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6 Awesome Panels for Web Developers at #SXSW 2014

By Chris HvizdakMar 6, 2014

sxsw web developer kuno creative blogNavigating the thousands of conversations, panels, workshops and events at SXSW can be a daunting proposition. The SXSW website is an amazing resource that gives you everything you need to do the job; however, you will need to earmark some time if you plan to scan through the full lineup of amazing opportunities.

I was given one important piece of advice from many fellow attendees at my first SXSW: Go with the flow. You will probably frustrate yourself something fierce if you attempted to plan your schedule down to the minute. A much more sanity-friendly approach is to start by picking out three to four sessions a day that are high priority for you. Once you've got your general outline, allow the ebb and flow of SXSW to carry you along like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream.

With that approach in mind, read on for a rundown of panels at SXSW 2014 you should ride the current toward.

1. Content & Commerce: The Digital Cronut

When: Friday, March 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center

Content publishers and eCommerce brands frequently define themselves strictly as one or the other. This can be a big missed opportunity. Publishers can often strengthen engagement by channeling their audiences into customers while eCommerce retailers can elevate loyalty by making customers into readers. Hear about the possibilities from a guy who knows the score, co-founder and CEO of Thrillist Ben Lerer.

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2. Rich Web Experiences & the Future of the Web

When: Friday, March 7, 2-3 p.m.

Where: Radisson Town Lake 

Modern web browsers are rapidly adopting interactive media technologies like WebGL. These advancements make it possible to construct 3D rendered graphics that rival game consoles directly in-browser, as Epic has demonstrated with its HTML5 port of the Unreal 3 engine. This technology has the potential to drastically redefine how users interact with all types of content. CJ Gammon of Adobe will discuss what may lie ahead for rich media at this session.

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3. From Every Screen to No-Screen: Next Gen Responsive 

When: Saturday, March 8, 11 a.m.-Noon

Where: Austin Convention Center 

Responsive design allows websites to be built once and then attractively rendered across all devices, no matter the dimensions of the viewport. This is working out great with desktops, set tops and current mobile devices, but there is a whole new horizon of wearables, digital signage, complimentary screens and other connected devices on the way that will soon be displaying web content. This discussion will offer perspectives on responding to these new platforms from speakers including Chris Saint-Amant of Netflix and Customer Experience Expert Kerry Bodine. 

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4. Building the Future with Gigabit Apps

When: Saturday, March 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Where: Four Seasons on San Jacinto

Incredibly fast Internet service made possible by gigabit fiber offers a new universe of opportunities to content creators and content consumers. While full of potential, this new frontier faces challenges. Developers need to learn how to best take advantage of the extra horsepower from a web technology standpoint. Rolling out new fiber service is sometimes tricky under the regulations and agreements many municipalities have put in place over the years. These concerns will be discussed by folks who have tackled them first hand, including Xerox PARC alum and 3com founder Bob Metcalfe and Aaron Deacon of Kansas City Digital Drive.

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5. One on One with Mark Cuban

When: Saturday, March 8, 5-6 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center 

From his early involvement in Compuserve to his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban has been a major force in technology and entertainment. This session is a chance to hear about Cuban's amazing career from the man himself. He'll be speaking with another huge figure, author and former Apple tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki.

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6. Design Pattern Libraries

When: Monday, March 10, 5-6 p.m.

Where: Austin Convention Center

Building a documented and standardized collection of design patterns is essential for consistency and helps your team have a greater understanding of the “how” and the “why” behind the UX/UI of your projects. At this session, Brian Peppler of EPAM Empathy Lab and John Goff of eBay will discuss new approaches for building pattern libraries and streamlining team participation in the design process.

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What is your SXSW survival strategy? Let us know what panels (or cool “secret” events) you’ll be attending in the comments!

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Photo Credit: Mike Rohde

Additional Topics: Content and Design
The Author

Chris Hvizdak

Christopher combines his years of experience as both a front-end graphic designer and back-end developer to create attractive, flexible and easy to maintain websites. On a typical day, Christopher will implement new designs across a number content management and e-commerce platforms.Christopher is a huge movie lover, seeing more than 300 films per year in movie theaters. No talking or texting, please.
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