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A screen on a stage with the ffconf logo and hashtag
Photo by Trys Mudford

Last week, the development team and myself attended FFCONF, a prominent day-long conference at Brighton’s historic Duke of York’s Theatre. This event, known for its vibrant and innovative atmosphere, attracts a broad mix of technology enthusiasts and experts. This year’s conference was especially informative, presenting talks on significant topics in the tech world, accessible to all levels of understanding.

Highlights included a discussion on imposter syndrome, a common issue where individuals doubt their accomplishments, which several members of the team have experienced at some point in their careers. Amber Shand shared her personal experiences, coping strategies and resources and provided insights and study statistics to raise awareness on how people can be affected by this not just in the digital sector but any workplace environment.

Another prominent topic was about the Dark Forest and Generative AI, where Maggie Appleton discussed ‘Dark Forest’ theory in the context of AI. This talk explored how advanced algorithms might shape our digital landscape and how users of the world wide web are changing their habits and also interacting differently in online communities. Read more on ‘The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet’ here.

Other subjects included an in-depth look at Ada Lovelace’s first programme by Steven Goodwin and the importance of the front web and how we can keep it optimised and accessible for users without compromising on experiences in two talks by Angela Ricci and Ire Aderinokun.

We learnt about neurodiversity in tech and the spectrum of categories that this encompasses. Jonathan Fielding put forward a powerful talk on this subject drawing from his personal experiences and healthcare studies to explain how we can empathise with people who are neurodivergent and challenge workplace stereotypes and reframe these to build more inclusive workspaces. Read more about neurodiversity here.

The conference concluded with some entertaining talks about utilising Web Speech in the browser and karaoke by Ana Rodrigues, who as a side project built an browser based karaoke bar where the browser can recognise your speech along with a songs words and had us all singing twinkle, twinkle little star. Lastly a talk about entertainment for code by Salma Alam-Naylor, who showed us the power that twitch and other online platforms can have on creating an online community where people build applications, websites and other fun project together.

The continued success of FFCONF is largely thanks to Remy and Julie Sharp’s dedicated efforts. Over the years, they have passionately put together this conference, greatly enhancing its quality and popularity among the tech community. Returning from the conference, our team felt enriched with new knowledge and ideas, ready to apply these insights into our projects. The conference provided a deep understanding of various tech topics and a chance to connect with industry peers, fostering a sense of community and teamwork.