve, and how it evolved over the years into the foundation of nearly every modern system on the web. This session explains OAuth through the lens of everyday life, without jargon or code. You'll learn how OAuth makes life easier for app developers, and how it enables the best blend of security and usability.

this might get a little bit more technical. :-)

Ok - wasn't that much technical. A good overview about the why and how this works and what problems it solves.
Links: | |

Ulrike Rausch - Liebe Fonts - about creating "handwritten" Fonts and OpenType specialities

(…) playful type experiments that show evidence: type is not just for reading but it’s fun and entertaining, too

Wow. Seems that maybe I've found a "real" font for usage on my website - where currently I work around with images (and AT alternatives) in some places…

Matthias Stahl: Looking like a Lost Sheep – the Story of the Lonely Chart

Not sure what to expect from this talk about Data Visualization, but trusting Marcs curation. And everytime I saw talks about Data Viz, I was completely blown away and inspired, even to the point I ventured into some experiments with D3.js. So this is going to be good, I'm sure.

Oh yes. This was good.

Molly Watt Access to Tech, Tech to Live
I am looking forward very much to this talk. Accessibility is such an important, yet still underrepresented feature of the web stack. To put this talk at the end of the conference, to give all the designers and dev and stakeholders to take home with them, sure is not intentional.
I applaud.

And that's a wrap!
Two great days packed.

Thank you Marc and the gang for the chance to participate from afar. And of course a big thank you to all the speakers.

Just before closing the event, Marc was held hostage on stage by Andi (@nebu) and Dirk (@faulancer) who, in the name of many btconf-participants (myself included), organized a little surprise (and around 300EUR for Makuyuni and Skate Aid). <3

Marc Thiele onstage being surprised by Andreas and Dirk who organized a thank you surprise - Photo by Florian Ziegler
Photo: Florian Ziegler @damndirty


And also many thanks to Patrick (@lippe), Patrick (@poke), Sven (@maddesigns), Guido (@gilse), Dirk (@faulancer) and Andi (@nebu) - despite being not there in person, the exchanges with you and your efforts to include me and keep me up to date has made me feel very very warm and brought the "btconf feeling" right into my home. Team Klassenfahrt rocks.